tesa® ACXplus, a future-oriented double sided tape from tesa, has been used by IAC Acoustics to provide high performance constructive bonding on a range of acoustic panels and doors.
IAC Acoustics is a leading global supplier of engineered noise control products and testing services for, amongst others, the manufacturing and processing, power, architectural and building supply service industries.
A key area for IAC is the supply of acoustic panels and doors to many leading organisations including the BBC, BT, Pinewood Studios Group, Channel 4, British Airways, BMW and the London Symphony Orchestra, covering numerous applications with the benefit of sound reduction and a solution to sound interference by up to Rw70dB.
Stiffeners, inserted to provide product rigidity, were traditionally joined inside the panels and doors by spot welding. However, this conventional method left surface marks which took extensive sanding and finishing to remove. The quality of the paintwork around the spot welded areas was often below standard and re-working, along with additional incurred costs, had to be factored in as a result.
In looking for a solution to these issues, IAC’s main objectives were to find an alternative bonding solution capable of improving both the application and the processes involved.
Jim Brooks and Greg Perkins led the customer team from tesa in an assessment and testing programme using 19mm tesa ACXplus 7074 as a recommended alternative to spot welding.
As Jim Brooks explains, applying the principles embodied in the tesacohesion™ programme was essential to meeting IAC’s objectives:
tesacohesion focuses on the importance of four components – people, products, processes and performance. In developing a positive relationship aimed at helping the team at IAC to make sustainable improvements in their results, each of these elements was treated with due consideration in equal measure.
From a practical perspective, providing access to both our technical experts and test procedures was vital to the success of this project.”
Once manufactured, the products are powder coated and oven cured in-house; a process involving pre-baking in an infra-red oven for up to four minutes at temperatures ranging as high as 500°C, followed by final curing in a main oven between 200 – 230°C. It was therefore critical that the recommended adhesive was capable of providing excellent heat resistance.
Assessing tesa ACXplus 7074’s bonding power involved extensive testing on mock panels / doors and different lengths, thicknesses and widths of stiffener. The test specimens were heat cured at ‘actual’ temperatures and hung in different positions and sequences for varying lengths of time, with the result that product performance was positively signed off.
Bonding was found to be effective and as strong as spot welds, while the steps involved in production were minimised and the potential for significant time savings could be seen.
tesa’s Greg Perkins comments:
tesa ACXplus offers much more than a simple alternative to traditional fastening methods, such as spot welding.
As results of the tests showed, significant advantages can be found in its high temperature resistance. Adding to this, the strength of tesa ACXplus bonding power can also be seen in its weather resistance and the ability to absorb dynamic forces and vibrations to provide stress relief in bonded joints – features that make it particularly well suited to moving parts, such as IAC’s acoustic doors, which need to withstand the strain of repeated usage in long-term indoor and outdoor applications.”
Dan Moad, Production Engineer at IAC said:
Withstanding curing cycles at temperatures as high as 500°C, tesa ACXplus is successfully fulfilling essential performance criteria. It’s also delivering added value in reducing timings, simplifying processes and ultimately helping us to increase our competitive advantage with an even better finished result.”
With multiple units in production each week, in making the switch to tesa ACXplus, IAC is benefitting from time savings amounting to over 50 hours a month.
The success of this project can be mapped against the combined value of the Four P’s in the tesacohesion proposition. For people, access to tesa’s technical expertise and testing services meant IAC could match requirement to performance. For products, a streamlined, robust finish was delivered through the fourth component’s focus on process improvements – all defined to deliver consistently good results and excellence in sustainable performance.
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