Think you understand pressure-sensitive adhesives? Think. Again. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Do not try this at home.)
WTF at BuildingEnergy 13! Children, do not try this at home.Photo Credit: Courtesy Peter Yost
My last post in this series on adhesives, sealants, and tapes ended with this line:
“We hope to follow up this baseline ideal conditions testing with more field-like conditions.”
Introducing the WTF research troupe
Well, it took a while, but we finally got a venue for some more testing of pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes: the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association annual conference, BuildingEnergy 13.
NESEA premiered its Trade Show Demo Stages this year, calling the stage demos “Recess for building and energy professionals—Let’s play!” Sure seemed like the appropriate forum for us to premiere the Wingnut Test Facility (WTF), a new round of “benchtop” tape testing with a focus on field conditions: wet, cold, dirty, and just about all of the above.
They actually invited us to come do our tape testing on stage!
Our crack slapstick lab staff
Fellow WTF founder, Dave Gauthier (President of Vantem Panels here in Brattleboro) and I set up the testing this way (download the spreadsheet for details):
- Cold, wet application (no primer)—We put on our jackets and adhered the various tapes to rough OSB outdoors when it was about 28°–36°F (temps rose as we worked; see comments in spreadsheet). “Wet” meant this: we sprayed water from a standard spritzer bottle, then wiped off the OSB with our bare hands—to mimic what might be considered “prepping” the surface on a typical jobsite….
- Cold, wet application (with primer)—We used two priming materials: Pro Clima’s acrylic primer and 3M’s Super 77. We chose the Pro Clima primer because it is appropriate for acrylic tapes, and we had prior experience with it and could easily get ahold of a relatively small quantity from the supplier. We chose the multipurpose 3M Super 77 spray adhesive for the modified bitumen membrane and the butyl rubber flexible flashing product (a specialized primer would have to be specially ordered in quantity).
After all the test samples were set up, we stuck them in a freezer, keeping them below freezing until we transported them to the NESEA demo stage in a cooler.
- Dirty application—To reflect another common jobsite condition, we took the substrates outside, smeared mud on them, and then “prepped” the surface by wiping off the excess with the palms of our hands. We did this testing inside at room temperature.