Image of a hand applying adhesive to bond dissimilar materials

Choose the Best Bonding Method

Expand your design options with the right adhesive to join dissimilar materials seamlessly


Factors to consider when choosing an adhesive

When it comes to joining dissimilar materials 3M adhesives and tapes help to address these common design challenges:

  1. Distortion of surface, especially for thinner materials
  2. Tedious process steps such as polishing and finishing
  3. Joint fatigue concentrated at one point

Using the right adhesive for your project helps you to maximise the outcome as well as the efficiency of the process. Select one easily with these steps.

Step 1: identify the application type

Narrow down the choice of adhesives and tapes based on the joint geometry.

Step 2: identify the substrates to be used

Take into account the surface energies and textures of different substrates.

Step 3: identify process steps for manufacture

The stage in the manufacturing process would affect the rate of strength of the adhesive and its application method.

Step 4: identify the end-use of the product

Select an adhesive or tape better suited for the environment it will be used in.

Understanding substrate types and surface energies

  • Gap filling and isolation of substrates is a concern when bonding metals. Adhesives and tapes increase the area of contact for a stronger bond. The high surface energy of metals also makes it easy to bond to other materials.

  • Glass, wood, and ceramic may be easy to bond as they have a medium surface energy. When bonding it to a different substrate, 3M adhesives and tapes accommodate the various surface energies to form a lasting bond.

  • These are generally strong, stiff plastics that perform well at higher temperatures. They require an industrial adhesive or tape that is also resistant to temperature and solvents for optimal performance.

  • Plastics with low surface energy (LSE) have an inherent resistance to wetting which makes the adhesive selection process more critical. 3M has developed plastic adhesives specifically to bond these materials.

Create a bond that lasts – minus screws and rivets

  • Image of applying 3M bonding solution to surface
  • Create strong bonds when you combine the right 3M bonding solution in your applications. Explore how they streamline the assembly process and enhance the appearance of the final product.

Using 3M bonding and assembly solutions to bond different substrates

  • Structural adhesives withstand stresses in extreme applications
    3M structural adhesives withstand stresses in extreme applications


  • Bonding dissimilar materials using pressure sensitive adhesives.
    Bonding dissimilar materials using pressure sensitive adhesives