Discovering resealable fastening systems
Adhesives make many different operations easier. It’s very convenient to use American duct tape for makeshift repairs, to protect surfaces from paint with masking tapes. And, moreover, when considering industrial processes, structural adhesives, or high performance double-sided adhesive tapes, are often more efficient than rivets, bolts, and welds. In fact, adhesives, in the form of tapes or glues, make it possible to revolutionize many processes, making them simpler, faster, safer, cleaner, and to obtain more aesthetically satisfying results. And, it must be noted, that the options stemming from the field of adhesives are so numerous that it is not easy to be aware of them all: not many people, for instance, know the characteristics and advantages of the latest generation of resealable fastening systems.
What are resealable fastening systems?
Some fastenings must last forever, and, because of this, they are carried out with welds, structural adhesives, or rivets. Others are, instead, made to be temporary, or to allow, when necessary, for opening and closuring, without needing to replace any of the elements involved. So, snap buttons are typically used, or screws which can be unscrewed, bolts, rivets that can be removed, and so on. But there is a much more comfortable option which, in most cases, can easily and conveniently replace classic methods: adhesive for resealable fastening systems. They are special adhesive tapes which, on one side, present a glue support, to adhere perfectly to the chosen surface; on the other, they offer a fastening system with peduncles, making it possible to “receive” the peduncles of another tape of the same type and ensure proper closure. To indicate these tapes, the term “resealable fastening system” or the “hook and loop” formula are used. Typically, they are tapes covered with mushroom-shaped pinheads, to ensure locking and, at the same time, the possibility of subsequent opening, but without needing to perforate, operating other tools, or compromising the overall design.
In which cases is it possible to use the re-sealable tape fastening systems though?
The use cases for hook and loop adhesive tapes can be very different from one another, not least of all thanks to the fact that the best manufacturers are bringing adhesive tapes for resealable fastening designed for the most diverse materials to the market: everything from metal, glass, plastic, and so on. A typical example of the application of hook and loop adhesive tapes is found in the context of transport, where fastening systems replacing the screws typically used to fasten the panels to the ceiling and walls: applying and removing panels thus becomes much easier, allowing for much simpler maintenance. And again, let’s keep in mind how practical folding systems can be, in the case of assembly and disassembly of stands at the fair, or to fasten commercial signs, and so on. In any case, a secure but impermanent fastening, which does not require any other processing except to apply the two hook and loop adhesive tapes can be achieved.
The types of resealable fastening systems
As is often the case in the world of adhesives for industry uses, the point of reference to consider is 3M, even for resealable fastening solutions. What are the factors that set apart the various hook and loop tapes belonging to the famous American brand? Well, the differences starts, for example, from the very type of material on which to apply the tapes: some are designed only for translucent materials, others for metals and plastics, others for flexible supports, or are meant to adhere on powder coated surfaces. What changes is, then, sealing power, as well as the thickness: there are very thin tapes which, once closed, will only take up 2.5 mm (0.09 in) of space, or systems with greater thickness, about 6 mm (0.23 in). Some are designed to be used only indoors, while others can be successfully used outdoors as well; the number of openings and closing cycles which the resealable fastening systems can be subjected to also varies: generally, more than 1,000 or 5,000 movements.
The 3M™ Dual Lock™ SJ3560 foldable fastening system, for example, is designed to fasten metals, glass, plastic, and painted surfaces, and lasts up to 1,000 openings and closing cycles, against a total thickness of 5.7 mm (0.22). To ensure the Dual Lock tape’s grip, there are 40 peduncles per square centimetre (0.1 square inch).