Heat activated film (HAF) adhesives enable the bonding of materials that are difficult to bond with conventional adhesives where one of the substrates is flexible. Although they are traditionally found in the context of industrial and structural applications, they are increasingly finding use in in electronic products.

This paper provides a preliminary evaluation of the mechanical behavior of HAFs. Two commercial polyurethane HAF formulations (designated as HAF-II and HAF-III, for the purpose of this paper) were evaluated to assess the dependence of the mechanical properties on phase transitions and on the thermal exposure history of the material. Both factors were found to play a significant role in determining the overall usability of the materials. The melting transition occurs under 50°C for both materials, after which their stiffness drops significantly. Among the two, HAF-III is preferable as it undergoes a delayed melting transition, effectively extending the usable operating temperature range.

As with any adhesive, there are several other factors that can influence the performance of adhesives such as post-curing age, storage, and curing conditions to name a few. The impact of these factors on the material’s strength is also discussed in brief and a recommendation for favorable conditions is provided.

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