People don’t realize how often they touch or interact with products that are assembled with die-cut foam tapes. The most common one would be the cell phones most of us use every day but there are our appliances, our cars and trucks, utility trailers, and a host of other gadgets that are put together with die-cut foam bonding tapes.
Why use foam tapes?
It comes down to two words- consistency and reliability. Foam tapes are manufactured to precise specifications in terms of thickness, physical properties, and cut part dimensions. This means that you’re applying the same amount of product every time and that translates to consistency.
By contrast, liquid adhesives have much high variability and mess associated with their application and mechanical fasteners require tools and often the bond lines exhibit point pressure where the fastener is installed. With foam tapes, stresses are uniformly distributed around the perimeter or bond line evenly.
Tapes are viscoelastic and have excellent fatigue resistance. While vibration and joint flexing can compromise mechanical fasteners, tapes dampen vibration and absorb shocks allowing the joint to recover time after time.
Common Types of Foam Bonding Tapes
The most common types of foam tapes are acrylics, polyurethanes, and polyethylenes.
Die cut acrylic and urethane foam tapes provide superior bond strength when applied to a clean, dry surface. They exhibit high dynamic shear values. These values are high enough to make them equivalent to one rivet every four inches. If you’re assembling a side panel onto a utility trailer, you get a smooth appearance without any distortion or splitting.
If you use a urethane foam tape to bond a roof panel onto a roof bow support member, you get a joint with exceptional tensile strength and vibration damping capability that translates into longer trailer life without fear of corrosion due to drilled holes.
Polyethylene foam tapes are less expensive than acrylics and urethanes and are an excellent choice for less demanding applications such as appliances, medical devices, and electronic housings.
Other Benefits of Using Foam Bonding Tapes
Foam tapes allow the joining of dissimilar materials such as metal, plastics, and glass. They also permit lighter, thinner materials to be successfully incorporated into a design. This means that materials that cannot be welded or easily riveted can be considered.
Foam tapes seal and bond in one step. You achieve a strong bond that seals out water, dust, and other contaminants.
Products assembled with die-cut foam tapes have improved appearance and aesthetics. The tape is hidden in the bond line and eliminates the need for pre-drilled holes that can act as a site for corrosion. The absence of holes and welds means no additional clean up steps thus reducing production steps and costs.
Are die-cut foam tapes right for you? Contact Tom Brown, Inc. today to discuss your application!