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Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Pressure sensitive is a term used to designate the category of adhesive tapes that are permanently tacky at room temperature and adhere to a variety of surfaces.  Chicago-Wilcox applies PSAs to a wide variety of materials based on customer requirements.

Pressure sensitive adhesives adhere to a variety of surfaces with minimal pressure.  The use of pressure sensitive adhesives can eliminate mechanical fastening systems such as staples or nails and the problems that come along with those type systems.  PSAs frequently improve productive during final assembly by providing a faster and more efficient way of attaching seals and gaskets to the end product.  The chemical make up of an adhesive provides different properties.  Rubber-based and acrylic are the most commonly used adhesives. 

Rubber-based adhesives are typically the most cost effective PSA systems.  They offer high initial adhesion and have quick stick properties.  They will also adhere to a wide range of materials.  However, they are not suitable for environmental extremes.

Acrylic adhesives are firmer and offer a low initial tack and adhesion.  Acrylics can often take 48 to 72 hours to achieve their ultimate strength.  This allows them to be easily removed and reinstalled in the application if positioned incorrectly.  They are more costly than rubber-based adhesives but offer UV and solvent resistance.  

Performance of Rubber Based Adhesives verses Acrylic


Rubber Based Acrylic

Tack Medium-High Medium-Low
Solvent Resistance Low High
UV Resistance Low High
Temperature Resistance Low High
Bonding to Low Surface Energy Materials* High Low-Medium
Bonding to High Surface Energy Materials* High High
Cost Lowest Med-High

*Surface energy refers how well an adhesive flow uniformly over the surface of the surface it comes in contact with.


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last updated April, 2011