Sticky Gaskets

The oldest known use of glue dates back to 200,000 B.C. This primitive glue was used to glue flakes to spears. That tells you one thing, glue has been around for nearly as long as humans have been around. This also tells you that humanity and glue are irrevocably tied together. Mankind has come a long way since the advent of glue. Now, everything is sticky: sticky notes, tape, and of course, gaskets. One of the best things about gaskets is that it can come with pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) on the back (or on both sides).

Gaskets can come with an incredible variety of PSAs, including (but not limited to) electrically conductive acrylic adhesives, electrically conductive silicone adhesives, thermally conductive adhesives, regular silicone adhesives, regular acrylic adhesives… the list goes on and on. (For a more extensive list, see our PSA page). Transfer tapes come with a liner so they can be applied and then removed for installation.

PSAs have something called tack, this is the ability of the adhesive to form an instant bond; it can range from incredibly high tack to very low tack. The measurement of tack also depends on the specific application, as well as the adhesion strength and cohesive strength. It is also good to keep in mind that the adhesion strength can be determined by a plethora of factors, including surface preparation (the importance of this can not be understated), surface energy of both the substrate and adhesive itself (3M offers many low surface energy transfer tapes), amount of pressure, and the dwell time (most adhesives require a wetting out period, which is a period that requires the adhesive to sit to better adhere to the substrate). It is also common for these adhesives to be applied to gasketing materials, with a slit on the back to make it easier for removal. Customers often have trouble assembling their gaskets into their application, so NEDC can easily provide a slit in the back of the liner to account for this. Normally, the slit helps get the peel started, so the customer can apply the gasket without it sticking back to the gasket before installation.

NEDC provides a number of substrates with adhesives, and then subsequently converts these materials to provide a sticky solution for our customers. Some of these substrates include, sponge, foam, thin plastics and films, and rubber. The process of adding a tape to a substrate is called lamination. We laminate these materials, and then convert. The reason we convert (through die-cutting, waterjet cutting, laser cutting) after the adhesive is applied, is because it can be incredibly difficult to apply the adhesive in an appropriate manner after the part is converted.

On the other hand, it is possible to apply adhesive backed gaskets to other components very easily. NEDC also assembles parts as well; some examples include gaskets to metal, gaskets to plastics, and more. If you have any questions on what types of adhesives are offered on what substrates, please contact sales@nedc.com.

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