3-D design drawing of a passenger train

3M Rail Technology & Manufacturing Solutions

Advanced technologies for rail car design and production.


As communities strive for more efficient and sustainable mass transit solutions, passenger trains are experiencing a renaissance in cities all over the world. Today’s rail car designs are lighter, faster, and more aerodynamic and energy efficient than ever, with lighter weight materials and sleek designs. 3M technologies can help maximize manufacturing and operational efficiencies while expanding design options and flexibility.

  • Keeping pace with the rapid changes in rail technology, 3M offers a wide range of products that can help maximize manufacturing and operational efficiencies, while lowering costs and improving long-term performance.

  • From design to delivery, 3M innovation is helping tackle your toughest application challenges, from expanding design flexibility to improving product performance and optimizing manufacturing efficiencies.


Image showing the stresses in bonded and bolted overlap joints as the joints flex
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Featured Solution Session

How Can 3M™ VHB™ Tapes Help With Rail Car Production?

  • 3M Applications Engineers Brent Bystrom and Rebecca Johnson discuss rail applications for 3M™ VHB™ Tapes
    Watch a brief trailer (1:15)

    Global Solutions for the Future of Passenger Rail Car Design and Production: 3M™ VHB™ Tape

    Learn more about how 3M™ VHB™ Tape can help you design and produce passenger rail cars. Click below to Register and watch the full video (17:12) – if you’re registered we can also notify you about future solution sessions as they’re available. You can watch a short preview of the video at left, or see below for brief snippets covering demos and discussions of specific topics.


  • Video still of 3M Application Engineers discussing bonding of dissimilar materials
    Bonding Dissimilar Materials (2:54)

    3M Application Engineers demonstrate bonding acrylic to aluminum with 3M™ VHB™ Tape, showing the ease, immediate handling strength and very high bond strength of the tape.

  • Video still of a 3M Applications Engineer showing the strength of 3M™ VHB™ Tape when bonding two pieces of metal
    Bonding Strength (0:34)

    3M Application Engineers demonstrate the strength of 3M™ VHB™ Tape bonding together aluminum I-beam pieces.

  • Video still showing a gasket seal made with 3M™ VHB™ Tape to prevent fluid migration
    Closed-Cell Technology (0:52)

    3M Application Engineers show the sealing properties of the closed-cell 3M™ VHB™ Tape against liquid migration.

  • Video still of 3M Applications Engineers discussing fatigue resistance and the viscoelasticity of 3M™ VHB™ Tape
    Fatigue Resistance (1:10)

    3M Application Engineers use a demonstration piece to show the viscoelasticity and fatigue resistance of 3M™ VHB™ Tape.

  • Video still of 3M Applications Engineers discussing bonding painted and powder-coated surfaces
    Paint and Powder-Coated Surfaces (1:53)

    3M Application Engineers discuss the ability of 3M™ VHB™ Tapes to withstand the pre-treatment and bake cycles of paint processes.

  • Video still of 3M Applications Engineers discussing viscoelasticity
    Viscoelasticity (1:36)

    3M Application Engineers talk about viscoelasticity and how applying pressure to 3M™ VHB™ Tape facilitates wet-out.

  • Video still of a passenger car showing a door that can be bonded with 3M™ VHB™ Tape
    Rail Car Applications (1:16)

    3M Application Engineers discuss various locations and applications for 3M™ VHB™ Tape in a passenger rail car.

3M™ VHB™ Tapes: 40 Years and Still Holding Strong

3M introduced 3M™ VHB™ Tapes in 1980 to replace screws, rivets and welds, and it was first used for bonding panels to the frames of ambulances. Rather than bonding at one point or even a series of points, this high-strength bonding tape distributes the stress load across the entire area of the joint. Design Engineers soon found new applications for these remarkable acrylic foam tapes and they are now the bonding solution of choice in a wide variety of industries, from architectural and glass panels on buildings to passenger rail cars and freeway signs to smartphones and other electronics.

One reason our 3M™ VHB™ Tapes have found so many uses is that we didn’t stop at just one tape. We’ve expanded the base product and added new capabilities so you have a whole family of options to choose from, including:

  • 3M™ VHB™ Tape RP family for panel bonding and stiffener and trim attachment
  • Clear 3M™ VHB™ Tapes for joining transparent materials
  • 3M™ VHB™ Tape GPH family for superior temperature performance through high-temp paint and powder coat bake cycles
  • 3M™ VHB™ Tape LSE family designed specifically for bonding low surface energy plastics and allowing bonding at temperatures down to 0°C

3M™ VHB™ Tapes are also environmentally durable. They withstand both high and low temperatures and temperature cycling as well as UV light, moisture and solvents while maintaining strength and reliability. For 40 years these tapes have been standing up to harsh conditions on structures around the world as well as on vehicles like rail cars that travel between different climates.

What will 3M™ VHB™ Tape look like when it turns 50? We don’t know – but rest assured our world-class scientists and engineers are working on it.

Visit the 3M™ VHB™ Tapes website

  • Featured Product Category: 3M™ VHB™ Tapes

    As the video shows, 3M™ VHB™ Tapes offer many benefits to rail car manufacturers, including:

    • Bonding strength
    • Bonding and sealing
    • Viscoelasticity
    • Immediate handling strength
    • Fatigue resistance
    • Bonding before or after a paint process
    • Uniform stress distribution
    • Bonding dissimilar materials
    • Separating dissimilar metals to help resist bimetallic corrosion

    View all 3M™ VHB™ Tape products

    Using a new LSE plastic and not sure how to bond it? Try our new 3M™ VHB™ Tape LSE Series.

  • In the last 40 years, 25 billion feet of 3M™ VHB™ Tape has been produced. That's enough tape for 10 trips to the moon and back. Learn More

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Contact us if you need product, technical or application advice or want to collaborate with a 3M technical specialist, or give us a call at 1-800-831-0658.

Contact us if you need product, technical or application advice or want to collaborate with a 3M technical specialist, or give us a call at 1-800-831-0658.

Contact us if you need product, technical or application advice or want to collaborate with a 3M technical specialist, or give us a call at 1-800-831-0658.