Preparing Surfaces for Application of 3M™ VHB™ Tapes


Most substrates are best prepared by cleaning with a 50:50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and water* prior to applying 3M™ VHB™ Tapes. There are exceptions!

Exceptions to this general procedure that may require additional surface preparation include:

  • Heavy Oils:A degreaser or solvent-based cleaner may be required to remove heavy oil or grease from a surface and should be followed by cleaning with IPA/water.
  • Abrasion:Abrading a surface, followed by cleaning with IPA/water, can remove heavy dirt or oxidation and can increase surface area to improve adhesion.
  • Adhesion Promoters:Priming a surface can significantly improve initial and ultimate adhesion to many materials such as plastics and paints.
  • Porous Surfaces:Most porous and fibered materials such as wood, particleboard, concrete etc. need to be sealed to provide a unified surface.
  • Unique Materials:Special surface preparation may be needed for glass and glass-like materials, copper and copper containing metals and plastics or rubber that contain components that migrate (e.g. plasticizers).

This information came from the 3M website. To read the entire post on surface preparation best practices, please visit the 3M™ VHB™Tapes support page on

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