How to Bond to Glass


Glass is an essential component of everyday life and offer many uses for a variety of applications, including being a crucial material for modern design. However, the biggest difficulty when using glass is the lack of efficient bonding methods. Due to the delicate nature of glass, using screws and bolts leads to surface flaws and high stress concentration and therefore it is essential to find an easier, more effective way to bond.

Examples of applications;

  • Packaging: jars and bottles
  • Tableware: drinking glasses, plates, cups
  • Housing and buildings: windows, facades, conservatory 
  • Interior design and furniture: mirrors, lighting, tables
  • Appliances and electronics: oven doors, TV, computer screens 
  • Automotive and transport: cars, aircraft, marine
When bonding substrates for an application, the surface energy of both materials is important. How well the substrate will bond is determined by the molecular force of attraction, i.e. with low, medium or high surface energy. High surface energy assures a stronger bond than medium or low which are more difficult to bond. Glass is a high surface energy substrate which means it is likely to have a stronger adhesion. An example of high surface energy is shown below with an unwaxed car hood, it displays high surface energy as water spreads out across the surface. The adhesive on a surface energy flows and 'wets out' on the surface, similar to water on an unwaxed car hood. 'Wetting' or 'wet out' is essential for effective bonding of adhesive between two substrates. 

Due to the fragility of glass the two bonding methods that are most effective are flexible adhesives or tape.

Bonding glass using adhesive

Bonding glass is a task that must meet high aesthetic standards. Therefore one of the main aspects when bonding glass using adhesives is that the adhesive must be permanently transparent and yellowing-resistant. 
Factors to consider when selecting an adhesive for glass:

  • Surface condition and the method of surface pre-treatment 
  • Selection of appropriate curing regimes (room temperature, UV, heat)
  • Selection of appropriate dispensing methods
  • Temperature and UV resistance when in service
  • Matching the properties of thermal expansion to the materials being bonded
Advantages of using adhesives:
  • Many are transparent and non-yellowing 
  • No need to drill holes or use fixings
  • Faster joining process, can be joined in seconds 
  • Joints are sealing as well as structurally bonded
  • No surface flaws
  • Lightweight
  • Improves structural stiffness 
Best adhesives for bonding to glass:

Bonding glass using tape

Due to tapes being quick and easy to apply with the added benefit of no curing time, tapes can be very beneficial when bonding to glass.
Factors to consider when bonding to glass:

  • Evaluate the surface characteristics of the two substrates 
  • The surface energy of the substrates
  • Temperature resistance
  • Temporary or permanent solution
  • Width of tape
Advantages of using tape:
  • Clear material, ideal for joining transparent materials
  • Seals on contact
  • Virtually invisible fastening helps keep surfaces smooth
  • Spreads stress load across length of joint
  • Bonds dissimilar materials 
  • Reduces assembly time
  • Provides uniform thickness
Best tapes for bonding to glass:

We suggest that when bonding to glass using tape it is best to use a silane glass primer before applying the tape, particularly in areas of high humidity.

If you are still unsure which bonding method is best suited to your needs, please give us a call on 0117 971 1111 or email us at and we can talk you through it!

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The Comprehensive Guide To VHB: Very High Bonding Tape

The Comprehensive Guide To VHB: Very High Bonding Tape

3M Very High Bonding Tape is a double sided tape range that is the cost effective solution that provides an outstanding performance every time. In many situations, VHB tape can replace rivets, welds, screws and other forms of mechanical fasteners.

3M VHB Tape permanently adheres one substrate to another whilst spreading the stress load across the entire length of the joint. Once the substrates are joined with high-strength 3M VHB Tape, a virtually indestructible weld is created.