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The Importance of Proper Surface Preparation with Industrial Tape Bonding


Proper surface preparation is critical for industrial tape bonding because it provides stable, unified, clean, and dry substrate surface which ensures optimum adhesion of the industrial tape with the substrate material. The proper surface preparation optimizes the performance of the substrate and without a standard surface preparation, the industrial tapes will have a poor adhesion with the substrate which can lead to the potential products failures, safety hazards and increased cost due to the rework and replacement procedures. Moreover, industrial tape technology is used in various environmental conditions from high temperatures to extreme hazardous and sometime under high number of stresses. In this regard, proper surface preparation is used to provide a clean and uniform surface, which promotes a stronger and more durable bond over time. The surface preparation methods include surface cleaning, removal of grease and loose surface deposits such as in case of metals rust from the surface of metals needs to be abrade or solvent cleaned to enhance adhesion. Moreover, to achieve the high bond strength chemical pretreatment is also carried out to remove contaminations that can interfere during bonding leading to poor adhesive strength.

It is noticed that in general, before employing the industrial tapes the substrate surface is prepared usually by cleaning with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water as shown in Figure.1. (Steps A and B). In this mixture the concertation of iso-propyl alcohol is almost 50 to 70 percent. Furthermore, industrial tape is considered as one of the pressure-sensitive adhesives. In this regard, the bond strength of industrial tapes is dependent on the adhesive contact developed between the substrate and the industrial tape. Thus, after the solvent cleaning pressure is applied which develops better adhesive contact and helps improve bond strength. In general, it is considered that the industrial tape should undergo a pressure greater than 15psi which is applied by the rollers or platens to ensure optimum bonding as shown in Figure.1. (Step C and D). The application of pressure onto the industrial tape usually increases its bond strength because in response to this the adhesive will flows onto the substrate surface leading to higher adhesion. Furthermore, it is noticed that almost 50 percent of the bond strength is achieved after a time of 20 minutes and 90 percent of the bond strength is achieved after one day and 100 percent of the bond strength is achieved after 3 days completion. However, handling Strength is typically achieved right after pressure is applied onto the surface bonded components. Whereas in various cases, bond strength can be enhanced, and highest bond strength can be achieved more quickly by exposure of the bond to elevated temperatures.


Figure.1. Surface preparation of industrial tape bonding

However, except this most of the time special surface preparations are required which include the cleaning of heavy oils from the surface. For instance, different types of degreasers or solvent based cleaner are required to remove the heavy oils or grease from the surface of the substrate and followed by cleaning with IPA/water.

Moreover, there are substrate surfaces that contain thick dirt, dust contaminations in such cases the substrate surfaces are abraded and then cleaned by Iso-propyl alcohol and water mixture. Surface abrasion can serve to remove heavy levels of dirt or oxide from metals or paints and develops additional surface area to improve adhesive bonding of the industrial tape with substrate material. Furthermore, abrading is carried out to have a textured surface to obtain more flatness, allowing improved contact area and adhesion. A fine abraded surface can help adhesion to many paints and plastics. In addition to this, fine scratches on the surface, generated with circular motion rather than straight-line motion, are most desirable such as micro-scratches on a surface increases the available surface area to bond to resulting in greater initial adhesion and achieving higher bond strength. During abrasion it is a precaution to avoid grinding a surface with coarse abrasive materials, as they can create too much texture for the adhesive to adequately flow into the surface.

In addition to this adhesion promotors are also used to enhance the adhesion of the substrate with industrial tapes. This surface preparation includes the application of a primer on the substrate surface which can efficiently enhance the initial and ultimate adhesion of tape to number of materials which include polymers and paints etc.

Furthermore, the materials such as wood, particleboard etc. have rough, porous surfaces and due to this these materials require a prior sealing before the application of industrial tape to have a smooth and unified surface for industrial tape bonding. The most common sealing materials used are the paints, varnishes, and special coatings etc. On the other hand, there are some other materials that require a special surface preparation before industrial tape application. For instance, such material includes glass and glass-like materials and metallic materials such as copper and copper and plastics or rubber that contain components that migrate (e.g., plasticizers).

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