Saturday, January 8, 2011

Adhesives

All manner of stuff can be mounted with double-sided sticky tape. Scotch and 3M both make it. 3M also makes a VHB (very high bond) version both in a foam and in a clear acrylic with clear adhesive. Go to www.mcmaster.com and enter item # 76665A81 for a 5 yard 1/2" wide roll for around $22. VHB tape can be found at automotive body & paint stores, it's used for attaching trim items.
It's available from manufacturers other than 3M. Fusor® by Lord is one. It's available in clear or gray.

The advantage of this acrylic adhesive tape, is that unlike regular "foam" double-sticky, the adhesive can be rolled off cleanly at some later date (though you may need to warm the surface to do so easily).

As with all such tapes, it should be applied to clean surfaces at or above room temperature. If possible, avoid loading tape with a lot of weight for several hours - full strengh in 24 hours.

Also, for those things that you want to hang with more sturdiness than Velcro, enter MC's part number 94935K31 for "mushroom" fastener tape. This stuff is amazing and is sold by the foot. If you want a wider mushroom head tape than the 1/2" number I'm giving, simply enter "mushroom head fastener" in the search box and scroll down.

Heat is a different story, though: adhesives can soften in high temperatures. Velcro is notorious for this, which is why I've switched to using 3M Dual Lock.
For mounting jobs where you don't need removability, try 3M's Scotch Exterior Mounting Tape or their VHB (very high bonding strength) tape. 3M Dual Lock is available at most Target stores, and is also sold by Radio Shack under the "Superlock" brand. It's also available online, of course.

(http://www.itapestore.com/3mduallock.aspx is a good supplier.) Scotch Exterior Mounting Tape can be found at Walmarts and hardware stores. 3M VHB tape is a little harder to find; you may have to order it online.
Another good adhesive is 3M 5200 Marine Sealant. It's water-proof and incredibly strong. I've used it to mount things on the roof, such a mounting bracket for a CB antenna. For best results, one should properly prepare the surface - removing the paint and etching the aluminum surface.

Contributors: Andy, Larry, WxToad

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