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3M™ Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Most of our industrial tape products feature 3M pressure sensitive adhesives that bond the backing material to another surface on contact. Each adhesive has different characteristics that affect production and end-use performance.

Rubber Standard Acrylic Modified Acrylic Silicone
High initial bond Moderate initial bond Bonds to wider variety than standard acrylic Fair initial bond
Softer Firmer Softer Very firm
Widest variety of surfaces including low surface energy materials* High surface energy* Many surfaces Fewer surfaces
Up to 350°F Up to 450°F Up to 300°F Up to 600°F, excellent low temperature performance
Fair chemical resistance Excellent chemical resistance Good chemical resistance Excellent chemical resistance
Fair UV resistance Excellent UV resistance Moderate UV resistance Excellent UV resistance
Poor aging Excellent aging Durable Excellent aging
Removable Permanent various Removable
Good solvent resistance Excellent solvent resistance Good solvent resistance Excellent solvent resistance

*Surface energy ranges from high to low. To illustrate the concept of surface energy, think of water on the unwaxed hood of a car.

  • The unwaxed hood has high surface energy, and water on the hood flows into puddles.
  • In comparison, a waxed hood has low surface energy, and the water beads up rather than flows out.
  • Similar to water, adhesive on a high-surface-energy (HSE) surface flows and "wets out" the surface; this "wetting out" is required to form a strong bond.

As a rule of thumb, the higher the surface energy, the greater the strength of adhesion. Specially formulated adhesives are available for low-surface-energy (LSE) surfaces. Regardless of surface energy, the substrate must be unified, dry, and clean to maximize adhesive contact.