Assembly in Action: Sculpture Needs No Mechanical Fasteners
In 1998, Edward Sovik, an architect with whom he had previously worked, contacted Jacobson. Sovik designed St. James Lutheran Church in Lake Forest, IL. Church members approached Sovik and requested a memorial be constructed to honor a young congregant who had died in an automobile accident. The memorial would take the form of doors to replace the church's original main doors. Jacobson was commissioned to create the memorial. He proposed a low-relief sculptural form using etched copper panels and cast bronze medallions arranged in a design corresponding with the church's stained glass windows.
With each door projected to weigh 650 pounds, early construction figures confirmed the need for engineering a heavy-duty door construction and supporting frame. The custom-made, all nonferrous brass-sheathed doors were created by St. Paul Fabricating and Decorating Co., and the frame was made by Bredemus Hardware Co. (both of St. Paul, MN).
Jacobson needed to adhere the copper panels and brass medallions to the door. The fasteners had to withstand long-term exterior exposure, but he felt that mechanical fasteners would detract from the doors' appearance. Liquid epoxies did not have the needed holding power. Finally, he settled on 3M (St. Paul) VHB tape, a solid acrylic foam tape.
The VBH tape provided a clean, direct and durable bond of the 24-ounce and 48-ounce copper panels and 3/16-inch-thick cast bronze medallions to brass. The bond resists weathering and compensates for thermal expansion and contraction of the metals. Also, its viscoelastic properties absorb shock and damp vibration. According to Jacobson, "The tape didn't damage the pre-patinated copper surfaces of the panels. It secured them without causing warpage or distortion and required no cleanup after application."
For more information on VHB tape, call 3M at 800-362-3550, visit www.3M.com/bonding or Reply 5.