3M™ VHB™ Tape has been used in the ship and offshore markets for a number of applications such as insulation pins (attaching to hull), signage, cladding and other lightweight attachment applications. 3M™ VHB™ Tape is a durable acrylic adhesive with a closed cell adhesive core; it bonds and seals.
In the application described above, it depends on several factors which are described below:
- Weight of Panel: The static load design strength guideline for 3M™ VHB™ Tape is 0.25 PSI or 4 in² per pound supported. For example, a 10 lb. plate would require a minimum of 40 in² of Tape to support provided a good bond is formed.
- Planarity of Substrates: Typically, a ship hull is in not flat (steel plate or curved portions) and the ability of the 3M™ VHB™ Tape to form a good bond depends on the contact area. 3M™ VHB™ Tape is a fully cured adhesive which comes in a predefined thickness and has limited gap-filling capability. This is further complicated due to the height of a weld bead between adjoining plates. If the Tape is not in contact with both substrates, then that portion of the Tape is not contributing to the load-carrying capability of the Tape.If planarity is of concern, you could consider a hybrid bonding approach whereby a liquid adhesive is used in conjunction with the 3M™ VHB™ Tape. The 3M™ VHB™ Tape provides immediate holding strength and the liquid adhesive will provide gap-filling and ultimate strength when cured.
- Ability to Bond to the Surface: 3M™ VHB™ Tapes bond well to high-surface energy materials like steel, aluminum, etc. For painted surfaces, a primer or adhesion promoter may be needed to achieve a strong bond. This can be determined by in-situ peel adhesion tests.
Unfortunately, with limited information on the application, 3M can only provide general guidance. If you have additional details, please share in a comment below so we can provide more specific guidance.