3M Super Strength Molding Tape vs. VHB: what’s the difference?

The 3M VHB Tape is more versatile with its modified acrylic adhesive for broad surface energy adhesion and very conformable foam. It has slightly lower peel strength but higher temperature resistance. The VHB would be better for general industrial bonding applications besides automotive.

3M Super Strength Molding Tape vs. VHB

3M Super Strength Molding Tape vs. VHB: Specs & Uses

🌡️Temperature Resistance

3M Super Strength Molding Tape: Over 100 hrs at 158°F (70°C)

VHB: Short Term: 300°F (149°C), Long Term: 200°F (93°C)

🆚Best Materials

3M Super Strength Molding Tape:
– Designed for automotive moldings/trim
– Acrylic adhesive
– Medium-density foam

– Broad surface energy adhesion
– Modified acrylic adhesive
– Very conformable foam

🛠️Common Uses

3M Super Strength Molding Tape can be used to secure thin strips of LED lighting to the side of your vehicle’s engine bay; can be used to safely detach them without damaging the car’s paint;

Attaching bug shields or hood deflectors to your vehicle.

VHB is ideal for installing a backsplash, mounting framed mirrors, or skinning doors; affix items to different surfaces, such as glass, wood, or plastic;

Securely attach displays, signage, or lightweight structures without causing damage to surfaces

Technical Info

3M Super Strength Molding Tape3M VHB Tape
Datasheet📥3M Super Strength Molding Tape📥3M VHB Tape
Thickness0.045 in (1.14 mm)0.045 in (1.1 mm)
Density43 lbs/ft3 (608 kg/m3)37 lbs/ft3 (590 kg/m3)
Adhesive TypeAcrylic (AR7, DS4)Modified Acrylic
Foam TypeMedium Density AcrylicVery Conformable Acrylic
Peel Strength21 lbs (9.5 kg) breakaway, 11 lbs (5 kg) continuing39 N/cm (22 lb/in)
Shear StrengthExceeds 100 hrs at 158°F (70°C)80 psi (550 kPa)

The 3M Super Strength Molding Tape is designed specifically for attaching automotive moldings and trim with its acrylic adhesive and medium-density foam. It has high peel strength but lower temperature resistance.

My Hands-on Test of 3M VHB Tape

3M VHB Tape
Having used 3M’s VHB (Very High Bond) tape for various projects, I can attest to its strength and versatility. This double-sided foam tape is designed to create a permanent, high-strength bond between two surfaces, and it really delivers on that promise.

✅Approximately 1-2 Millimeters Thick

First off, let’s talk about the thickness. The tape itself is approximately 1-2 millimeters thick, which provides enough adhesive surface area to create a secure bond without adding too much bulk. It’s available in standard 36-yard rolls, but you can also find it in smaller converted lengths for those who don’t need that much.

3M VHB 5952 Tape to hold solar panels to the roof of my van.
3M VHB 5952 Tape to hold solar panels to the roof of my van.

Various Surfaces

VHB tape sticks to a wide range of materials. I’ve used it successfully on glass, plastic, metal, and even fabric surfaces. It creates an incredibly strong bond that can withstand a lot of stress and movement. For example, I used it to mount a tailgate light bar on my F150, and after 2.5 years and countless brushless car washes, it’s still holding strong.

3M VHB Tape Explained

Wide Range of Temperatures

It can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from freezing conditions to scorching hot summers exceeding 115°F. I highly recommend opting for the larger 36-yard roll instead of the smaller ones, as the quality is superior and it provides better value for your money.

In my experience, the 3M VHB tape has been a reliable choice for bonding various materials, akin to welding. I have successfully used it to bond powder-coated aluminum parts Alum Bond vs. JB Weld (see also aluminum welding), providing a strong and secure connection. However, it’s important to note that once this tape is applied, it becomes extremely difficult to remove. It’s a testament to its adhesive power, but it also means that you need to be mindful of the application process and ensure proper alignment before committing to the bond.

3M VHB Tape

❌Some Applications Where the Tape May Not Work

There are some applications where the tape may not work. While it works well for mounting lightweight items like window visors or LED lights, it may not be the best choice for heavier objects or those that experience a lot of movement or vibration. Some reviewers mentioned concerns about using it for wheel weights or convertible tops, as the consequences of the tape failing in those situations could be dangerous.

Speaking of potential limitations, there are a few materials that VHB tape doesn’t adhere well to. Silicone rubber is one of them, so if you’re looking to mount something to a silicone surface, you’ll need to find a different adhesive solution.

Polyseamseal vs. Silicone

Polyseamseal vs. Silicone: Waterproof, Adheres to Wood, Aluminum, Glass, Vinyl, Porcelain & Rubber

Additionally, while it can technically be used in a shower or other damp environments, it’s best to ensure the surfaces are completely dry before application for optimal adhesion.

One concern some users had was the potential for the tape to damage certain surfaces upon removal, particularly leather or other delicate materials. In those cases, it’s best to explore alternative mounting methods or consult a professional to avoid any permanent damage.

FAQ of 3M VHB Tape

Q: Can it adhere to different types of fabrics?

