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How Do You Use a 3M Adhesion Promoter Sponge?


No matter if you are looking for the best door sill protectors for a Honda Jazz or you need to know what the best bumper protectors are for a Suzuki Swift, you are going to want to know how to ensure these protective products firmly adhere to your vehicle and do not fall off. With almost 100 years of experience in adhesion, being the inventors of masking tape, 3M is the perfect manufacturer to turn to.

3M develops products for both automotive OEM and collision repair, as well as products for other applications. As a way to enhance the performance of their adhesion tapes, 3M developed 3M Adhesive Promoter, and this is perfect for what we are looking for to keep our protective equipment as firmly secured to our vehicles as possible. Best of all, 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponges are easy to use. The following is everything you need to know to make the most of your 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponges:

1)     Make Sure 3M Adhesion Promoter Sponges are Right for the Project

3M Adhesion Promoter Sponges are primarily used for enhancing the bond between 3M Acrylic Foam Tapes and LSE plastics that are often used in the manufacturing of automotive trim and injection-molded body side moldings. This adhesion promoter also works with other plastics commonly used in vehicles such as TPO, PP, PC, ABS, and PPO plastic. There are innumerable automotive applications for this product since so many things use 3M Acrylic Tape.

Some of the must know applications of the 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponge includes improving adhesion bond to interior trim, exterior trim, instrument panel, and dashboard. Essentially, you want to use 3M Adhesion Promoter Sponges when you plan to use adhesive tape on a low surface energy material. Such materials are present on many parts of most vehicles.

There are times when other products can be used to prime a surface for adhesives, making it a good idea to know when to choose rubbing alcohol and when to choose 3M adhesive promoter. Alcohol can be used when you are not applying a 3M adhesive tape to a low surface energy material and are instead just trying to clean and prep a surface. On the other hand, alcohol will not prime a surface that has low surface energy or is slightly damaged. 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponges can allow maximum bond even if the surface has preexisting scrapes and scratches. If you were to use alcohol and then try to attach the adhesive tape when the surface is irregular from scratches, it will leave pockets of air where contaminants and moisture can get in and lift the tape. 3M Adhesion Promoter stops this problem in its tracks.

2)     Make Sure You Have Enough for the Job

Once you know that 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponges are right for your project, such as installing SLiPLO’s Universal Bumper Scrape Guard, you need to make sure that you have enough. Each 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponge comes with just 0.085 oz (or 2.5 cubic centimeters) of liquid primer. Although only a minuscule amount of primer comes in each packet, it does spread farther than one might expect.  

Each sponge will allow you to spread the adhesive promoter over a 150 square inch area. Knowing this, we can predict how many packets of 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponges we need. Think about the area you will need to cover. If it is more than one foot by one foot, you will need more than one packet. If the area you need to cover is less than one foot by one foot, then you will only need a single sponge.

3)     Thoroughly Clean the Surface

If the surface is not clean, you are going to have troubles getting the adhesive to bond efficiently with or without an adhesive promoter. Any dirt will leave space between the surface of the vehicle and the adhesive tape, and contaminants can render the adhesive ineffective. No matter the materials involved or the type of adhesive, washing the area is a step you should not skip over.

Start by removing big pieces of dirt, then wash the area thoroughly with whatever cleaner is appropriate for the surface. Next, rinse the area to remove any soap residue. If you are working on the interior of your vehicle, just wipe down the area a couple times with water to remove soap. Finally, wait for the surface to dry.

4)     Open the Packet and Apply the Adhesion Promoter

Pick up a packet of 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponges and look for the notch on the side. From there, peel off the top of the packet. The packets are designed so that it rips straight across exposing a good portion of the sponge. Using the remaining piece of the packet as an applicator, begin applying the adhesive promoter to your vehicle.

As you are applying the adhesive promoter you are going to want to move at a pretty swift pace to get a nice even coverage. Try not to think about it too much, because this adhesive promoter sponge is nearly foolproof, making it valuable both for the experienced and inexperienced. Lastly, wait between half a minute and a minute and a half for the adhesion promoter to dry. Once dried, you now have a very thin layer for the adhesive to stick to that allows for a more secure bond with adhesives.

5)     Remove Any Excess Adhesion Promoter

If you end up getting the primer outside of the edges of where the adhesive tape was placed, or otherwise need to remove excess adhesion promoter from your vehicle, you can use either methyl ethyl ketone or acetone solvents. Be warned that both of these substances are dangerous. For example, when used in an area not well enough ventilated, methyl ethyl ketone can cause lightheadedness, headache, blurry vision, fainting and worse. It is also wise to check if these solvents are safe for the material you are using it on prior to use.

Once you have finished removing leftover 3M Adhesion Promoter after the adhesive tape has bonded to the primer, you are finished, and you can count on the bond staying together for the foreseeable future!  

For more information on the features, benefits, and pricing of 3M Adhesive Promoter Sponge click here, alternatively, use our interactive map to find an authorized installer near you. If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog.