How to Improve the Holding Strength of YKK® SNAD®

Item # X-HT-300116

YKK® SNAD® are adhesive backed studs that are quite useful around your boat. If you have an application where you don’t want to or can’t drill into a surface, SNADs are a great alternative to traditional screw studs. We’ve used these fasteners on inflatable dinghies, glass and even on fiberglass decks. To get the adhesive on the SNADs to have the most secure hold, we recommend priming the surface before the fastener is applied. We’re going to share a little more about our primers and then show you an example of how the primers and SNADs are applied on a powerboat to hold a windshield sunscreen.

An assortment of YKK SNADs and their primers

At minimum, for every SNAD installation, the surface you’re applying the fastener to should be thoroughly cleaned. A 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water works well, or you can use an alcohol prep pad like we use in the video. You should let that solution air dry or wipe dry with a lint-free cloth before applying the SNAD. Once the area is clean, then you will apply your primer.

3M Tape Primer 94

3M Tape Primer 94 in ampule and can

For most surfaces, we suggest using 3M Tape Primer 94, which is specially designed to help 3M tapes stick and stay. This primer works well on a variety of surfaces including: polyethylene, polypropylene, ABS, PET/PBT blends, metal, glass, wood and concrete. This primer is especially helpful when applying SNADs to tubing or other applications that require the fastener to take a tight curl.

To use this 3M Tape Primer 94, you simply paint it on the cleaned spot where you will install your SNAD. Let the primer dry completely and let sit for five minutes. For a porous surface, apply a second coat of primer and repeat the process. For a non-porous surface one coat will suffice. Then adhere your SNAD. 3M Tape Primer 94 is available at Sailrite in an 8 oz. can or a single-use ampule.

3M Silane Glass Treatment

3M Silane Glass Treatment is a great primer for YKK SNADs installed on glass

When adhering SNADs to glass, we recommend priming the surface with 3M Silane Glass Treatment. This spray-on primer helps tapes stick to glass by making the surface of the glass where it’s applied hydrophobic. This protects the bond between the adhesive and glass. To use the Silane Glass Treatment, spray the product onto a lint free towel and vigorously apply a thin layer of the solution over the area where your SNAD will be placed. Then wipe the area where you applied the treatment with a clean, dry cloth so the glass is dry with no visible residue. Wait a minute or two and then apply the SNAD. 3M Silane Glass Treatment is available in a 4-ounce spray bottle and the treatment is best used within 90 days of purchase.

This video gives a great demonstration of the installation process of SNADs using both of these primers.

Adhesive-backed SNADs might be the right solution for your next project. Rest assured that they will stay adhered by using a 3M primer before application! Both of these primers and a variety of YKK SNAD fasteners are available right here at Sailrite.