29 October 2014
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When display specialist Alan Nuttall Ltd experienced manufacturing issues with a mirror mounting application, its designers knew they could rely on tesa UK for help.

Midlands-based Alan Nuttall specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of display equipment for the national and international retail market. The company previously worked with tesa to evaluate using double-sided tapes as an alternative to conventional bonding solutions, such as welding, rivets and structural adhesives, for the manufacture of its ambient, refrigerated and heated products. This involved an extensive testing programme using tesa ACXplus acrylic core tapes, which highlighted the efficacy of tapes in helping to solve specific industry issues and improve productivity.

The mirror mounting application presented a new challenge for Nuttall. Manufactured by bonding PP safety backed glass to either MDF or MFC substrates, the mirrors are produced in a range of sizes and weights. With weight being a key factor, the company was keen to identify whether a single bonding solution could fulfil essential performance criteria in ensuring the safety of the assemblies.

tesa addressed Nuttall's concerns about the need for a secondary bonding solution by implementing a testing programme using tesa 4952, a double sided PE-foam tape certified for mirror mounting applications.

The tape was applied on different sizes and weights of mirror, which were bonded to both MDF and MFC substrates and then stored away for a two-week period.

When tests were then conducted to try and prise the mirrors and backing materials apart, the mirrors cracked long before the tapes' bond failed. With these excellent results, product performance was signed off to positive effect.

The critical nature of the application saw tesa providing advice on the necessary temperature storage and the implementation of batch and issuing control procedures. New drawings of the mirror designs were also developed to make sure the correct amount of tape would be used on every individual design.

tesa also provided training sessions for the production staff responsible for bonding the mirrors in the factory, with Nuttall issuing training certificates to all those approved, ensuring the bonding process would be managed efficiently moving forward.

tesa's sales area manager, Mathew Lord, commented: "Double-sided tapes are increasingly replacing traditional methods of fastening and fixing materials on a wide range of manufacturing projects, helping businesses to streamline both their operations and value proposition.

"In the case of this application, the customer is benefiting from a simpler approach to bonding which has created cost savings and greater production efficiencies and a robust, powerful bond that consistently delivers end product performance," he added.

The company has been using tesa 4952 on its mirror mounting assembly line for over six months and the process is running smoothly. Using this tape also achieves a better cosmetic look, delivering the high specification finish required by clients.

Paul Gay

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