More than a year ago I ordered pieces of Elemental Designs then new butyl adhesive eDeads - V1Č, V1SEČ and UE. At the time, the V1Č's adhesive demonstrated very poor performance and soon after, people started to report failures. V1SEČ and UE had adhesives that tested well. I didn't care for any of these products because the choice to substitute a much less expensive Mylar facing for the usual aluminum foil compromised the product's effectiveness in ways I won't go into here.
A couple of weeks ago, two posters on the Realm of Excursion forum independently reported failures with eDead V1SEČ. One went so far as to claim that the stuff wouldn't even stick to itself when pressed together, adhesive to adhesive. The same guy claimed that ED refused to do anything to make things right. Since he was stuck with most of a roll of a product he couldn't use, I asked him to send me a sample and he obliged. A few days later a package arrived containing several square feet of eDead V1SEČ in pristine condition. The physical dimensions matched the samples I bought more than a year ago.
The first thing I did was press two pieces together as described. Sure enough, it was very easy to peel them apart. Seemed very odd. The next thing I did was run my standard adhesion tests. I run one test as soon as the product is mounted on the testing surface and another after a second sample has been mounted for 96 hours. Good quality butyl adhesive creates an increasingly strong bond with time, so this is information worth having. Since some butyl adhesives are activated by heat, I attached two more samples and heated them. The adhesive bond strength results were really poor, but the stuff was at least sticky to the touch so I figured something else must be going on. The heated samples did no better than those held at room temperature.
Since it was 97°F here today, I decided to mount some test strips to the sheet metal I use for heat testing and just set it outside for the day to see what happened. Here's the starting sample sheet:
I mounted samples of the year old V1SEČ, the V1SEČ I had just received and samples of Dynamat Xtreme as a control. I mounted a single strip and two strips stacked for each product. I angled the sheet metal mounting surface approximately 20° forward of vertical. The samples were mounted to meticulously clean metal and careful gone over with a roller.
I put it outside, on my deck, and positioned it so that the sun only hit the back of the sheet metal. The samples were never in direct sunlight. I left the samples there from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. I checked the temperature of the substrate and the samples every 1/2 hour. The highest temperature I ever recorded was 120°F.
120°F is nothing for a Car sitting in the sun. A light colored Car can easily reach 160°F and darker cars will get to 180°F. These are temperatures inside the doors, at the roof, etc. - all of the places sound deadener lives. 120°F should be a walk in the park.
At 5:00, I found this:
The new V1SEČ samples are number 4 and 5 from the left, labeled 6-1-2009. It's a little hard to see here, but there is significant separation on the lower 2/3 of each sample. The older V1SE showed very slight separation at the very bottom and the Dynamat Xtreme looked exactly as it did when first applied.
These details show the damage more clearly:
This is ridiculous. The adhesive formula has been changed. This stuff is guaranteed to fail. If these results hadn't been as conclusive as they were, I would have tried a curved substrate. Since it wouldn't even stick to a perfectly flat surface, that seems pointless. What I did was less taxing than a single day when installed in a car that's parked in the sun.
Using absolutely rudimentary tests, I could tell in 10 minutes that this adhesive was completely different than what I had tested a little over a year ago. This suggests, to me. that ED does absolutely no quality control before shipping. The guy who sent me the samples says that ED told him they couldn't help him because he wasn't a professional installer. It's hard to imagine how that would make any difference at all. Between the two guys reporting failures, 3 rolls were involved.
Sorry for the wordy and detailed descriptions. I've found that if I don't start that way, I end up having to provide it all later.