How to Choose the Right 3M Spray Adhesive
Adhesives are one of 3M’s most well-known products, and after more than 100 years of continuous improvement in making them, it’s safe to say that 3M is probably making some superior adhesive products. Of course 3M makes plenty of products with various levels of adhesives like Post-It notes, various tapes and glues, but they also make adhesive sprays and liquid compounds. Because of 3M’s dedication to continuous improvement, quality and adhesives for specific materials, you can grab some adhesive compounds for a variety of uses. So which adhesives are best and for which situation?
Some things to consider when choosing an adhesive is what you’ll be bonding together, and what is it made of? How big or small is what you’re bonding? Does it need to move after adhesion and how much? What environmental health and safety concerns do you have? Are you in California? Are you having issues with current adhesives? Thinking about and answering these questions, especially what you’re bonding and how big it is, will help you select the right adhesive spray. Several of 3M’s adhesives are water-based and/or feature a low VOC making them safer to work with, which may also factor into your decision. Knowing how much you’ll need will also help you determine the amount you’ll want to buy, and depending on the product you can get them in an aerosol can, a cylinder or in a bulk bucket. Applying the adhesive with aerosol should be self-explanatory, but one should reference the use instructions on the can or online, using the cylinder should be done in the same manner and 3M uploaded this video to help.
In terms of selecting the right adhesive, you have a good number of options. 3M’s recommended starting point for adhesives is with the Super 77 because it’s the least specialized making it a good multipurpose option for basic adhesion. It can be used for general maintenance and repair projects, attaching fiberglass insulation, picture framing, craft applications and more. Super 77 is available in a lot of different spray cans of different sizes, though they should all be a comparable formula. The most basic is a 16.5oz can, but also available is the Scotch Brand 13.57oz, Industrial Grade in 13.44oz and 18oz, lastly two different versions in 16.75oz with the only discernible difference being Spanish or French packaging. All of these have a relatively low VOC in the 25-30% range, so be sure to check before ordering if that’s a consideration. This multipurpose adhesive will be useful for a lot of different applications making it an excellent spray to consider for a first time user and if you don’t have special considerations.
Hi-Strength 90 is an industrial grade adhesive spray available in aerosol, intermediate and large cylinder and is primarily used to bond high pressure laminate, wood, concrete, metal, fiberglass insulation, drywall corner beads and plastic, among other materials. It also sprays in a web/lace-shaped pattern. The Hi-Strength 90 is more resilient than the Super 77 so if you need to make a more permanent bond or worry the Super 77 doesn’t have enough holding power, this is the stuff. It’s going to have a much stronger bond than other adhesives and you can see that in action here and here. As the first video states, the Hi-Strength 90 is made to stick, not just be sticky.
Although Hi-Strength 90 is perhaps the strongest, it may not be suitable for every type of adhesive work. For example, if you’re working in upholstery you’ll want to bond foam as well as fabric, foam laminate, acoustic panels and wood. The best spray for that will be the Foam Fast 74. Foam Fast 74 sprays on in a lace spray pattern and has a fast and aggressive tack that holds foam quickly on contact while creating a strong bond. The Foam Fast 74 has a few varieties, Industrial Grade, the “California formula” with lower VOC, inverted (presumably for use upside down) and the Greenguard certified version also with low VOC. The Foam Fast 74 is available in aerosol, cylinder or in bulk and is probably the best choice if you have to bond foam.
For when you need an adhesive that has a high resistance to heat and a high level of strength, the 3M Fastbond Contact 30NF is highly regarded for its ability to be applied by sprayer, brush or with a roller and the fact that its inflammability makes it a favorite for fire safety considerations. It also has a low VOC. The Fastbond Contact 30NF has been used in projects like applying RV panels, counter tops, foamed plastics, wood and canvas, and plastic laminate. This adhesive has up to a four hour bonding time.
Similarly named, the 3M Fastbond Foam Adhesive 100NF is indeed recommended for foam and fabric bonding, but it is also good for bonding paper, cardboard, insulation, plastic metal and wood. The 100NF sprays on in a pebble spray pattern, or it can be applied with a brush or a roller. After the adhesive has been applied, you may reposition the object being bonded without it affecting the bond. This adhesive provides a medium tack and resistance to high temperatures which is good for use with foam and fabrics if you need to consider flammability. This water-based formula is Greenguard certified meaning that it was designed to be used indoors and meets standards for chemical emissions.
For projects that may take a little bit longer to place and apply, the 3M Hi-Strength 94CA may be a good option. The Hi-Strength 94 is well-suited to large surfaces that may require some repositioning and it gives a longer open time and has a more aggressive tack than other adhesives. The intended use for this adhesive is for bonding rubber, carpet, wood, metal and more. The 94A is Greenguard certified and meets California and OTC VOC requirements and this compound is available in aerosol (pebble spray pattern), cylinder or bulk packaging.
An adhesive that’s perfect for HVAC fiberglass insulation is 3M’s Fastbond Insulation Adhesive 49. This adhesive is also good for bonding fabric, felt, foam and more (including bonding insulation to metal). The Fastbond Insulation Adhesive 49 is a water-based adhesive that meets Greenguard, SCAQMD, CARB, California and OTC state VOC requirements and is certified by UL. After application, this adhesive has a fast and aggressive tack for a one-surface bond while also giving you enough time to position your materials correctly. You can see this spray in action here.
The last spray adhesive we carry is the 3M HoldFast 70 Spray Adhesive. This adhesive works strong and fast, it’s able to bond two large cinder blocks together and hold them almost immediately after application and it’s also good for polystyrene to metal and many other substrates. This adhesive is useful on any construction site and in many different industries such as automotive. The HoldFast 70 Spray Adhesive comes in bulk or a cylinder and sprays in a web/lace pattern, has a very fast tack and features a low soak in.
There’s a lot of different materials to bond and for best results you don’t want to just grab whatever random adhesive you happen to find. While you can use a multipurpose adhesive, there are times and materials that require specialized adhesive and 3M manufacturers something for every situation. Take a look through those descriptions and the selection guides and find the best 3M spray adhesive for whatever job you need to tackle.