Self Adhesives - How do I get my product to stick?

Author: Andrew  

Most of the Car Builders products are self-adhesive, in one way or another. The adhesives are great; however, they do need to be correctly applied to ensure the product sticks for the long term.


The adhesive layer on the Car Builders products are extruded at only a few microns thick. In order for it to properly bond, you do need to ensure that you are sticking to a clean and dry surface. If the surface is contaminated with dirt, dust or oils the adhesive will not be able to bite in and stick.


If the panel you’re sticking too is visibly soiled, then use soapy water to clean it. Once the panel is clean and dry, use an alcohol-based cleaning agent as a final clean. Alcohol-based cleaning agents will evaporate leaving a totally clean surface. Petroleum based cleaners such as turpentine will leave a residue on the panel you’re attempting to clean which nothing will stick to. Once your panel is clean, a good test to do is stick a piece of masking tape to the clean surface. If your masking tape sticks, then your surface is clean and ready to go. If the masking tape does not want to stick, you’ll need to do a bit more cleaning.


When you are applying your product, take some care how you apply it to the surface. If you attempt to stick the whole sheet on flat, you’re going to run into a few problems. The first one being that you are quite likely to trap pockets of air underneath the product. Secondly, when you’re sticking the product to a surface that has high and low surfaces, you’re going to want to roll it into those lows, rather than sticking over and then trying to stretch it down into them. Pushing and forcing the product into the low sections will mean that the product is constantly wanting to pull away from the surface.

Air pockets are no great problem, they’re easy to correct. You need to make sure that you use a knife to pop those bubbles and get all the air out from behind any of the products. Air pockets underneath a product will heat up and expand. That expansion will gradually push the sheet away from the surface and can result in the product totally failing.

It is much easier to stick from one end and roll the product on. By gradually sticking more on, you allow the material to move down into any lows in the surface as well as not trapping any air underneath the products. All Car Builders self-adhesive products should be stuck with an Application Roller. Sticking something with your hands, it might feel like you’ve got good adhesion, however you won’t be able to push with consistent pressure over the whole area. By using an Application Roller and rolling over the entire surface with consistent pressure, you can be sure that the product is going to be stuck for the long term.


In the automotive industry, it is quite common practice to want to cover Car Builders products with carpet etc as the finished face. Using a contact adhesive like our upholstery grade Premium Spray Adhesive will allow you to stick anything to virtually any surface. The only downside is that the Car Builders self-adhesive products are designed to carry their own weight, but not the additional weight of carpet etc on top! If you plan on sticking something directly to a self-adhesive Car Builders product, it is strongly advised to use extra adhesive when sticking on the self-adhesive product before sticking extra to the front side. This will guarantee that the product isn’t going to fall off the roof and cause ongoing issues.

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