Applying an adhesive-backed VELCRO® Brand Fastener will help secure items together easily without tools or risk of damaging materials. This article will teach you the basics of how to apply VELCRO® Brand adhesive tapes correctly for industrial applications.
What are Adhesive Backed VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Used For?
Hook and loop fasteners can secure signage and displays, assemble partitions in offices, mount accessories, apply carpeting or be used for paneling in transportation interiors. It’s important to know how to effectively apply adhesive backed tapes by considering the environmental conditions, the surface type and the weight and strength required. All of these factors will help you create a strong bond to hold numerous objects and materials.
Step 1: Prepare the tape & work conditions
Step 2: Watch out for moisture & environmental temperature
Step 3: Prepare the mating surface
Step 4: Learn how to apply to low and high surface energy surfaces
- Prepare Industrial Strength VELCRO® Brand Tapes with a Clean Work Space
Pointed corners on heavy duty VELCRO® Brand Hook and Loop Tapes can cause the fastener to eventually peel. Nipping or rounding each corner of the VELCRO® Brand Tape can eliminate points from peeling and catching on other objects.
If the work area is clean and dry, it’s ready for adhesive VELCRO® Brand fasteners. Keeping a work space free from dirt, dust and debris is always good practice in general, but it’s particularly important for adhesive hook and loop. Ideally, the environment should also be well ventilated with limited humidity.
Ideal room temperature should also be a moderate 15º to 25º C, (59º to 77º F) with a relative humidity of 40% to 60%. The lower the humidity, the better the bond with the surface. If the tape is applied outside the recommended temperatures, it’s more likely to lose its ability to grip the surface.
- Watch Out for Moisture & Plasticizers
VELCRO® Brand fasteners will not hold together when exposed to water or applied on plastics with high concentrations of plasticizers. This depends on the adhesive type so check the product technical datasheet for specifications.
For instance, fasteners should not be adhered to footwear & apparel products because the adhesives cannot survive washing or dry cleaning. When in doubt, check with your Velcro Companies representative to confirm if your environment includes any risks to the bond.
Extreme temperatures outside of -40º C to 120ºC (-40º to 248º F) is out of bounds for adhesive backed fasteners. This means you will not have luck mounting fasteners in a cryogenics lab or a metal working facility, for example. Always check the product datasheet because not all adhesive types have the same temperature rating.
- Prepare the Surface for Applying Hook and Loop Fasteners
Next step, make sure all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and dried with an isopropanol alcohol solution.
There are two methods to clean the surface. One, you can grab a tear free light colored paper tower to wipe the surface in a single direction. One swipe, let it dry and you are ready to apply the fastener.
Or you can wipe the surface down with a wet cloth then dry it off with a separate one. The choice is yours, depending on what materials are available to you. Keep wiping until the surface and cloth are both free from dirt and debris.
- Learn How to Apply Adhesive-backed VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Against Various Surfaces
To get the best bond, press the fastener firmly into contact with the surface and smooth the tape to avoid air bubbles. Wait a minimum of 24 hours, some adhesives will require up to 72 hours for an optimal bond.
Not all surfaces are created equal. Objects sometimes need to be applied on wood, metal or plastic materials. Certain surfaces will require different adhesive types.
How to Apply to High Surface Energy Surfaces
High energy surfaces are composed of molecules that are very likely to bond to liquid and adhesives and include many metals and glass. In these cases, rubber-based pressure sensitive adhesives should be applied. For example, when mounting a security device to a metal door frame, choose a rubber-based adhesive.
For Low Surface Energy
Low surface energy can be tricky because this means the materials are happy right where they are and are less likely to bond to water or adhesives. This includes mostly plastics such as polyethylene or propylene. In this case, a water or acrylic based adhesive will provide an optimal bond and can withstand numerous outdoor conditions. Consider this when you need to secure materials outdoors such as signage and displays.
Before choosing the best adhesive backed fastener for your project, it’s recommended to test the adhesive type to make sure it’s the best fit for the conditions and stresses it will face. If you are not sure which fastener is best for your application, contact a Velcro Companies representative.