A: The ability of this foam tape to stick to various fabrics varies. Generally speaking, it is not well-suited for most fabric materials. It achieves optimal performance when applied to solid, smooth surfaces such as metals, certain hard plastics, and sealed wood. Without specific details about the type of fabric, its application, or the bonding requirements, it becomes challenging to provide tailored recommendations for tape alternatives. However, if you are not dealing with specialized fabrics, you might consider exploring the possibility of using adhesive transfer tape instead.

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4 reviews

  • Which 3M double sided tape would be better for attaching a mounded abs plastic auto dashboard cover to the factory dashboard? Super strength molding or VHB

    • Hello Ron, Thanks for reaching out. I'm happy to provide my recommendation! For this application, I would suggest going with the 3M VHB Tape 5952. Here's why I think it's the better fit: The VHB tape is designed to adhere well to plastics like ABS, as well as painted metal surfaces like you'll find under the dashboard. It forms a…Read More

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My Hands-on Test of 3M Super Strength Molding Tape

3M Super Strength Molding Tape
My wife’s car camera had become unstuck from the windshield, making it difficult to keep it in place while driving. Determined to find a solution, I purchased the 3M tape, and I must say it hasn’t failed me yet. The tape’s exceptional adhesive properties ensured that the camera stayed securely mounted, providing us with a clear view of the road ahead.


First and foremost, let me address a common concern – the heat resistance of this tape. While it can withstand most weather conditions, I wouldn’t recommend using it in extreme heat environments like the engine bay of a turbocharged car. The intense temperatures could potentially cause the tape to fail, even for lightweight applications like securing LED lighting.

This tape has been a hit in automotive applications. I’ve successfully used it to reattach side-view mirrors (hard plastic) and even secure bug shields and hood deflectors without any issues. While it’s not explicitly recommended for exterior emblems due to the risk of lifting paint upon removal, I’ve found it to be safe for most interior accessories like dashboard covers.

What is the Best Glue for Hard Plastics

What is the Best Glue for Hard Plastics?

Besides cars, I’ve used this tape for household projects too. It can effortlessly bond wood and plastic surfaces, making it ideal for mounting decorative pieces or securing cable management systems. However, it’s important to note that it may not be the best choice for supporting excessive weight or holding larger objects in place, such as a rear windshield spoiler or a car bumper.

Alien Tape vs. Command Strips vs. Mounting Tape: Brick surfaces, Thick Garland, Bird Spikes

Alien Tape vs. Command Strips vs. Mounting Tape: Brick surfaces, Thick Garland, Bird Spikes

Now, let’s talk about the tape’s thickness. It’s approximately 1.2mm or 45 mil thick, giving it a substantial feel similar to a postcard. It holds up well in various situations because of its thickness.

One unique application I’ve tried is using this tape in a humidor to secure a light humidifier under my cigar tray. While the humidity initially posed a challenge, the tape eventually set and has been holding strong, maintaining the desired 70% humidity level. This success has encouraged me to explore other creative uses for this versatile tape.

using this tape in a humidor to secure a light humidifier under my cigar tray

Speaking of creative uses, a word of caution: please don’t attempt to use this tape on skin, as it could lead to painful consequences. Stick to surgical adhesives for any human applications!

Now, let’s address a few practical considerations. If you need to cut the tape into narrower strips, say 1/4″ wide, it’s absolutely possible without compromising its performance. Additionally, if you ever need to remove the tape, the surface can be cleaned effectively with alcohol and soapy hot water, leaving no residue behind.

3M Super Strength Molding Tape

❌The Only Minor Issue

The only minor issue I encountered was the difficulty in removing the protective red material that covers the adhesive side of the tape. However, once you manage to peel off a corner, the rest comes off fairly easily.

FAQ of 3M Super Strength Molding Tape

Q: Can I use 3M Super Strength Molding Tape to secure LED lighting to the hood of my turbocharged engine bay, considering the high temperatures?

A: I wouldn’t recommend using 3M Super Strength Molding Tape under the hood as it’s designed for attaching emblems on vehicles. Instead, try using a thin strip of LED lights and affix them to the side of the engine bay to avoid direct exposure to heat. You can consider nano tape vs alien tape.

Q: Is 3M Super Strength Molding Tape safe to use on car paint? Will it damage the paint when removing an emblem attached with a 3M Super Strength Molding Tape?

A: It is safe for car paint if used carefully. When removing the emblem, pull the tape slightly and use a hair blower to heat the tape as you remove it. This will help prevent any damage to the paint.

Q: What color is the tape?

A: The tape itself is a medium to dark gray color. The red color you see is just the protective cover that needs to be peeled off.

Q: Can I use 3M Super Strength Molding Tape for bug shields/hood deflectors?

A: Yes, 3M Super Strength Molding Tape can be used for bug shields/hood deflectors.

Q: Will 3M Super Strength Molding Tape hold up cables from a PC to keep them off the ground?

A: No, 3M Super Strength Molding Tape is not suitable for holding cables. However, it can hold a plastic tile with zip-tie anchor points designed for cable management.