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View Full Version : Which High Bond Tape for ULF Bellows Installation?



Randy Moe
23-Apr-2016, 10:07
I want to use high tech tape to install new 11X14 bellows to frame. The small frame is anodized aluminum 10x10" OD. The rear frame is 17X17 OD " bare wood.

By using frames for the bellows I can remove the bellows as my DIY 11X14 camera changes.

I got the idea of tape from watching a TITAN Camera assembly YouTube. Below is the link to the scene where he uses double sided tape 'twice'! He puts a layer on both the frame and the bellows and then is sticking tape to tape! I would not have considered that idea.

Titan Camera Link https://youtu.be/72eKejgO6eQ?t=152

This type tape used to be hard to get in affordable small rolls. Now McMaster has what I need. $20 for 5 yards is affordable.

But which tape is best for this purpose and why.

McMaster Carr Tape Link http://www.mcmaster.com/#fastening-tape-with-adhesive-on-both-sides/=123xa5x

My Custom Bellows Company bellows have 3/4" folds and is a dense woven fabric, not shiny plastic. It's this cloth that may give a problem.

What I like about tape is the instant strong bond, glues, even double layers of contact adhesive don't compare in speed of usage.

I have used a lot of consumer grade double sided tape and it won't do the job.

Thanks for any input.

Kirk Gittings
23-Apr-2016, 10:51
Thanks for asking this Randy, I am a bit of a connoisseur of adhesives (nerd) and I have always been curious about these new high tech tapes.

Jim C.
23-Apr-2016, 11:46
Shopping at McMaster can be bewildering, so many choices....

If you really want to tape, my recommendation would be 3M's VHB tapes, relatively thin, and it's black, good service temp,
I use it all the time, but not for cameras.
Be sure to anticipate the highest temp that the camera will experience, otherwise the tape will let go
at the worst possible moment.

Part of gluing bellows to the frame with tape is that the warp and weft of the fabric creates hills and valleys
if you use a tape that's too thin the tape is contacting the "hills" of the fabric, it also depends on how tight the
weave is and the material ( nylon, cotton...) coarser weaves will have a more pronounced hills and valleys.
The VHB tape at .020 at it's thinnest should conform to the hills and valleys if you apply pressure while the tape sets.
From the Titan camera video it seems like he's using 3M VHB tape or something similar, and it seems to me that
there's a step that's been glossed over.

Personally brush on contact adhesive would be my choice of adhesive.

Willie
23-Apr-2016, 12:50
Don't know about the Bellows use but book binding tape does work well and last a long time for the flaps on film holders. Also works well for patching bellows leaks as long as you don't have too many.

Randy Moe
23-Apr-2016, 13:06
Shopping at McMaster can be bewildering, so many choices....

If you really want to tape, my recommendation would be 3M's VHB tapes, relatively thin, and it's black, good service temp,
I use it all the time, but not for cameras.
Be sure to anticipate the highest temp that the camera will experience, otherwise the tape will let go
at the worst possible moment.

Part of gluing bellows to the frame with tape is that the warp and weft of the fabric creates hills and valleys
if you use a tape that's too thin the tape is contacting the "hills" of the fabric, it also depends on how tight the
weave is and the material ( nylon, cotton...) coarser weaves will have a more pronounced hills and valleys.
The VHB tape at .020 at it's thinnest should conform to the hills and valleys if you apply pressure while the tape sets.
From the Titan camera video it seems like he's using 3M VHB tape or something similar, and it seems to me that
there's a step that's been glossed over.

Personally brush on contact adhesive would be my choice of adhesive.

Good advice on hills and valleys. I am leaning towards this exact tape. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Adhesives/Tapes/Products/~/3M-VHB-Tape-4929?N=6105+3293242243&rt=rud

I won't be ordering it until Wednesday, so if anybody has any more advice... It has sufficient temp range. http://www.mcmaster.com/#75935a12/=123zj1d

Anything I get will be tested. I used to do material testing. I spent 1972 testing Teflon tape by stretching it on an Instron and weighing burnoff solids in a platinum crucible with an Analytical Balance. I miss the lab...

I also tested contact cement. Modern tape is superior.

Richard Wasserman
23-Apr-2016, 13:13
You could always give McMaster a call. They have people who are qualified to answer your questions (and are happy to do so).

Randy Moe
23-Apr-2016, 13:27
You could always give McMaster a call. They have people who are qualified to answer your questions (and are happy to do so).

Wow, I have never called them for advice. Been buying from them for 35 years, so I used to call them.

I'd rather call 3-M. I once had connections there.

Good idea!

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2016, 08:44
Shopping at McMaster can be bewildering, so many choices....

If you really want to tape, my recommendation would be 3M's VHB tapes, relatively thin, and it's black, good service temp,
I use it all the time, but not for cameras.
Be sure to anticipate the highest temp that the camera will experience, otherwise the tape will let go
at the worst possible moment.

Part of gluing bellows to the frame with tape is that the warp and weft of the fabric creates hills and valleys
if you use a tape that's too thin the tape is contacting the "hills" of the fabric, it also depends on how tight the
weave is and the material ( nylon, cotton...) coarser weaves will have a more pronounced hills and valleys.
The VHB tape at .020 at it's thinnest should conform to the hills and valleys if you apply pressure while the tape sets.
From the Titan camera video it seems like he's using 3M VHB tape or something similar, and it seems to me that
there's a step that's been glossed over.

