Surface Preparation for your Next Adhesive Application

Don’t Let Your Surface Fail You

Once you’ve selected the right adhesive for your application, it’s important that you have a clean surface for a strong bond. Dust, residue, and other contaminates will create an unstable barrier between the bonded surfaces. Imagine sealing an old, dusty cardboard box with packing tape. The tape will not hold very long as it’s bonding to dust instead of the cardboard. A strong bond is even more critical in industries like aviation or automotive when safety comes into play. To ensure adequate surface contact when using pressure sensitive adhesives, it is recommended to clean substrates surfaces with a 1 to 1 mixture of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and water.

Additional surface preparation may be needed in the following situations:


    • A degreaser or solvent-based cleaner may be needed to remove oils or grease from the surface prior to the IPA/water cleaner.

    • Abrading a surface can remove heavy dirt or oxidation.  This should then be followed with IPA/water.

    • Priming a surface on materials like plastics and paints can greatly improve adhesion.

    • Porous and fibered materials like wood, particleboard, or concrete usually need to be sealed to create a unified surface.

    • Additional surface preparation may be needed for materials such as glass, copper, and plastics or rubber that contain migrating components.

Once you have unified, clean, and dry bonding surfaces, pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA) tapes can be firmly applied with at least 15 psi (100kPa) in roll down or platen pressure. Following application, the strength of the bond will increase as the adhesive “wets out” on the surface. At room temperature, it takes approximately 72 hours to reach 100% strength.

Can-Do National Tape’s specialists are ready and able to help you with find the right adhesives for your application, but it doesn’t stop there. Our team will guide you to ensure you have an effective cleaning method and the right equipment for application.

Call us at 1-800-643-5996

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