Adhesion Promoters

I hope everyone is having a happy and profitable 2017.  Last year was an eventful (and sometimes frustrating) year for the AGR Industry, and I predict 2017 will not be any different. New dealer directives on glass and part usage and the expectation of new calibration tool introductions will prove to be exciting and challenging.  Keep visiting this site for updates as they happen.

Today, however, I want to address a problem that can be solved with chemistry and a little extra effort. With the increase in underside mouldings, lower cowl retaining devices and self-adhesive clips, we all have faced the challenge of getting these products to adhere aggressively to plastic and painted surfaces. To put it bluntly, many of these products just don’t stick the way they should.

In the case of self-adhesive moulding clips, technicians have attempted to fix the problem with the use of “liquid clips” and a length of tape to hold the moulding down until the urethane cures. This is not the way mouldings should be reinstalled. For consistent performance, clips should be properly adhered, and the moulding attached to the clips by design.

Proper cleaning and preparation of surfaces is the key to making added parts stick during an installation. I instruct the use of self-adhesive parts this way:

  • Clean both surfaces of any residue;
  • Warm the adhesive tape to body temperature; and
  • Press in the part place for five or more seconds to allow the adhesive to bond.
The Material being prepped for application

This process works consistently if you make the effort to follow the process. However, if any of the three steps above are not followed, the result is adhesive failure – with the mouldings, cowl or clips coming loose and flying away at highway speeds.

However, I’ve recently learned about other products that can help “add on” parts stick to surfaces. At an auto dealership training course I gave last month, the body shop manager showed me a product meant to be used with double-faced tape. The generic name is an adhesion promoter.

The foam applique being applied.

I was amazed at the difference this product can make. Adhesion promoters are used routinely in body shops, but I believe they are very practical in the AGR industry, too. The directions are simple;  apply the promoter to the cleaned surface (or surfaces) that will be attached by the adhesive tape, allow it to dry 60-90 seconds, and then press into place. Once you use it the first time, you may never want to be without it again.

There are a number of brands of adhesion promoter out there, so do your own experimenting. Some products are in bottles, some are in individually wrapped packages, some have applicators and some are in saturated sponges for ease of use. Contact me at bob@autoglassconsultants.com if you have experience or suggestions for using them.