Adhesive for industrial panels

I have been asked by an industrial controls firm to cut acrylic labels for their panels. I have sourced 2 color cast acrylic. Which I think will work great.
My issue is that I’d like to apply the adhesive first and cut and engrave everything at once. I need to use something like 3M double sided tape. And I need the adhesive to be fairly strong as it will likely be attached to panels used in dirty sawmills and factories where it will have to survive rough treatment.
Is there anything out there that would be safe to cut on the GF or am I going to have to apply it manually afterwards?

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Vhb tape is your jam I think.

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That’s what’s on the PG veneer, isn’t it? I’d take that to mean it’s safe. :wink:

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It is, but there are over 80 different products in the 3M VHB lineup.

It is most certainly the appropriate choice for your application, but it wouldn’t hurt to check the safety data sheet for the specific one you plan to use before purchasing (it’s not cheap!)

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Likely using acrylic weld may be better–it actually welds acrylic together, so there is no other residual material. It’s available as #4, which is thinner than water, and can be tricky to get the hang of using. #3 is thicker… there are lots of videos to show how it works (which is how I decided to try it).

I’ve cut 3M double-sided adhesive with the laser. We also do it where I work. As noted by eflyguy, 3M does tape. I would contact their technical support. They will know what is in each product, so you can determine if it is safe to laser cut, and will be able to help you with the product best suited for your use case.

To be clear you want to adhere an acrylic label to a metal panel or other non-acrylic surface? If it is acrylic to acrylic, then as bansai8creations noted, you should consider using an acrylic “glue” as its bond will be permanent.

But then the label is permanent even if they want to change it. If they do, then they’d need to replace the whole panel.

One advantage of VHB is that you can use thin line (like dental floss or fishing line) to “saw” between the two surfaces and cut the attachment off. Then you can scrape the remnants of the tape off and put a new thing on.

I’d also hazard a guess it’s a lot easier for the OP’s customer’s staff to use the tape to secure the acrylic label to their panel than it would be for them to navigate the effective and clean use of a solvent based glue. :slight_smile:

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Depends on where it is applied, the field, a factory or warehouse. That’s why I said to consider it.

I had not considered swapping out a label so a dial went to 11. But I figured the most likely use case would be he makes them and then his customer and peel off the tape and stick it on the panel. Of course, they probably won’t properly clean and prepare the surface so :man_shrugging:

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It’ll be acrylic attached to steel cabinets. They will be placed in factories and mills, so I’ll need to use a fairly robust adhesive that’s also weather-able. I was able to source a weather-able acrylic, so I think I’m good there. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll look into the VHB and see. I’ll likely warranty the placards for a while, in case either fail. It’s all new products for me.

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3M 9502 is what I use. It is paper-thin though, not 1/32". It is outstanding for acrylic signage.

It is probably a pain in the butt to remove, I think it is what they use to stick on auto trim parts.

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4910 is common, it’s about 1mm.

It’s not usually the thinnest stuff because body panels are often not flat and a slight gap is not a problem.

I don’t know what I use (tossed the package long ago) but it’s about 2mm.

Something similar to 9502 is on the PG veneer, but there’s no number on the sheets as I’m sure you know.

There is a FB group for GF supplies/materials and a gentleman who is upcycling waste pieces through an agreement with 3M. You could connect with him and see what he has: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.419263685657307&type=3