Car interiors feature a wide range of pressure-sensitive adhesives, from protective films (that peel away before the sale) to dashboard labels and decorative cabin details. This is because film adhesives solve a lot of the costs and time-consuming processes that used to trouble interior assembly.
Dashboard tapes are easy to apply, last a long time, can be die-cut to intricate shapes, and in many cases are less expensive than the alternatives—for example, as a glossy metal finish on cabin trim rather than using pricey chrome or other metal components. Translucent, colored films make it easy to customize the colors of various backlit elements of a dashboard display without custom lighting components or different materials embedded in the dash.
Here are some of the concerns you’ll want to address as you hunt for the right pressure-sensitive adhesives for your dashboard labels:
Will the Adhesive Bond to the Substrate?
Dashboard gauges and the interfaces of entertainment/navigation systems are made with a mixed bag of dissimilar surfaces. Not only do you need adhesives that can bond to different types of substrates (plastics, metals, smooth or rough-textured surfaces), you also need an adhesive that’s strong enough to last for the life of the vehicle.
Also, it will potentially come into contact with cleaning chemicals and abrasive forces from wiping or constant contact with human hands. It’s essential that your automotive adhesive can withstand these and bond to the surface permanently—unless it’s a protective film, which will need to remove cleanly, without leaving behind any residue. Those sorts of transparent, polyethylene films are often used in flooring materials and to protect aluminum wheels.
How Will It Deal With Vibrations?
A lot of dashboards need tapes that are sensitive to vibration, because the many small components—vents, buttons, knobs, trim, emblems—in the dash can bump up against each other during operation. Squeaks and rattles due to uneven roads affect the overall comfort of the drive as much as the suspension. Anti-vibration tapes can be used to adhere—or even to cushion—these parts so that the driver never hears them when they jiggle on the road.
Other thin-gauge dashboard tapes increase the rigidity of the vehicle (compared to rivets or mechanical fasteners) by providing consistent, even bonds along the full contact surface of the two substrates. A mechanical fastener only has finite attachment points, which could allow other areas of the contact surface to vibrate or rattle.
What Are Its Thermal Properties?
Car interiors—especially dashboards—have to cope with tremendous heat and UV radiation when the car is, for example, closed up in an asphalt parking lot on a scorching summer day. Vinyl is a popular interior automotive film for wraps and dashboard labels because it tolerates intense heat and freezing cold temperatures equally well. Polyester films are also durable under extreme or rapidly fluctuating temperatures.
Find the Ideal Film for Your Dashboard Project
Here at LINTEC Auto, we’d be happy to talk to you more about the intricacies of selecting the right automotive label and adhesives for your dashboard labels or protective films. Contact us for a consultation to learn more about the possible solutions for your project at the right cost for your budget.