Adhesive Applications

Primerless Bonding: The Solution to Make Tape Stick to Silicone without Primer and Treatment

tape application

Silicone is a unique, versatile polymer used in a wide range of applications, including medical devices, electronics, automotive, and aerospace components, and many consumer products. However, silicone’s unique properties, such as its low surface energy (LSE) and non-stick characteristics, make it a challenging material to bond with most adhesives. Tape, in particular, struggles to adhere to silicone surfaces, which can cause issues such as de-bonding, leaks, contamination, and ultimately reduced performance. But don’t worry; there’s a solution to this problem: custom-formulated silicone pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) and high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes. In this blog post, we will explain what these tapes are, how they work, and why they are essential for engineers, researchers, product developers, and scientists working with silicone components that need to be bonded in their final application.

What are high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes?

High adhesion silicone adhesive tapes are a type of tape designed specifically to bond with silicone surfaces without the need for primers, corona, etching, or other chemical treatments. These tapes consist of a silicone adhesive coated onto a backing material, such as a polyester or polyimide film, which provides the tape’s mechanical strength and dimensional stability. The adhesives (PSAs) used are custom formulated by our chemists to have strong ultimate adhesion with direct application to silicone parts, such as elastomers and foams. These tapes can be provided in multiple formats and are commonly used with a high bond acrylic adhesive on the non-silicone bonding side so that the silicone part can be effectively bonded to other (high surface energy – HSE) materials, such as steel, polycarbonate, etc. For example, our double-coated, double-linered polyester (PET) tape with a silicone adhesive on the PET side and an acrylic adhesive on the Kraft side, SA1911.  Of course, if two layers of silicone need to be bonded, a double-sided silicone tape, or transfer adhesive (no carrier) can be used such as our polysil double coated silicone adhesive tape, SP590HT-DC2 or our 5 mil clear silicone transfer tape, S1005By eliminating the need for a primer, high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes simplify and strengthen the bonding process, reduce costs, and improve productivity.

How do high adhesion silicone ahdesive tapes work?

High adhesion silicone adhesive tapes work by adhering to the surface of silicone through a combination of mechanical and chemical bonding. The silicone adhesive’s polymers bond flow effectively onto the silicone’s surface, filling into any surface topography and creating intermolecular forces known as van der Waals forces. These forces build up the longer the adhesive stays in contact, providing a robust and durable bond between the two surfaces. High adhesion silicone adhesive tapes have high cohesion (internal strength), low modulus (soft and conformable), and excellent temperature and environmental performance making them flexible and able to withstand thermal cycles, UV exposure, chemical attack, vibration, and deformation.

Why are high adhesion solicone adhesive tapes critical for silicone applications?

High adhesion silicone adhesive tapes are essential for silicone applications because they provide a reliable and cost-effective bonding method that is compatible with a wide range of substrates. Traditional adhesive methods, such as using primers or other chemical treatments, can be time-consuming, costly, and result in inconsistent adhesion. Additionally, primers often contain high levels of VOCs and can be hazardous to workers and the environment. High adhesion silicone adhesive tapes are an eco-friendly and safe alternative that can improve the overall quality of your products.

Whare the benefits of using high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes?

The benefits of using high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes are numerous. First, they simplify the bonding process by eliminating the need for primers or other surface preparation methods. Second, they provide a strong and durable bond to an otherwise difficult-to-bond LSE surface that can withstand harsh environments and conditions. Third, they are compatible with a wide range of substrates, including silicone, Teflon, plastic, and glass. Fourth, they offer excellent electrical and dielectric insulation properties, which make them ideal for use in electronic applications. Fifth, they are inert and typically bio-compatible, making them ideal for use in medical dressings, device assembly, and microfluidics. Finally, they are cost-effective against liquid adhesives and caulks, and can improve your productivity by reducing assembly time and labor costs.

Common Benefits of Silicone and Silicone Adhesive Tapes

Silicone is well known for its excellent performance due to a variety of features:

  • Repositionable/removable –  adhesives can be specially formulated to be initially repositioned, or ultimately removed cleanly if required.
  • Chemical resistance – silicone adhesives are an excellent choice if the applications require resistance to chemical or solvent splashes or immersion.
  • Temperature resistance – of all adhesives, silicone has the greatest ability to perform in temperature extremes, ranging from -100F to 500F.
  • Electrical insulation properties – silicone is a naturally insulative (dielectric) material and therefore tapes made from it are good insulators and RFI shielders.
  • UV resistance – silicone adhesives are less prone to UV degradation than other adhesive systems.
  • Moisture resistance – silicone adhesive holds up well to water and other liquids and maintains a bond.
  • Conformability – silicone adhesive tape can drape and conform easily to accommodate complex contouring.

Conclusion

In conclusion, using high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes is an excellent solution for bonding silicone elastomers and foams in a wide variety of applications and markets. With their unique formula, these tapes can adhere to the low surface energy of silicone without the need for a primer, surface treatments, or drying times. They can also be designed in a variety of formats to suit the ultimate end application of the silicone part.  Their versatility, quick application, strong bonding, and resistance to harsh environmental conditions make them a popular choice in various industries. 

 

When selecting a high adhesion silicone adhesive tape, it is crucial to consider the specific application requirements and follow proper surface preparation procedures for a successful application. So, the next time you encounter a challenge in making tape stick to silicone, consider using high adhesion silicone adhesive tapes from Adhesive Applications for a quick and efficient solution.