Manufacturers have been using 3M™ VHB™ tape for many years in the assembly of truck and trailers but what real benefits can it offer and why is it such a popular choice for professionals within this industry?

3M™ VHB™ Tape

3M™ VHB™ tapes are a family of double-sided foam tapes made from high performance foamed acrylic adhesives.

These types of tapes are able to form bonds of exceptional strength and provide closed cell technology which enables outstanding environmental resistance. They are able to seal and bond even in extreme environments. The superior strength of 3M™ VHB™ tapes means they are often chosen in the place of mechanical fastening methods, more traditionally used in the joining of materials. These qualities alone mean that 3M™ VHB™ tape is well suited to use within the transport industry.

Since 1980, manufacturers of commercial vehicles have been using 3M™ VHB™ Tapes to attach sidewall panels to the framework of commercial vehicles. Manufacturers are choosing tapes over fasteners for a range of different reasons, including -

-       Rivets and screws can loosen, rattle and leak

-       A smoother finish is achieved because of the invisible bond that using tape gives

-       Tapes offer great weight saving benefits compared to mechanical fixings

-       Tape offers noise damping qualities enabling a quieter ride

-       Tapes bond and seal at the same time negating the need for gunnable sealants

-       It distributes weight evenly across the whole join

-       Bonds different materials together i.e. aluminium to steel etc.

-       Fatigue and Vibration Resistance - An example of VHB Tape durability has been generated on the Bendix Automotive Proving ground in Indiana, USA. a full-size semi-truck with a sleeper cab was constructed with all exterior panels and doors taped to an underlying frame with 4950 VHB Tape. After approximately 500,000km on the harsh durability track the VHB Tape bonds remained completely intact. This is particularly impressive as some of the mechanically joined and welded parts failed and required repairs during the test program.

-       Tape is fast, clean and simple to apply. No holes to drill, no riveting, no liquid adhesives to cure, no welding and ultimately very little preparation and clean up needed. 


How 3M™ VHB™ Tapes Work

The exceptional performance of these tapes comes from the properties of the acrylic core. The core has the dual properties of behaving like a very viscous liquid and an elastic solid. This property is known as viscoelasticity. The “visco” properties allow the adhesive to flow into the microscopic irregularities of the surface to form very strong bonds. The elastic properties allow these tapes to absorb dynamic loads, accommodate differential expansion between surfaces and help distribute loads over the greatest possible area.

Overall, the proven unique strength, durability, light weighting and aesthetic benefits coupled with the cost and time saving abilities of 3M’s VHBtape are what make it an attractive option for manufacturers within truck and trailer industry.

Have you got a requirement for 3M™ VHB™ tapes? Why not get in touch with our team at -