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P4, a manufacturer of self-testing emergency lighting and exit signs, is using tesa 4980 double-sided adhesive tape from tesa to manage heat dissipation.

To fix LED starboards onto aluminium heat sinks within a self-testing emergency light, P4 traditionally used plastic rivets in combination with a thermal paste to encourage heat dissipation and prevent the fragile components inside the LED starboards from burning out.

However, due to the small size of the lighting units, installation of the rivets proved a relatively complex and somewhat labour-intensive process. Controlling the flow of the thermal paste within a small space also proved challenging and could easily affect its ability to dissipate heat, both uniformly and consistently.

Applying the principles from its tesacohesion customer care programme, tesa’s customer team considered the process as a whole and engaged with P4 in a testing programme using a double-sided PET (polyester) tape to assess how changing the process could positively impact product performance.

The customer team collaborated with tesa’s R&D department in recommending tesa 4980 for testing. Already proven in similar electronic mounting applications, the double-sided tape consists of a PET backing and tackified acrylic adhesive, providing good bonding strength to most common, smooth and even substrates.

During the testing phase, die-cut shapes of tesa 4980 were used to bond LED starboards to aluminium heat sinks, which were then tested for thermal conductivity. Results from the initial test were said to be impressive, showing that the amount of heat transferred and dissipated met with industry standards and would ensure that P4 could still achieve a new CE marking on these products.

The project then focused on converting the tape into a format that would enhance productivity and reduce waste, resulting in the production of a 15mm-diameter circle ensuring maximum surface contact between the components and the delivery of efficient thermal transfer and dissipation.

Key application benefits

  • tesa 4980’s thinness at 80µ improves product reliability by effectively dissipating the heat produced by electronic devices.
  • With strong PET backing, the tape also offers excellent converting performance to optimise the design of the components. Its flexible adhesion adds to this by allowing the tape to be initially removed if required.
  • Alan Daniels, technical director at P4, said: ‘In replacing conventional bonding methods with the use of tesa tape, we have made significant cost savings generated by some major process improvements.
  • ‘tesa 4980 delivers fixing and thermal management in a simple, one-step solution, transforming what was once a complex and time-consuming process into a streamlined operation.’
  • As a result of the co-operation between the tesacohesion team and P4, the new process is in production and other existing product designs and developments will incorporate this method using tesa 4980 in the future.

tesa UK

tesa: a global adhesive tape manufacturer

tesa is one of the leading global brands of adhesive tape with more than 100 years’ experience selling 800 types of tape in more than 100 countries.

tesa: a global adhesive tape manufacturer

tesa is one of the leading global brands of adhesive tape with more than 100 years’ experience selling 800 types of tape in more than 100 countries.

We believe in investing for our future with five per cent of our global turnover going on R&D, which has led to 50 per cent of our sales being from products developed in the last five years. In total we have 350 people employed in tesa’s laboratories around the world filing an average of 70 patents a year.

We strongly believe in offering our customers as much support as possible, and this philosophy, branded tesacohesion®, is now a major contributing factor to winning new business.

tesacohesion®: what we offer the customer

It is our aim to be a sustainable resource to our customers’ businesses and to keep our customers because we deserve to.

We offer expert friendly advice, technical knowledge and expertise, a wide product offering, creative thinking and problem solving and a one-stop solution.

tesacohesion®is based on the 4Ps principle:

  • People: every day our technical sales team operates in the marketplace. When we need more technical support or research backup to solve a problem, we call in the group resources of tesa SE in Hamburg
  • Products: we supply more than 800 different tapes across 100 countries, each one developed for applications in key industry sectors and manufactured with the latest production technology to current globally recognised quality standards
  • Processes: we aim to understand our customers’ processes in depth so we can advise on how best to integrate our tape into your production and improve your processes. We can also help with preparation of standard operating procedures as well as value chain management
  • Performance: we will help you get the maximum performance from your choice: this could mean we need to install special tape-dispensing equipment. We’re also more than ready to provide on-site support and training for your staff and we can help you to develop standard operating procedures that will control and maintain quality

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