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Machine Design

Reclosable fasteners attach, reattach to themselves

Dual Lock fasteners are self-mating. When they press together, thousands of mushroom heads interlock.

Low-surface-energy plastics can now be attached, detached, and reattached without bulky or unattractive mechanical fasteners using Dual Lock Low-Profile Reclosable Fasteners from 3M, St. Paul, Minn. Thin, lightweight, and adhesive backed, the new fasteners bond to many surfaces including polypropylene and polyethene, as well as to powder coatings, lightly oiled metals, and hard-to-bond surfaces such as acrylic, sealed wood, glass, and fiberglass.

When these reclosable fasteners press together, thousands of mushroom heads interlock, creating an audible snap that verifies a secure connection. Unlike some reclosable fasteners that require both male and female parts to close, Dual Lock fasteners are self-mating. And, when compared to traditional hook-and-loop fasteners, the new fasteners are said to offer higher tensile and shear strength while being easy to use with slide over, push into place, and locking features. The new fasteners also help reduce vibration, rattles, and scratches and remove easily without special tools. They come in 5/8, 1, 2, and 12-in. widths and 25 and 50-yard rolls and are typically used in electronic, appliance, and transportation applications.

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