TECHNOLOGY MADE TO FIT THE DOCKY APPLICATION
The material used to manufacture Docky is polycarbonate, one of several plastic types and the same material used in eyeglass lenses. Depending on the manufacturer, polycarbonate is also known by a variety of trademarked names, including Lexan, Makrolon, and others. Polycarbonates received their name because they are polymers containing carbonate groups.
Polycarbonate is used in many common and everyday use products. Polycarbonate lenses also protect the eye from UV light. Many kinds of lenses are manufactured from polycarbonate, including automotive headlamp lenses, lighting lenses, sun glass/eyeglass lenses, swimming goggles and SCUBA masks. It is commonly used in eye protection, as well as in other projectile-resistant viewing and lighting applications that would normally indicate the use of glass, but require much higher impact-resistance. For example, safety glasses, goggles and visors, including visors in sporting helmets, masks and police riot gear. Not to mention, windscreens in small motorized vehicles, such as for motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, and small planes and helicopters.
Although fairly expensive compared to other plastics, polycarbonate was selected as the Docky material because of its mechanical and chemical properties. While similar to acrylic because of its transparent properties, Polycarbonate is stronger and usable over a greater temperature range. In fact, clear polycarbonate is highly transparent to visible light such that it has better light transmission than many kinds of glass.
A balance of useful features, including temperature resistance, impact resistance and optical properties, positions polycarbonates between commodity plastics and engineering plastics. Also, it has high strength, toughness, heat resistance, and excellent dimensional and color stability when compared to other plastics. It was the material of choice for Docky because of the following benefits it affords the product.
- COLOR STABILITY
The main disadvantage is it has only fair chemical resistance and is attacked by many organic solvents. While a durable material with high impact-resistance, in it’s pure form, polycarbonate has a lower scratch-resistance. In applications like eye-wear lenses and exterior automotive components, a hard coating is applied to eliminate this issue.
What are Plasticizers
Plasticizers are materials added to a polymer and plastics such as PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) in order to lower the temperature where they become brittle and either crack or break. By adding plasticizer, it makes the plastic soft and flexible, and by the way is one of the chemicals that contributes to that “new car smell.” The dashboard of a car has three layers. The top and visible layer in many older cars is made of PVC where newer cars use PVC blended with something called ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). PVC blended with ABS effectively does the same thing as PVC with added plasticizer, but in this case, the ABS doesn’t evaporate so the dashboard lasts a lot longer. Plasticizer is still added, however, mostly because consumers seem to like that new car smell!
Car Dashboard Application
Adhesive tapes can have a chemical interaction with certain plastics or other materials that contain plasticizers such as car dashboards. To prevent this from occurring the tape used with Docky is constructed of a plasticizer resistant acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive, which is especially suited for attachment to flexible vinyl and other plasticized materials. Therefore, Docky can be applied and removed from your car dashboard without damaging the surface of the dashboard. In addition, because of it’s high temperature resistance, the tape will not melt or deform when used in hot environments. For example, a situation where Docky is located on your car dashboard where it maybe exposed to outside temperatures that can reach 120 degrees or more, which can increase beyond this if the car windows are rolled up.
The Adhesive Tape
The tape that comes with your Docky was chosen because it is a high-strength bonding tape that is a proven alternative to screws, rivets, welds and other mechanical fasteners. Unlike screws or rivets – which join materials at a single point – high-strength bonding tape permanently adheres one substrate to another while spreading the stress load across the entire length of the joint. Once materials are joined with a virtual “weld” is created.
Additionally, unique viscoelastic properties absorb shock and distribute stress evenly. This tape’s flexibility compensates for differential thermal expansion between dissimilar materials, so they can be bonded with confidence.
The adhesive tape provides the convenience and simplicity of a tape fastener and are ideal for use in many interior and exterior applications. This method to secure Docky was chosen because it replaces the need to use rivets, screws, nails, liquid adhesives or other semi-permanent fasteners.
The tape is made with an acrylic foam which is viscoelastic in nature. This gives the foam energy absorbing and stress relaxing properties, which provides other unique characteristics as well as providing outstanding durability performance. These features can include adhesion to specific or a broad range of materials, conformability, high tensile strength, high shear and peel adhesion, and resistance to plasticizer migration. Also, the tape has excellent durability as well as solvent and moisture resistance.
To get a good idea on how strong of a bond these tapes can form, please see the image below that illustrates how this type of tape is used at the Chicago O’Hare Airport.
Adhesion & Proper Bonding
While the tape has excellent bonding capabilities to multiple types and dissimilar materials and surfaces, like most tapes and adhesives the condition of the surface can imact this bond. Therefore, to ensure good bonding, it is highly advisable to perform good surface preparation. This is accomplished by ensuring the surface you are applying Docky to is both clean and dry, and free of oils, dust and fingerprints oils. Additional information about how to properly prepare the surface before applying Docky can be found here.
After applying the adhesive tape it bonds and seals simultaneously, creating a water, dust and chemical resistant barrier. So you can use it near water and moisture such in the kitchen or bathroom.