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New high performance double sided foam tapes have the outside edge

05 August 2009

A suite of high performance double sided foam tapes with exceptional bonding characteristics, temperature and solvent resistance that makes them suitable for exterior applications, has been launched by tesa UK. These new products extend tesa’s foam tape assortment and are expected to open new application areas for the company.

Two groups of products are offered; one for the most challenging outdoor installations and the other for less demanding exterior applications. Each group differs in foam type and adhesive system. All the products feature significantly better UV, water resistance and ageing performance properties than is generally found in standard adhesive tapes.

The top level products comprise three grades - tesa 62852, 62854 and 62855 – are based on tapes originally developed for ‘productive’ applications in the motor industry - products that stay with the car as opposed to those used only inside the manufacturing plant.

In the automotive industry these tapes are approved for fastening rubbing strips, badges and decorative trims. Now tesa has adapted the closed cell PE foam backing and pure acrylic adhesive system on these products to advantage in a set of high performance tapes that offer long term performance in tough outdoor applications such as the permanent mounting of signage, display materials, emblems, panels and trims.

Their physical properties are impressive. Bonding strength is immediate on contact with minimal pressure on a wide range of substrates. In tests across the range adhesion to steel after 14 days peaks at 23 N/cm and 17 N/cm on ABS plastic. Tensile strength is up to 13 N/cm and elongation from 350 to 400%. Temperature resistance covers the scale from -40 to 100⁰C and coupled with excellent humidity performance these characteristics enable the tapes to be used in differing environmental conditions.

Gaps resulting from design tolerances and uneven surfaces can be accommodated by the closed cell foam backing which also offers dampening and shock absorption properties. Additionally the foam compensates for the thermal expansion and contraction of dissimilar materials.

Thicknesses offered are 500µm, 800µm and 900µm. All are coloured black as standard and feature brown glassine paper liners. Products are available in 50m length rolls 1240mm wide.

The second group uses closed cell PE foam and a ‘Tackified’, stickier, acrylic adhesive that allows greater flexibility when mounting. Designed for less severe outdoor applications their long term temperature resistance of 80⁰C is slightly lower than the other group of tapes but tape thickness extends up to 1600µm. Originally this group was developed for industrial applications such as mounting aluminium covers and frames on brown goods, door handles on kitchen furniture, decorative profiles on refrigerators and freezers, glass panels and mirrors. These tapes are available with glassine (siliconised paper), PE coated paper or MOPP (mono-axially oriented polypropylene film) liner options.

While all the tapes in this group - tesa 62932, 62934 and 62936 –offer reliable permanent bonding in outdoor applications, design gap compensation and excellent dampening properties, there are subtle application benefits.

For example tesa 62932 has foam backing of 540µm thickness and high immediate bond plus elasticity which makes it suitable for fixing trims and mouldings. The electronics industry utilises the enhanced shock absorption, conformability and adhesion to irregular surfaces delivered through the 800µm thickness of tesa 62934, to bond materials.

In the solar power sector the 1600µm thickness of tesa 62936, combined with maximum conformability and high ultimate bonding strength properties, are used to mount connection boxes.

Recently granted TÜV certificates for this group of products confirm their suitability for use in solar panel construction and reinforce their fitness for outdoor applications. Peel adhesion after thermal cycling and humidity freeze tests on aluminium, float glass and Tedlar PVF (polyvinyl fluoride) showed ‘no remarkable changes between the reference test samples and climatic preconditioned test samples’.

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