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 adhesive being applied

Sealing, Potting, and Encapsulating

Find out how 3M adhesives and tapes help protect and seal surfaces quickly for easy handling.

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Fills Gaps, Prevents Moisture Seepage and Contamination

For optimal results in your product designs, there must be no room for dirt or moisture. Fill gaps and fissures with 3M sealants and tapes that outperform soldering and welding methods. They maintain a durable, flexible bond even when exposed to extreme weather conditions or chemicals, and allow for joint movements. With their quick bond, shorter cure time and invisible fastening, you can enjoy a leaner, more cost-efficient manufacturing process and create cutting-edge designs confidently.

Whether it's sealing glass or plastic substrates, discover which is the best bonding solution for your needs:

Related Industries

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  • Adhesive sealant used for metal to metal bonding application.

    Tape or sealant is applied over a seam to prevent fluid ingress or fluid egress. Examples include roof seams on vehicles, seams on metal enclosures and pipe sealing.​

  • Encapsulating electrical chords with bonding adhesives by hand.
    Potting and Encapsulating

    Adhesive flows over and around a component or fills in a chamber to protect components therein. Examples include heavy duty electrical cords and connectors, electronics in plastic cases, circuit boards and concrete repair.​​​

Design Challenges Associated with Sealing

    • Acrylic, epoxy and urethane structural adhesives available
    • Choose from a variety of cure times and flow profiles
    • Available in both rigid and flexible formulations 
    • Extrudable, 100% solid, thermoplastic resins
    • Designed for potting and encapsulating electrical components
    • Multiple-component sealing technologies
    • Can be extruded in any shape on a substrate
    • Non-sag to fill gaps
    • Some formulations can be painted wet

We're here to help.

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

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

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

Suitable for a wide range of substrates including glass, plastics, metals and woods, 3M adhesive sealants and tapes provide durable, flexible bonds at excellent value. Explore the range below:

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
Cure rate is between 3-4 mm/24hrs and is paintable once skin forms
* * *
Viscoelastic acrylic foam tape offers elongation up to 400% 
* *
PrPressure sensitive adhesive seals upon contact
* * *
No need to cure, bonds and seals in a single step

Potting and Encapsulating

Performance factors
by products
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 wood

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