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Panel-to-Frame and Stiffener-to-Panel Assemblies

Permanently bond panels to rigid frames or add rigid stiffeners to support large panels.

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3M Panel Attachment Solutions for Lasting Strength

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  • Panel-to-Frame Assemblies

    Panel-to-frame assemblies occur when decorative or load-bearing panels are applied to a rigid frame for support. Some common examples include construction facades, trailer panels, elevator walls and sign boxes.​

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  • Stiffener-to-Panel Assemblies

    Stiffeners are applied to panels to give extra support and rigidity. These are commonly seen in trailer panels, traffic signs and large metal enclosures. ​

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Common Joint Types and Stresses in Panel Assemblies

Both panel-to-frame and stiffener-to-panel face similar stresses with a few exceptions. Generally a panel-to-frame or stiffener-to-panel assembly will exist vertically or horizontally in the form of an overlap joint. A stiffener is also bonded with an overlap style joint where the adhesive spans the length of the stiffener.

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  • Shear Stress in Panel-to-Frame

    In vertical panel-to-frame applications, the force of gravity produces a shear stress as the dead load weight of the panel is exerted onto the bond. Some peel or cleavage may be present, but those peel and cleavage forces are mitigated by having a long lineal length through which to disperse the load.​​

  • Compression and Tension in Stiffener-to-Panel

    In stiffener-to-panel applications, the weight of the stiffener is often not so large as to contribute to dead load shear. Instead, for these assemblies, the stiffener is often experiencing tension and compression as load is applied to the panel, such as wind loads on sign faces. Again, some cleavage and peel forces may be present, but long lineal lengths and the hat-channel design disperse these loads.​​​

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Performance Factors for Panel Applications

3M tapes, adhesives, sealers and fasteners offer a range of options for panel-to-frame and stiffener-to-panel applications. These choices can maintain elasticity for dynamic loads or allow for expansion differences when temperatures change. Use this list as a relative comparison of product performance.

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Need help finding the right product for your project? 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.

Need help finding the right product for your project? 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.

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