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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silicone adhesive sealant (lem sealant) applied on metal joint


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


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 adhesive 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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Design challenges associated with sealing

  • Adhesive or sealant being applied over seam in metal sheet
  • Fast setting and ease of application

    Easy to apply with an applicator, adhesive sealants and tapes bond and seal in a single step, conforming to spaces to fill gaps. They set quickly for painting or handling.

  • Using adhesive sealants along the seam
  • Prevent moisture seepage

    Applied along the length of a seam, the low-viscosity liquid flows over and around a component easily, sealing it from moisture and dirt. 

Design confidently with the trusted solution

Streamline your processes and achieve greater cost-efficiency with adhesives and tapes that deliver reliable bonding for any design. Contact our experts to tailor a solution for your assembly needs. 

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% 
+ +

Pressure sensitive adhesive seals upon contact
+ + +

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

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