Personally brush on contact adhesive would be my choice of adhesive.

Upon some empirical testing and careful research, the most cost effective and perhaps best solution will be Pliobond 30 which is high VOC with higher solids content. Rated best Pliobond product for fabric to wood which is my usage.

It seems to be only available from aircraft supply houses which recommend it highly. Good enough for airplanes is good enough for me.

Addendum: Many things are now taped together, including cars, boats and aircraft which use tape to fasten metal to metal in mission critical situations.

Thanks for the advice Jim C!

Keith Pitman
27-Apr-2016, 09:36
I don't believe VHB tape is reversible. If you intend to remove the bellows at some future time, you may have a problem. Talking to 3M would be a good idea. I used VHB tape to adhere solar panels to the roof of my camper six years ago and they are still "bomb proof" after thousands of miles at high speeds.

Peter De Smidt
27-Apr-2016, 10:36
I've used regular Pliobond with good success.

adelorenzo
27-Apr-2016, 10:53
Another vote for pliobond I've used it to glue a few sets of bellows. It also worked really well to re-cover a super speed graphic.

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2016, 13:12
Another vote for pliobond I've used it to glue a few sets of bellows. It also worked really well to re-cover a super speed graphic.

There are at least 4 kinds of Pliobond.

I think ULF bellows may exert higher forces by leverage on bonds.

I just ordered Pliobond 30. http://0363d88.netsolhost.com/WordPress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Pliobond-info-sheet.pdf

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2016, 13:13
I don't believe VHB tape is reversible. If you intend to remove the bellows at some future time, you may have a problem. Talking to 3M would be a good idea. I used VHB tape to adhere solar panels to the roof of my camper six years ago and they are still "bomb proof" after thousands of miles at high speeds.

I am mounting the bellows to frames, so the bellows may change cameras if needed.

Jim C.
27-Apr-2016, 13:53
Upon some empirical testing and careful research, the most cost effective and perhaps best solution will be Pliobond 30 which is high VOC with higher solids content. Rated best Pliobond product for fabric to wood which is my usage.

It seems to be only available from aircraft supply houses which recommend it highly. Good enough for airplanes is good enough for me.

Addendum: Many things are now taped together, including cars, boats and aircraft which use tape to fasten metal to metal in mission critical situations.

Thanks for the advice Jim C!

Sorry, I disagree with "mission critical situations" tape would never be used in structural applications, I've only encountered VHB tape use on trim.

Pliobond is a contact cement, the high solids means that one coat will fill voids better, multiple coats of Weldwood red label contact cement will do the same
for probably the same price or less and you walk into any hardware store to get it.
I've purchased Pliobond 30 from McMaster.

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2016, 14:00
Sorry, I disagree with "mission critical situations" tape would never be used in structural applications, I've only encountered VHB tape use on trim.

Pliobond is a contact cement, the high solids means that one coat will fill voids better, multiple coats of Weldwood red label contact cement will do the same
for probably the same price or less and you walk into any hardware store to get it.
I've purchased Pliobond 30 from McMaster.

I also just ordered from McMaster, but not the Pliobond. They have a deep inventory of camera parts!

A quick Google retrieved this page from an aircraft book. https://books.google.com/books?id=R7NHvVJf_ZEC&pg=PA295&lpg=PA295&dq=structural+tape+uses&source=bl&ots=pOUl3Hes7s&sig=C8jOn1CJ1BTICPe16oqwMPHoDV4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiUmdbP2q_MAhVox4MKHaZgD1sQ6AEIVDAH#v=onepage&q=structural%20tape%20uses&f=false

Jim C.
27-Apr-2016, 15:59
That Automatic Tape Laying refers to carbon fiber prepeg tapes that are to be vacuum bag laminated.
:)

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2016, 16:00
that automatic tape laying refers to carbon fiber prepeg tapes that are to be vacuum bag laminated.
:)

ok

LabRat
28-Apr-2016, 02:23
I not sure about using (any type of) tape... Big problem is that tape has zero set time, so when mounting something flexible, you only have one shot to align it and bond (correctly)...

Inside bellows!?!!! Sounds like a disaster lurking to happen... (Like Lucy in the pretzel factory) Anything it touches, will bond forever... (You too...)

I would prefer a metal/wood/whatever inner plate that can be screwed down/changed/adjusted/removed without bonding...

Steve K

Randy Moe
28-Apr-2016, 20:27
That Automatic Tape Laying refers to carbon fiber prepeg tapes that are to be vacuum bag laminated.
:)

This is a structural usage here. https://youtu.be/kl0Wl9cORT0 Shows how much better a cargo trailer is when taped together over rivets. And NASCAR...Pretty sure many vehicles are taped together.

However in my situation I still will use Pliobond.

Jim C.
29-Apr-2016, 07:30
This is a structural usage here. https://youtu.be/kl0Wl9cORT0 Shows how much better a cargo trailer is when taped together over rivets. And NASCAR...Pretty sure many vehicles are taped together.

However in my situation I still will use Pliobond.

All that video shows is the outer cosmetic skin being taped to a structural frame, didja notice the plywood interior ? ;)

Randy Moe
29-Apr-2016, 07:39
That cosmetic skin IS structural.

I see you will not believe tape is used widely. This thread is not a chess game. Let's agree to disagree and move on.


All that video shows is the outer cosmetic skin being taped to a structural frame, didja notice the plywood interior ? ;)

Jim C.
29-Apr-2016, 15:46
Lets agree to disagree then.