Finite Element Analysis for 3M Tapes and Adhesives

Man reviewing finite element analysis results on a computer screen

Simulation and Data
Driven Design

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for 3M Adhesives ​and Tapes


Accurate material data to advance your design.

  • Icon of computer with 2 rectangle pieces being assembled
    Model design challenges earlier.

    Simulate before you assemble​ to help reduce development cycle​ time and product failure.

  • Icon of computer with checkmark inside a shield meaning protection and trust
    Data you can trust.

    Predict performance and verify​ 3M Adhesive and Tape bonding​ applications in the product design.

  • Icon of computer with 2 compatible puzzle pieces
    Reliable compatibility.

    3M Material Data Cards (MDC)​ are compatible with many design​ simulation programs. ​​​

During the design process simulation can help verify engineering decisions. To effectively run simulations, obtaining accurate engineering data is essential. 3M provides unparallel adhesive and tape data so your modeling system can more accurately predict how a bonded joint will perform under stress.​

​3M’s accurate material models are key to predictive product performance. 3M FEA modeling can help you determine the optimum adhesive and joint design for bonding applications.

  • Animation showing stress modeling on a bonded assembly as shear stress is applied
    Bonded part: Stress is distributed across the area of the bond.
  • Animation showing stress modeling on a bonded assembly as shear stress is applied and relaxed
    Stress distribution in an overlap joint loaded in shear.
  • Animation showing stress modeling on a bonded assembly as tensile stress is applied and relaxed
    Stress distribution in a butt joint loaded in tension.

  • A man applying 3M Structural Adhesive  on surface

    Finite element material model for structural adhesives

    • Structural adhesives are reactive systems capable of bearing high loads (>1000 psi overlap shear strength). Structural adhesive properties range from flexible to very stiff, and some ductile adhesives can undergo large plastic deformations before failure. The mechanical response of structural adhesives must be characterized in both the elastic and plastic regimes and should include strain rate and temperature sensitivities. This involves measuring Young’s Modulus, Poisson’s ratio and the plastic curve under various conditions. Currently, 3M can offer elastic-plastic modeling data at different strain rates for most of our structural adhesives. We also recognize and support other modeling conditions and methods.


  • A man holding a VHB tape roll

    Finite element material model for pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs)​

    • PSAs are soft, flexible, non-reactive adhesives that form a bond when pressure is applied. The properties of these viscoelastic materials are frequency and temperature sensitive. Conventional mechanical properties, such as Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio, even when obtained at relevant rates and temperatures, do not accurately capture PSA behavior. Consequently, 3M has developed Material Data Cards (MDCs) which are available for common 3M materials in a ready-to-use format for numerous commercially available FEA software applications. Currently, we can offer an MDC for any 3M PSA which is compatible with Abaqus, ANSYS MAPDL, ANSYS Workbench and LS-Dyna.​

      These MDCs are available for PSAs in the linear viscoelastic regime, that is, strains less than about 25% in any direction (tensile, compression, shear). 3M’s strategy is to measure rate and temperature dependent behavior over a wide range of conditions and model the material response using linear viscoelasticity. The appropriateness and validity of these assumptions can then be determined for each material based on validation of the material model in a relevant use case.


Data Driven Confidence.

You can request an MDC and tell us some basic information such as the product you’re interested in, your modeling system and the substrates you’re bonding. If you have questions regarding methodology or application, use the additional information field.​

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The technical information, guidance, and other statements contained in this document or otherwise provided by 3M is based upon records, tests, or experience that 3M believes to be reliable, but the accuracy, completeness, and representative nature of such information is not guaranteed. Such information is intended for people with knowledge and technical skills sufficient to assess and apply their own informed judgment to the information. In particular, customer is solely responsible for its own product design, including but not limited to, when using Material Data Card (MDC), finite element analysis or simulations provided by 3M. No license under any 3M or third-party intellectual property rights is granted or implied with this information. Further, customer will be solely responsible for its use of the MDC, including any damage to his computer(s) or device(s) or loss of data that results from the download or use of any digital data, i.e. MDC.

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