3M flame-retardant tape can replace rivets, screws

 - September 21, 2007, 6:13 AM

3M Aerospace (Booth No. 641) has developed a flame-retardant tape for use in the aerospace industry, the company announced here at NBAA’07.

Its VHB flame retardant tape 5958FR is specifically designed for applications where the need for bonding plastics, metals or painted surfaces is present, the company said. It can replace traditional adhesives and mechanical fasteners, such as screws, welds, rivets, two-part adhesives and sealants.

According to a 3M spokeswoman, VHB tape can bond a wide variety of substrates, including composites, plastics and dissimilar metals, such as stainless steel with aluminum. The tape can also provide increased strength and durability, while reducing noise and vibration. Potential applications include kick plate attachment, air duct spud attachment and ceiling tile stiffeners.

3M spokesman Bret Anderson said that VHB tape can also reduce the total weight of the aircraft by eliminating traditional mechanical fasteners. “We anticipate that manufacturers and maintenance crews will see a dramatic decrease in cycle time when using 3M VHB tape,” Anderson added. “By using it, you eliminate time wasted waiting for a two-part adhesive to cure, or time wasted by using other mechanical fastening systems.”

VHB tape meets FAR (a) 12 second vertical burn Appendix F, Part 1 (a) (ii) and the European RoHS directive standards.