Vehicle design is constantly evolving, including pioneering the use of new materials. These can in turn require innovative thinking from adhesive technologists. This was illustrated by a new development to the BMW Mini, which required a high performance tape suitable for bonding a low surface energy moulding.

Technibond supplies adhesive tapes and sealants to leading manufacturers of cars and commercial vehicles, including Ford, GM, Jaguar, BMW, Volvo, Scania and Mercedes-Benz. Many of our products therefore conform to the rigorous test standards applied by the automotive industry.

Bonding applications for our tapes have included body side mouldings, emblems, VIN plates and mirror mounting. The application for BMW Mini was a new design development which required a tape to bond an aluminium tread plate to a large plastic moulding. Generally these mouldings are made from ABS, but in this case the component was manufactured out of polypropylene.

Traditional high performance tapes that had passed automotive testing were unable to bond the two materials because of polypropylene’s low surface energy. An adhesive primer might have provided a solution, but could not be used for health & safety reasons.

A new high performance adhesive tape produced for BMW by Technibond solved the problem. Development followed a close study of automotive test standards and the operating environment relevant to the application. A series of rigorous pre-production trials also took place in the Technibond laboratories to test cohesion, adhesion and thermal expansion.

The project was completely successful and this high performance tape has now been operating successfully for several years, is registered on the IMDS database and classed as fit for purpose. It was the only solution that could bond the polypropylene while withstanding thermal expansion and operating stresses. It is also worth noting that development costs remained within the original budget.

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