Hero image of a sealing adhesive being applied

Sealing, Potting, and Encapsulating

Protects, seals and cures quickly for handling.

Ask a 3M Expert

Reliable protection for your designs

Seals are required along the length of a seam. Potting and encapsulating encases the entire part or chamber to protect the components inside. Both prevent fluid ingress or egress and are found throughout industry, but are especially common in applications exposed to the elements or with high-value internal components, including transportation, metalworking, electronics and construction.

  • Adhesive or sealant being applied over seam in metal sheet
  • Sealing

    Tape or sealant is applied over a seam to prevent fluid ingress or fluid egress. Examples include roof seams on vehicles, seams on metal enclosures and pipe sealing.​

  • Potting and Encapsulating

    Adhesive flows over and around a component or fills in a chamber to protect components therein. Examples include heavy duty electrical cords and connectors, electronics in plastic cases, circuit boards and concrete repair.

  • A close up of a hand holding an electrical device while a long tube fills it with adhesives

Peel, Compression and Tension Stresses when Sealing, Potting or Encapsulating​

If the assembly requires two overlaps or butt joints to be sealed, the sealant is often exposed to peel forces. Foot traffic over doorway thresholds or wind on a railcar roof continually attempt to peel a sealant, whether tape or adhesive, off the part. If the application is potted or encapsulated, the adhesive (tapes are not a good fit here) often sees compression and tension as the part experiences thermal expansion or contraction. Many potted parts, on circuit boards for example, can see all three stresses – peel, compression and tension. ​

  • Tjoint compression stress in adhesive joint
  • Video of Speed ​​and efficiency
    Speed ​​and efficiency

    3M Adhesive Tapes easily bond even the narrowest areas, while maintaining the ease and convenience for readjustments during installations. This improves workability, while designs are also cleaner without post-adjustment scratches or marks.

  • Tjoint tensile stress in adhesive joint
  • Peel and Cleavage stress in adhesive joint
  • Application of 3M structural adhesives to frame and glass to seal against moisture.
    Seal against moisture

    By applying the adhesive along the seams of the product, the soft and fluid adhesive can flow into the gaps and seal. The single-sided tape has a thick, flexible adhesive that fills the gap.

Redesign joints to allow the adhesive or tape to do double duty – bond and seal the design in a single step.

Protect your design with 3M products
After all the time you put into making the perfect product, make sure it’s protected against vibration, moisture and other contaminants with reliable 3M products. 3M tapes, sealants and adhesives permanently seal gaps and seams without sagging, pot or encapsulate sensitive components and cure quickly for painting.​

Performance Factors for Sealing, Potting, and Encapsulating

The 3M technologies shown below are commonly used in sealing or potting and encapsulating applications. Use these lists as a relative comparison of product performance.

  • + = Good ++ = Better +++ = Best

Potting and Encapsulating
  • + = Good ++ = Better +++ = Best

Connect With Us

We're here to help.

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.