Designing Adhesive Joints for Energy Transfer

Some applications require energy to transfer from one substrate to another and some require the energy to be absorbed or dissipated. The adhesive choice will impact how well a joint transmits energy by connecting substrates or by absorbing energy between substrates.

Usually this refers to mechanical energy, and that’s the main focus below. However there are also cases where an application requires transmission or dissipation of thermal or electrical energy. Adhesives have different thermal and electrical properties, so adhesive selection is just as important in those instances.

  • Learn about the transfer of energy through rigid adhesives and adhesive joints. Image of golf club striking ball.

    Transferring Energy

    A perfect example of transferring energy is the small joint where a golf club head is attached to the shaft. No golfer wants the energy of the swing to dissipate when making contact with the ball, so as much of that energy as possible should be transferred through the use of a rigid adhesive. The same is true when bonding composite drive shafts. As torque is supplied by the engine, efficient energy transfer to the wheels is critical for performance.

  • Learn how energy can be absorbed and cushioned through adhesives and tapes. Image of vibrating surfaces.

    Absorbing Energy

    An application where it’s preferable to absorb energy would be the side panels on a trailer or box truck. If they were attached with a rigid adhesive the entire structure would vibrate and rattle at every bump in the road, not to mention during a strong cross breeze. Instead, choosing a viscoelastic adhesive or tape can help cushion and absorb some of that energy. Other common examples where energy absorption is desirable include sports equipment pads, tablet computers and car doors.

    The design of the joint often coincides with the choice of adhesive chemistry. Comparing the joint design of various assemblies with the adhesive chemistries and manufacturing processes helps narrow down the ideal choice for any given assembly.

Related education articles

Connect With Us
We're here to help.
Need help finding the right solution? Contact us if you need product, technical or application advice or want to collaborate with a 3M technical specialist.

Ask a 3M Expert

Thank you for your interest in 3M™ Industrial Adhesives and Tapes solutions. If we can help or support you in any way, please do not hesitate to use the contact us form below.

  • All fields are required unless indicated optional

  • Application

  • Type of Substrate

  • 3M takes your privacy seriously. 3M and its authorized third parties will use the information you provided in accordance with our Privacy Policy to send you communications which may include promotions, product information and service offers. Please be aware that this information may be stored on a server located in the U.S. If you do not consent to this use of your personal information, please do not use this system.

  • Submit

Our apologies...

An error has occurred while submitting. Please try again later...

Thank you for your request.

Our team will be in touch withint 3 - 5 business days.