Very High Bond adhesives, abbreviated for convenience as VHB adhesives, are extremely powerful adhesive tapes that can join more-or-less anything. Where most adhesives are used for temporary jobs, packaging solutions, and non-essential tasks, VHB adhesives can be used for essential, permanent roles. They are often used when riveting or welding would be too inconvenient, time-consuming and costly.
As a bonus, on top of how cheap they are and how easy they are to apply, VHB adhesives have sound dampening qualities that are often very useful in architectural applications.
How Strong Are VHB Adhesives?
VHB adhesives are incredibly strong. Strong enough to hold an adult's full weight:
Strong enough to stand up to repeated blows better than rivets:
Strong enough to enable a truck tug-of-war:
So what are they used for? Well, in your everyday life, you are almost certain to have come across something that was held together with Very High Bond adhesives – and the types of object that VHB adhesives are used for might surprise you!
The Uses Of Very High Bond Adhesives
VHB adhesives will often be used as an alternative to rivets, screws, and welding. They'll also be used in situations where dissimilar materials need to be very tightly joined. They're incredibly flexible, they're seamless, and they have vibration dampening properties.
Increasingly, VHB adhesives are of great interest to the construction industry. When they were used for the construction of the Burj Al-Arab skyscraper in Dubai during the 1990s, it was considered a cutting-edge, radical technique. Over the past fifteen years, it has become more and more accepted as an established and sensible construction material. Other famous buildings that have used VHB adhesives include the Plaza Centenário in Brazil, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in America, and the Toronto Bell building in Canada.
If your large office building was built in the last fifteen years, don't be surprised if substantial portions of it are held together with VHB adhesives!
With no single point of failure, and high visco-elasticity, VHB adhesives are actually an extraordinarily strong and effective building material.
Even if your office wasn't built so recently, there are places where VHB adhesives are probably used. For example, movable partitions and especially acoustic movable partitions make great use of the flexibility and acoustic properties of VHB adhesives – in fact, in tests, the partitions themselves fell apart before the VHB adhesive lost its grip. Any signs on the way in to the office building explaining which companies use the office building are also likely to be held in place with VHB adhesives. Your company's server could also be held in an electrical cabinet – and if it is, the chances are good that the glass is joined to the metal using Very High Bond adhesives.
If you're into green energy, you might already have come across VHB adhesives before. The flexibility of VHB adhesives and their ability to bond dissimilar materials makes them perfect for binding modules to solar panels.
Structural glazing and cladding will also often use VHB adhesives – so if you've recently arranged for a greenhouse, extension or substantial development on your property, you've probably used VHB adhesives on your house.
Meanwhile, if you're a hobbyist or DIY fanatic there's almost no end to the uses of Very High Bond adhesives. From mounting a GPS stand on your car's dashboard to installing a digital readout kit on a lathe, there are hundreds of guides out there from hobbyists already that show how useful it is to the average DIY fan.
If you've ever wondered how large trucks seem to be getting faster and faster on the roads, the answer could lie with Very High Bond adhesives. VHB adhesives are very light, dampen vibrations from the road, and can be used on very different materials. They are therefore fantastic for joining aluminium exterior panels to steel frames on trucks, or attaching roof panels to the truck cab.
On trains and buses, those signs that tell you about your route – and the stations on your way – are also bonded using VHB adhesives. In fact, the majority of graphics and adverts on trains, buses and lorries are all essentially stuck to the side of the vehicle with tape, albeit extremely sticky tape. Car park signs use VHB adhesives particularly frequently – for example, the signs in Cabot Circus use VHBs, so that they can hold in any weather.
More exotic forms of transport also use VHB adhesives – we're talking about high speed, high performance vehicles. NASCAR is one area where VHB adhesives really come into their own, but the most extreme usage of Very High Bond adhesives in transport absolutely has to be its usage on aircraft exteriors.
Finally, because of their high thermal conductivity, VHB adhesives are fantastic for heat sinks in cars, and frequently used for this purpose.
VHB tape can be used to absorb shock, and to form a very tight seal. This makes it ideal for certain types of gadget, especially rugged electronics. Cameras and lenses can be made waterproof and fully functional when entirely submerged thanks to VHB tape.
It can be used to bond trims, attachments and lenses to laptops or tablets, personalising your computer devices (or, alternatively, ensuring that your employees all have company-branded devices).
Alternatively, just as they are used with automotive electronics to bond parts while remaining light and transferring heat effectively, VHB adhesives can be used in some home electronics that require effective heat sinks.
Proven By Real World Application
VHB adhesives have been tested to the limit of real world applications, and succeeded everywhere they have been used. For example, FineCal provided VHB tape for canvas covers that went to the Olympics, by way of Architen Landrell. Their strength, frequently underestimated, is testified to by the Burj Al-Arab hotel as much as by the bus in the street outside, and is used by everyone from high-tech electronics companies to home-owners seeking to build an extension.
VHB adhesives are a unique material for use in construction and industry in that they are flexible, easy to use, but are also incredibly strong and are very effective at what they do. They represent a huge step forward for materials, being useful in a number of highly specific situations but remaining generally applicable.
In the end, each application of Very High Bond adhesives makes a new convert. Expect to see VHB adhesives in ever-more places over the coming years, as word spreads – but even today, VHB adhesives really are everywhere in your everyday life.