State-of-the-art smartphones and DIC: An unbreakable bond

Japan’s leading manufacturer of double-sided adhesive tape for waterproof smartphones with an 80% market share

It seems like every new smartphone on the market claims to be waterproof. Did you know that double-sided adhesive tape from DIC is crucial to waterproof smartphone construction? DIC is Japan’s leading manufacturer of waterproof double-sided adhesive tape for cellular phones and smartphones. What this means is that that virtually every smartphone in the country that advertises waterproof construction uses waterproof double-sided adhesive tape manufactured by DIC, underscoring the Company’s unrivaled position in this market. It really is an unbreakable bond.

Only 1.0 mm wide and 0.2 mm thick, yet completely watertight

The key to waterproof smartphone construction is the double-sided adhesive tape used in its assembly, which is die-cut in diverse shapes and used to attach various components. DIC’s waterproof double-sided adhesive tape is a mere 1.0 mm wide at its narrowest and only 0.2 mm thick. For a cellular phone or smartphone to be considered waterproof, it must qualify for IPX7, an international standard for protection against water ingress. IPX7 signifies protection against water ingress when immersed in water up to a depth of 1 m for 30 minutes. Despite its fragile appearance, DIC’s waterproof double-sided adhesive tape delivers IPX7-grade protection, ensuring the device cores are completely watertight.

IPX-7 grade protection against water ingress

Water depth: 1 m

A tight seal and superb material strength that are distinctively DIC

What is the mechanism that enables DIC’s waterproof double-sided adhesive tape to make phones waterproof? The most important consideration is material strength. DIC’s tape comprises a special thin foam substrate sandwiched between two adhesive layers, guaranteeing a tight seal that keeps water out.

Tight seal

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The thin foam substrate is soft, with a fine closed pore structure similar to that of a sponge. So while there are pores within the foam, there are no holes in the surface. The foam and the adhesive layers together form a single tape that adheres tightly to the surface, regardless of irregularities. A material’s ability to deform as necessary to adhere to a surface is referred to as “followability.” The exceptional followability of DIC’s waterproof double-sided adhesive tape prevents water from penetrating—an achievement that reflects proprietary technologies that enabled the Company to realize the ideal combination of foam substrate and adhesive to guarantee superior tape performance.

Delivering both excellent adhesion and easy release

Waterproof double-sided adhesive tape for smartphones must offer sufficiently strong adhesion to securely anchor tempered glass touch screens and other parts. With the recent trend toward larger smartphones, efforts to enhance design and operability have led to an increase in devices with touch screens that extend almost to the edge of the housing. In addition to increasing screen weight, this has reduced the space available for tape. Nonetheless, DIC’s tape maintains its top-class waterproof performance while also ensuring excellent adhesion even when, for example, the unit is dropped.

However, double-sided adhesive tape must do more than keep parts in place. While it may seem counterintuitive, waterproof double-sided adhesive tape for smartphones, in particular, must also deliver outstanding reworkability. In other words, it must also be easy to peel off. The superb reworkability of DIC’S tape facilitates the removal and replacement of the touch screen should the device be dropped, for example—which is much more economical than buying an entirely new phone. Reworkability is also important in the event of an error in attaching the tempered glass touch screen at the production stage, making it possible to remove and reuse the screen, thus reducing waste.

The bond between DIC and smartphones goes beyond waterproof double-sided adhesive tape

DIC’s waterproof double-sided adhesive tape fulfills all of the stringent performance requirements of smartphones, reflected in the fact that it is used in the majority of models that advertise waterproof construction. DIC is also renowned as a manufacturer of antiscattering adhesive film, which is attached to the glass surface of smartphone touch screens. Here, too, the Company enjoys a sizeable market share.

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