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topic 34214

Adhesion tape testing

A discussion started in 2005 but continuing through 2019


Q. I am in quality at my company. Many of our products are painted (over Alodine coatings). Some of our inspection procedures are very old. We have been reviewing them. One inspection procedure calls for the operator/inspectors to do an adhesion test to see that the batch of paint was mixed properly and the part was cleaned adequately for the paint to stick and stay stuck. I am trying to determine:
1) If the tape we are using has a shelf-life (it is about 11 - 12 YEARS old).
2) Where this adhesion test came from originally to determine if we are using the right tape.
3) Where do we get this tape? I have searched everywhere I can think of to search. There is no tape that is specifically for testing adhesion of tape, or at least none that are advertised for that purpose. Are there alternatives to accomplish what this test is supposed to accomplish?

Sherri Harding
- Troy, Indiana USA


A. The Wet Tape Adhesion Test is identified in Mil-C-5541 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency,]E.

The test primarily concerns the quality of Conversion coatings as paint prep.

Bill Grayson
- San Jose


A. The old tape you have, throw it away. 3M, I believe produces the new adhesion tape. Mil-DTL-18264 [link by ed. to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency,] and Mil-C-5541 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency,] may help you.


Brad Huddleston
- Wichita, Kansas, USA


A. Depends on what specification to which you certify. If Mil-C-5541 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency,] (for the "Alodine"), the specifications will direct you to a wet-taped test using 3M's 250 tape. Shelf-life varies for this tape. If it, for example, is for Boeing, you will find there specifications define a 6-month shelf life for this tape; the "generic" shelf-life for these aerospace specifications is "usually" one-year, while for general purposes, 3M gives their own product a eighteen month shelf life. The adhesion of the tape degrades over time--sort of like trying to erase using a very old pencil eraser. Ten or twelve year-old take is well over anyone's limit. However, you will probably want to check your customer's paint specification (or paint application specification) for specific adhesion testing, what type of tape to use and it's shelf life. If all else fails, and your customer doesn't specify how to do an adhesion test, or you are doing it for your own internal control, you can always default using a generic adhesion test, such as one of the ASTM's or FED-STD-141 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], Method 6301. Because of the shelf-life, you won't want to buy tape in bulk, so try someone like Paul Gardner (Gardco in Pompano Beach, FL) that breaks up large lots for resale and can certify shelf life.

Douglas A. Hahn
- Rocky Mount, North Carolina

January 20, 2009

A. I am in quality control and calibration department that Boeing and Northrop Grumman requires us to do tape testing. We are currently using a 3M 250 tape for all our testing along with a rubber roller 4 lbs 70-80 shore A durometer. FED-STD-141 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] or ASTM D3330 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet].

Frank Crescini Jr
- Stockton California USA

FTMS 141 method 6301.3 vs 6301.2

March 3, 2009

Q. I have a specification calling for a wet adhesion test as per FTMS 141 method 6301.2. Can someone tell me where I can get that spec? I have FTMS 141 method 6301.3.

Is there any difference between methods 6301.2 and 6301.3?


Pascal Roussy
tester - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

April 28, 2009

A. Hello,

The only difference was the groove setup.

You will find in the last revision document FED-STD-141 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] rev D the info on page XIII this test was parallel groove not X.

Sebastien Rivest
- Valleyfield, quebec, Canada

June 8, 2012

Q. We are a machine shop that supplies machined structural parts to the prime airframe manufacturers. Is there a specification or other control document that instructs as to keeping away from the edge of the surface or at a hole during a tape adhesion test? We know the paint pulls away and thins at the edge during curing, making a natural point of rupture. Thank you.

Steven Wiswell
Aerospace Manufacturing - Long Beach, California, USA

June 29, 2012

Q. Currently we utilize 3M 250 tape for adhesive tape. In the 3M 250 datasheet, it mentions the shelf life is one year from date of manufacture.
However, we heard from Nadcap auditor that 3M 250 tape can re-qualified for 1.5 years.
So now I am looking for any test lab which can prove that our 3M 250 tape still conforms to Adhesion (initial and aged) Test Method A of ASTM D3330 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet].
Does anyone know where I can take this adhesion test?

Zoe Feng
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan

February 1, 2013

RFQ: We also use the 3M 250 tape for adhesion testing but I was wondering if anyone has found a tape that meets the FED-STD-141 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] Method 6301.3 that doesn't cost $50.00 - $85.00 per roll.

Tim Hamlett
- Pompano Beach, Florida, USA
^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs

July 29, 2013

Q. Are there different ways of performing a wet tape test?

Janie Hinojosa
manufacture military and commercial aircraft parts - Arlington, Texas, USA

July 2013

A. Hi Janie. Sorry but that's a bit vague. Can you put your question into the context of your situation please? Thanks.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

Tack testing per FED STD 141D

September 16, 2019

Q. Has anyone performed Tack-Free testing via 4.5 of FED-STD-141 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet]D? I am trying to write a procedure for this test and am having a difficult time wrapping my head around the construction and preparation of the tester itself. Any information would be much appreciated and maybe a visual reference would help to better understand this procedure.

Lyman Trollope
Quality Manager - Wichita, Kansas USA is possible thanks to our supporting advertisers, including:

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