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Adhesive tapes maximise efficiency in auto design

Adhesive tapes maximise efficiency in auto design New developments in adhesive tapes have brought a new dimension of capability to the automotive design and manufacturing industry, enabling the permanent bonding of components to the vehicle.

In the productive area of automotive manufacture, the role of adhesive tapes has increased in significance both in the pursuit of better power to weight ratios and in the aesthetics and quality of the finished vehicle.

Tapes, as an alternative to mechanical fixings, provide relatively straightforward methods of application without the need for specialised skills and offer measurable benefits in weight/cost reduction and fuel efficiency. The use of double sided tapes often delivers a cleaner, smoother aesthetic on panels, badges, trims and emblems.

Adhesive tape specialist tesa has been supplying the automotive industry in both OEM and aftermarket sectors for many years. The value of tesa products in non-productive applications, primarily the temporary protection of interior and exterior surfaces, is well documented. During the assembly process for example, where exterior surfaces are potentially susceptible to damage, products such as tesa 51134 can be applied to ensure component protection. The range also includes products developed for interior and decorative trims, floor coverings and door panels.

Now the company has introduced tesa ACXplus, offering improved resilience to external factors such as moisture, UV radiation and temperature fluctuations, all of which are important for mounting exterior parts. Dr Stefan Röber, executive vice president of research and development at tesa comments: "ACXplus products are based on a unique, future orientated technology and have been developed for extremely demanding permanent bonds. With tesa ACXplus we can offer solutions for known applications but it also enables us to develop a portfolio of products for applications where no adhesive bonding solutions are yet available."

Materials bonded with traditional mechanical fasteners such as screws or rivets can be vulnerable to corrosion, often leading to costly repairs. With vehicle manufacturers increasing warranty times and looking to achieve competitive edge, overcoming these deficiencies is a prized objective. The tesa ACXplus range meets modern needs by offering a high resistance to temperature and weather conditions, due largely to the oxidation resistance of the fully saturated carbon chain which is the foundation of its acrylic base. Furthermore the special curing chemistry creates a high-performing resistance structure.

In addition it manages stress dissipation extremely well, thanks to its 'viscoelastic' properties, enabling the tape to deal with the different thermal elongation characteristics to be found in vehicle parts. Even when used with dissimilar materials such as aluminium on steel, steel on glass or deco glass on fibre composites, tesa ACXplus tapes retain the strength of bond.

The secure bonding of different materials is also needed in the interior, for example on the headliner, in the seats, or on the dashboard. With single and double sided tapes, tesa is helping automotive designers respond to the latest trends and bring their interior designs to life, providing secure bonding on the diverse substrates often used in interiors, while ensuring noise damping - an essential element in guaranteeing customer satisfaction, product differentiation and elimination of re-working costs.

A prerequisite of driving comfort and a recognised feature of quality is being able to drive without background noises. Here, tesa offers a range of specially developed products that prevent vibrations, squeaking and rattling to deliver high quality standards.

In addition, tesa tapes play a major role in application across the entire bodywork of a car. For example, for vehicle identification numbers (VIN), certification, service, security or warning and instruction information, tesa offers a range of automotive laser labels with customer-specific visible and hidden security features that can be integrated into the labels to maximise security against tampering.

The self-adhesive solutions used to seal holes in the car body are more efficient and cost-effective than the plastic plugs which are traditionally used. They are suitable for every process stage in vehicle production and offer outstanding puncture resistance, excellent noise damping properties, maximum flexibility for uneven surfaces, excellent PVC and paint compatibility and high temperature resistance.

Products used to protect and bundle wire harnesses in the engine must be highly resistant to wear, temperature and chemicals. Here, tesa's extensive range of wire harnessing tapes fulfils this function, offering good flexibility for easy installation, secure bundling and sound-proofing features to prevent rattles.

Over the years, tesa has been responsible for bundling between two and five kilometres of wiring built into cars since the end of the 1960s. Marketing manager Jeremy Smith comments: "The innovative tesa Sleeve range offers excellent flexibility for wire harnesses and contributes significantly to optimising processes and increased efficiencies in their manufacture. With the introduction of the tesa ACXplus range we are taking productive applications for the automotive industry into a new generation, building on our established business to provide customers with more options to improve design, functionality, cost-effectiveness and performance."
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