We always love a good experiment here at Mobile Genius. Wether we are developing better techniques for glass only repairs, building custom solutions for our clients, developing “table top clean rooms”, or playing with vacuum forces we always have a great time developing our results.
This week we decided to test two popular adhesive solutions in the iPad Repair market: Red adhesive from eTech Parts and Black adhesive from another popular supplier.
When we thought of this test we wanted to find out at what temperature each adhesive began to deform or “melt” and the effects of heat on adhesion strength. The red adhesive from eTech is being promoted as a superior product and we wanted to document this claim.
With repair shops entering the summer months heat tolerance and adhesion strength is more important than ever (especially for iPad glass repairs). I think we’ve all had at least 1 customer who left their iPad in a hot car for hours only to realize their screen has begun to lift from it’s adhesive after the device baked for their entire 8 hour work shift.
Ensuring a lasting repair (no matter what your customer may throw at their device) is a crucial part of any operation whether your a freelance technician or an established bricks and mortar business.
We tested these two adhesives side by side looking for two specific points; temperature of deformation and the point in which the adhesive lost it’s holding strength. We used the same amount of surface area for both adhesives in an attempt to control as many variables as possible. By placing equal amounts of adhesive on a section of iPad glass we only had one thing left to do, bring on the heat!
We started with eTech’s red adhesive. After confirming correct calibration of our laser thermometer we began to add heat. As the temperature quickly rose past 145 degrees we began to look for any changes in the adhesive without avail. 175 degrees came and went and we were rapidly approaching 200 degrees (our target temperature for this experiment). As the surface temperature of the glass passed 200 degrees there was no “boiling”, no smoke, no deformation. We were impressed to say the least. The heat was removed and the adhesion was tested while it was hot and as well as when it returned to room temperature. At 200 degrees the red adhesive held it’s shape as well as it’s strength.
Next up was the black adhesive most repair shops are using (some are still using 3M sheets) for their iPad repairs. Allowing the glass to cool down below 80 degrees we were ready to perform the second test. As heat was applied to the black adhesive we began to get pretty excited for this test! We quickly got to 145 degrees and surpassed 175 degrees pretty quickly. We noticed that at around 160 (give or take a few) the black adhesive began to bubble and lose it’s physical integrity. At this point we knew without a doubt the red tape was going to win this contest by a long shot but we continued with the heat. We reached a peak of 208 degrees with the black adhesive. At this temperature the adhesive looked like bubble wrap and had serious deformations. Testing the adhesive at this temperature we noticed a loss of adhesion strength by 50% and the physical deformities showed this adhesive’s weakness.
All in all we were impressed that both sets of adhesive were able to take abuse above the 150 degree mark, but in the end eTech’s red tape was the clear winner. Retaining it’s adhesion strength as well as it physical characteristics made the red tape the obvious choice when it comes to repairing a device to last the test of time.