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Making Acrylic Tape Adhesives Stronger

SpecialChem / Andy Extance – May 9, 2011

Some of the technologies used to increase acrylic pressure sensitive adhesives' bond strength have themselves brought problems, in particular causing corrosion. Polar monomers exploited to increase cohesive strength, and chain transfer agents that increase polymer molecular weight for the same purpose, can both have this undesired effect. Manufacturers cannot turn their backs on these important tools, and therefore have developed alternative approaches to minimize this threat. When Erwin Ulrich found copolymerizing hydrogen bonding monomers, like acrylic acid, with alkyl acrylates resulted in cohesively strong yet tacky materials little could he have realised where it would lead. Since that discovery in the 1950s, tapes exploiting such pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) have gone from strength to strength. Acrylic foam tapes are especially popular in manufacturing applications, where their bond strength is vital. But to further penetrate this segment and displace more mechanical attachments the PSAs they exploit must overcome some key limitations.

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