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Tape vs. Mechanical Fastening

Replacing mechanical fasteners with adhesive tape

Mechanical fastenings such as nuts and bolts, screws and rivets, and mechanical interlocks are traditionally seen as the strongest and most reliable joining method. Adhesive tapes can match and exceed this strength, as well as offer a range of unique characteristics that will enhance the reliability and longevity of your bond. See the benefits of replacing mechanical fasteners with adhesive tape below. 

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Easily join dissimilar substrates

Achieving a reliable and long-term attachment can be challenging where joining dissimilar substrates. For example, where there are different coefficients of expansion the fastened site will be exposed to wear and subsequent deterioration in the long-term. When joining dissimilar metals, the joined surfaces will be subject to bimetallic corrosion. Both of these challenges will result in a shortened life-span.

Replacing your fasteners with adhesive tapes removes these challenges and enhances the life of your product. The flexibility and durability of adhesive materials compensates for any mismatch in coefficients of thermal expansion and they also provide a barrier between different surfaces to reduce or prevent bimetallic corrosion.

Eliminate rust and corrosion

As well as the above mentioned bimetallic corrosion, substrates joined with traditional fixings can also be subject to rust and corrosion in outdoor applications, for example around screw holes. 

Adhesive tapes not only remove the need for screw holes, but offer long term durability in demanding applications with resistance to environmental extremes such as high and low temperatures, UV and water.

Eliminate concentrated areas of stress

Concentrated areas of stress, which can decrease the physical properties of the substrate, can occur where using mechanical fastenings. Stress on these areas, for example screw holes, can cause distortion, splitting and crazing at the mechanically fastened site.

Bonding tapes eliminate concentrated areas of stress through its distribution evenly over the entire bonded area. Adhesive materials can also bond and dampen simultaneously, reducing damage and noise caused by vibration. As the concern of distortion, splitting and crazing is removed, designs can utilise thinner and lighter materials.

Reduce noise and vibration

Reduce noise and vibration

The metal to metal contact of traditional fixing methods can create a lot of unwanted noise when exposed to movement and vibration. Using an adhesive product as a fixing method eliminates metal to metal contact and can provide additional damping qualities to reduce damage and noise by vibration. Watch the video on the right for a demonstration on how 3M VHB tape can reduce vibration by 30% and noise by 40%.

Resist impact and fatigue

Fatigue and impact shorten the life span of products as resistance deteriorates in the long-term.

Adhesive tapes retain long-term flexibility, making them more resistant to impact and fatigue than mechanical fastenings. They also have damping characteristics, further reducing the effects of vibration and impact.

Enhance product design

Designs are restricted where nuts and bolts need to be hidden, as well as accessed with ease. Product weight is also increased where using these methods.

Adhesive tapes have revolutionised design options to improve functionality and aesthetics. They offer invisible fastening and a cleaner appearance than traditional fastenings. Adhesive materials are available where disassembly is required and are lighter than mechanical fastenings, reducing overall product weight.

Reduce manufacturing and assembly times

Reduce manufacturing and assembly times

Replacing traditional fixing methods with easy to apply die-cut adhesive components can reduce assembly times as well as material requirements, refinishing and, ultimately, costs. In most cases there is minimal need for training and little or no investment in equipment. Pressure sensitive adhesives can also offer immediate handling strength.

Watch the video on the right for a comparison of joining with an adhesive tape vs. rivets.

Learn about the benefits of using a bespoke adhesive component, die-cut to your specific requirements.

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