What to look for in Constructive Bonding with Acrylic Foam Tapes
Claudia Ramirez· September 30, 2020
One day as you’re visiting one of your distributors, you happen to notice a tesa product display that highlights one of their products, tesa® ACXplus. Having heard about it before but not having much knowledge, you asked your distributor contact to tell you more. As luck would have it, a tesa rep is on location for a training.
Us: Hi, I hear you’re interested in learning more about tesa® ACXplus.
You: Yes. What’s so special about tesa® ACXplus? Is it the solution for every type of bonding?
It depends on what you mean by every type of bonding. What tesa® ACXplus can do is form fast, secure constructive bonds.
Which is an oversimplified way of saying that tesa® ACXplus is an acrylic core tape with very special, permanent bonding capabilities. It can be used for both interior and exterior bonding and mounting applications. But what it really does best is constructive bonding.
You: Wait. I’m pretty sure I know what constructive bonding is, but can you give some examples, anyway?
Us: Sure. Constructive bonding is a key element in nearly any industry you can name. Go ahead, name some.
You: Hmmm. Ok - automotive…. appliance manufacturing…building industry…and trailer manufacturing?
Us: Yep, to all of them.
And in each of these industries, creating constructive bonds can be very challenging because of the nature of the different materials you’d be working with.
You: Why use a tape when I can use rivets or welds, or screws, or even liquid glue to make constructive bonds?
Us: We’re glad you asked that question. In a nutshell, overall design, assembly speed and quality. Let’s say you have a high-tech material with delicate properties that absolutely can’t be compromised or damaged in any way. BUT, that delicate material has to be bonded to another, less delicate material. If you use one of the methods you mentioned, you’d almost certainly cause damage or at least set the stage for damage down the road.
Additionally, the curing time when using a liquid glue can be extensive, and time means money when it comes to production.
Or you might have very dissimilar materials that need to be bonded, like aluminum and steel, steel and glass, deco glass and fiber composites, and the like. Other bonding methods really aren’t going to be suitable and can also damage these materials. See where this is leading? The product design could be compromised if using traditional fasteners.
Using tesa® ACXplus results in a quality and aesthetically pleasing result.
You: Yeah, so it just makes sense to use tape, but how do I know the tape is going to hold long term? Doesn’t the adhesive break down and lose its strength after a while?
Us: It depends on what tape you use.
We made tesa® ACXplus so powerful, it stands up to all types of environmental and mechanical stressors.
You: If you needed to give me an elevator pitch, what would you say are its top three best qualities?
Us: Wow. Okay, since you asked:
#1: Strong Bonding Power
tesa® ACXplus creates a powerful, high bond on materials – even those with different surface characteristics – because its acrylic adhesive system enables optimal wetting and chemically adapts to the bonded surfaces. You can even adjust the tape’s thickness to compensate for rough and uneven surfaces. The result is a permanent contact and a complete sealing of the bonded substrates. In other words, you’ll get a high-strength bond that will last for decades.
You: Whoa, decades? Yeah, but what if I’ve got a situation with applied loads like wind and snow on top of the permanent load of my bonded components?
Us: Not even a problem. The bond is that strong.
Moving right along…
#2 Stress Dissipation
Impressive term, but what does it mean? We make tesa® ACXplus acrylic foam tapes with a high degree of viscoelasticity. This combination of elastic and viscous (or, sticky) qualities enable the tape material to respond to mechanical stresses with restoring forces.
Let’s say you’ve got aluminum on steel, steel on glass, deco glass on fibre composites – any type of dissimilar materials like this show different elongations when temperatures change. During the life cycle of a component, static and dynamic forces will act upon the constructive bond. Stress arises that needs to be dissipated. tesa® ACXplus is able to dissipate these stresses and maintain its secure bond because of that viscoelasticity we just talked about.
You: Yeah, ok. But what if my constructive bond is subjected to extreme temperature changes?
Us: We’ve got it covered. tesa® ACXplus can accommodate extreme temps – even with bonded substrates with different elongation characteristics. And that’s a perfect segue into…
#3 Temperature and Weather Resistance
Us: Where do you live?
You: Finland. Wait, no, Arizona. Both, actually.
Ha, you’re trying to trick us by saying you live in two different extreme climates. But that’s ok. Finland or Arizona, inside or outside, constructive bonds are everywhere. And these bonds have to withstand all these external influences – rain, snow, UV light and humidity as well as very low and very high temperatures.
If materials are bonded with traditional mechanical fasteners like screws or rivets, like you mentioned before, they can be vulnerable to corrosion, which leads to damages and costly reconstruction.
tesa® ACXplus acrylic foam tapes offer the best resistance to extremely high and low temperatures and different weather conditions. The main reason is the oxidation resistance of the fully saturated carbon chain, which is the foundation of the acrylates used in tesa® ACXplus. Wow – we’re sounding like the tape nerds we really are! Furthermore, the special curing chemistry we use forms an outstanding temperature resistance structure.
And all of that technical language we just spouted off means, basically, that tesa® ACXplus will give you a superior bond that shows excellent resistance to temperature, weather, UV and chemical influence.
So, in conclusion – at both your home in Finland and your place in Arizona, or wherever you are in the world, tesa® ACXplus will withstand static, dynamic, and temperature stresses, up to the life cycle of the bonded components. We call that one high performing tape.