Tek Tip - Adhesive Removability of 3M™ Commercial Solutions

Tips on Selecting Suitable Materials

3M™ Commercial Solutions classifies adhesives into three distinct groups: permanent, removable, and changeable. So what's the difference and when should you choose one type of adhesive system over another?

Permanent Adhesives
Permanent adhesives are intended NOT to be removed. Removing these types of adhesives can be done, but it is often costly and time consuming. The film will tend to break into small pieces and much of the adhesive will remain on the substrate.

Permanent adhesives are designed for long term signage applications. Permanent products include:


Removable Adhesives
Removable adhesives provide long-term images, but WILL remove at the end of their life. However, these adhesives will require some effort to be removed. They won't simply peel off but will rather need to be removed with a combination of heat, chemicals, and/or special tools designed for adhesive removal. Typically, 30% of the adhesive will remain on the substrate. Removal of these adhesives should not cause damage to the substrate but the misuse of chemicals and/or tools during the removal process may.

Typical applications for removable adhesives are vehicle wraps, short-term point-of-purchase and signage applications. Removable products include:


Changeable Adhesives
Changeable adhesives are the EASIEST to remove. They require no heat, chemicals, or tools. Films with changeable adhesives generally remove in large pieces with little to no adhesive residue left behind.

Short-term transit, POP, and signage applications typically use changeable adhesives. Changeable products include:

  • 3M™ Scotchcal™ Clear View Graphic Film IJ8150
  • 3M™ Scotchcal™ Changeable Graphic Film IJ3555
  • 3M™ Scotchcal™ Changeable Translucent Graphic Film IJ63
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