Trailers can be notoriously difficult to effectively waterproof. Not only do they have a multitude of ingress points for water, but they are also often driven at highway speeds with shifting loads creating stresses on joints and fasteners. These ingress points need to be thoroughly protected as water is often being forced through as the trailer is pulled down the road. The interior of the utility trailer can easily become saturated in these conditions. The cargo can be damaged and the trailer service life is compromised. Tape-applied solutions can reduce reliance upon mechanical fasteners and can effectively seal joints along the roof and sides creating an effective water barrier.

The Challenges of Waterproofing Utility Trailers

Truck and utility trailers often utilize various mechanical fasteners. These fastening systems result in holes being made in exterior panels and frame materials. Each of these holes and the resulting joints is an ingress point for water.

Replacing Fasteners With Adhesive Tapes

Truck and utility trailers often utilize various mechanical fasteners. These fastening systems result in holes being made in exterior panels and frame materials. Each of these holes and the resulting joints is an ingress point for water.

Reliably strong fasteners such as rivets and welds can be safely replaced through the use of advanced adhesives and tapes. When adhesives and tapes are used in lieu of mechanical fasteners, the structural integrity of the trailer is not compromised. Further, tape systems offer short term reposition ability if parts are misaligned during fabrication. There are numerous other benefits to adhesive tapes:

  • They are more attractive; they seal and bond in one easy step and create a smooth bond line that is nearly invisible.
  • They can bond different types of materials, unlike welding, which makes them naturally more versatile.
  • They are viscoelastic. They distribute stresses along the entire bond line and excel in high-vibration environments. Tapes tolerate thermal expansion and contraction, which will often make mechanical attachments expand or fracture.
  • They reduce process steps such as weld grinding and sealing individual penetrations from mechanical fasteners.

Using Adhesive Tapes With Fasteners

 

Of course, there are situations in which adhesive tapes alone may not be enough or where current designs already call out the use of mechanical fasteners. In these situations, adhesive tapes can be used alongside fasteners for improved performance in panel bonding and stiffener attachment applications.

Extreme Sealing Tapes ® (3M registered trademark) can be applied over mechanical fastener heads and along joints to effectively seal out water and the elements.These tapes come in a variety of thicknesses and sizes, are easy to apply, and do not require any major capital investments for installation.

Waterproofing a truck or utility trailer can be made easier with the right type of tape or adhesive. Tom Brown, Inc. offers a wide variety of adhesive tapes that can provide waterproofing and more.