teaching & learning

The use of pressure sensitive tapes in engineering

ImageImageMichael Punter, managing director of Parafix and Edwin Eve, technical manager from 3M came to talk to the product design staff and students this morning. The industry for pressure sensitive adhesives is growing massively, especially with the Olympics on the horizon and Parafix are hoping to learn about how much students and engineers know about the products that are available.

There’s a huge range of advantages in using adhesives and tapes. As well as being strong, they can help distribute localised stresses and therefore reduce fatigue that mechanical fixings experience. 3M VHB(TM) tapes can be used to create a seal, sandwich components, absorb stresses and can also tolerate expansion and contraction due to temperature change of up to three times their thickness. They’re also a fast way to bond parts without any impact on the aesthetic appearance. Advancements in product technology have also encouraged the growth of the industry. Using pressure sensitive tapes can help to keep the weight of a product down and helps to reduce the irritating rattle that can be associated with other fixings.

Pressure sensitive adhesives have potential for use in a huge range of industries; from medical, automotive, engineering, buildings to holding women’s clothing in place! Parafix and 3M work with customers on each specific project to find the most appropriate product based on certain factors such as the materials that are being adhered, the situations they will be in (eg. outdoors, exposure to UV etc.) and how the adhesives can be designed into the product.

The final year students are now looking at how pressure sensitive tapes could be incorporated into their projects and how to choose the right adhesive for certain uses and situations. Having had previous involvement with the University through the knowledge transfer partnership programme, Parafix are hoping to work with students to bring their industry knowledge into education and the syllabus.

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