3m adhesive supply perth

Getting Adhesives Right.

Most decals and labels are supplied as “self adhesive”. Very little thought is given to the type of adhesive used. It’s taken for granted that the adhesive will work and on the odd occasion it doesn’t….what a disaster! Delays to your production and interruptions for your clients.

There are almost as many types of adhesive as there are types of decal and it is important to chose the right one for your situation. The base material you will be applying your decal to can be rated according to its “surface energy”. High surface energy materials are the most common and require only a strong bond. 3M 467MP or 468MP would be the most common adhesives used for these materials.

Low surface energy materials are typically found where powder coating or specialty plastics are the base material. These require a more specialized adhesive such as 3M 300LSE (Low Surface Energy) or one of the 3M VHB (Very High Bond) adhesives.

You may not always want the adhesive to cover the entire decal. There may be LED or LCD windows or buttons that need to be kept adhesive free. This can be achieved in two ways:

  1. A special “diecut” adhesive can be prepared that misses the areas required. These are then hand laminated to each individual decal. It is time consuming and therefore quite expensive.
  2. A cheaper alternative is to use a printable adhesive such as the Kiwo D142 screen print adhesive. During the final stages of screen printing the adhesive is laid down similar to a printing ink. It is allowed to cure for a time before having application paper laminated to the rear. These screen print adhesives, if printed properly, can achieve the same adhesion properties as die cut adhesive for significantly less cost.

When planning your next project, take some time to talk adhesives with us. You can avoid disappointments and possibly save yourself money by matching the right adhesive to your job.