Peel, Compression and Tension Stresses when Sealing, Potting or Encapsulating​

If the assembly requires two overlaps or butt joints to be sealed, the sealant is often exposed to peel forces. Foot traffic over doorway thresholds or wind on a railcar roof continually attempt to peel a sealant, whether tape or adhesive, off the part. If the application is potted or encapsulated, the adhesive (tapes are not a good fit here) often sees compression and tension as the part experiences thermal expansion or contraction. Many potted parts, on circuit boards for example, can see all three stresses – peel, compression and tension. ​

  • Tjoint compression stress in adhesive joint
  • Tjoint tensile stress in adhesive joint
  • Peel and Cleavage stress in adhesive joint

Redesign joints to allow the adhesive or tape to do double duty – bond and seal the design in a single step.

Protect your design with 3M products
After all the time you put into making the perfect product, make sure it’s protected against vibration, moisture and other contaminants with reliable 3M products. 3M tapes, sealants and adhesives permanently seal gaps and seams without sagging, pot or encapsulate sensitive components and cure quickly for painting.​

Performance Factors for Sealing, Potting, and Encapsulating

The 3M technologies shown below are commonly used in sealing or potting and encapsulating applications. Use these lists as a relative comparison of product performance.

  • + = Good ++ = Better +++ = Best
Potting and Encapsulating
  • + = Good ++ = Better +++ = Best

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Sealing, Potting, and Encapsulating

Protects, seals and cures quickly for handling.

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Fills gaps, prevents moisture seepage or contamination

For optimal results in your product designs, industrial tapes and adhesives outperform soldering and welding. Its ability to fill gaps, even during thermal changes, protects and seals sensitive components. Confidently create cutting-edge designs as 3M’s bonding and assembly solutions maintain a strong and flexible bond even when exposed to extreme weather conditions and chemicals. With its quick bond on contact, shorter cure time and invisible fastening, you enjoy a leaner manufacturing process.

3M Industrial Adhesives and Tapes offer a range of viscosities and adhesive types for your assembly. Discover the best solution for your bonding needs.

Related industries

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Design challenges associated with panel assemblies

  • Adhesive or sealant being applied over seam in metal sheet
  • Speed and efficiency

    Industrial adhesives and tapes bond and seal in a single step, eliminating the finishing step in the assembly process.

  • A person using a caulking object
  • Seals against moisture

    Applied along the length of a seam, the low viscosity adhesive liquids flow over and around a component easily to seal components.

Design confidently with a trusted solution

Create innovative products with precision, speed, and strength. For a bond that lasts, get in touch with our experts to tailor a solution for your assemblies.

Performance factors for sealing, potting, and encapsulating

Bonding and assembly solutions with the features below are best suited for sealing, potting, and encapsulating:

  • Bond flexibility
  • Ease of application
  • Fast cure time or painting or handling
  • Immediate rework

Explore the range of 3M Industrial Tapes and Adhesives to be used in insertion or overlap joints for your project:

Good = + Better = ++ Best = +++


Flexibility Flexibility
Ease of Application Ease of Application
Cure Time to Paint or Handle Cure Time to Paint or Handle
+ + +

Highly flexible formulations
allow for thermal changes
+ + +

Fills larger and irregular gaps
with applicator
+ + +

Viscoelastic acrylic foam tape
offers elongation up to 400%
+ +

Pressure sensitive adhesive
seals upon contact
+ + +

No need to cure, bonds and
seals in a single step

Potting and Encapsulating

Temperature and Solvent Resistance Temperature and Solvent Resistance
Flowability Flowability
Substrate Adhesion Substrate Adhesion
+ + + + + +

Low viscosity liquid adhesives
fill gaps easily
+ + +

Bonds metal, glass, LSE
plastics, rubber, foam, and
+ +

Resistant up to 54°C to
support a 2-psi load
+ + +

Bonds to metal, foam, plastic,
and corrugated cardboard
+ + +

Bonds glass, composites, and

* Adhesive performance is dependent on cure temperature and size of assembly.

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