Adhesive Tapes: Everything You Need to Know

Marshall Industrial sells high quality adhesive tapes. Most of the people who buy adhesive tapes, however, know nothing about them. The following article will touch on various elements so customers know exactly what adhesive tapes are.

What are Adhesive Tapes?

Adhesive tapes are made of an adhesive film and backing material. They are used to join objects together instead of mechanical fasteners.

Adhesive tapes protect the surface you are fastening which would be damaged if you used fasteners. They are also great alternatives for automated product production as opposed to liquid adhesives which take much time and are wasteful.

Adhesive Tape Composition

 Adhesive tapes have to have a backing material also called a carrier which can be paper, plastic, cloth or foam among others. The backing is then coated with an adhesive and in certain cases, a release liner.

The backing plus the adhesive coating is then rolled into a large, long roll of tape. Every roll is unique in its composition and can be customized for a certain purpose.

Adhesive Tape Application

Adhesive tapes can be made to be sensitive to pressure, to need moisture to function or to be activated by heat. Some tapes can adhere to themselves.

Common Types of Adhesive Tape

Pressure Sensitive

Pressure sensitive adhesive tapes adhere to many surfaces and simply require a hand or finger for their application. That means that they do not require heat, water or any other solvent to adhere to materials such as paper, plastic, wood or metal.

However, they can have problems bonding in temperatures that are too low or too high so they are useful in room or moderate temperatures.

Heat Activated

As you can tell from the name, this type of adhesive tape needs to be activated by a heat source to work. They need temperatures of 180oF or higher for activation.

Heat activated adhesive tapes are used to bond difficult surfaces such as rubber or PVC. They are also made with different backing material for a wide range of applications.

Water Activated

These are animal glue-based adhesive tapes with paper backing that become activated when moist. Water activated tape is cheap and typically used to seal boxes.

Adhesives Used for Adhesive Tapes

The type of adhesive used on an adhesive tape depends on carrier and application of the tape. Typical material used for adhesive tapes include:

  • Acrylic Adhesives which have outstanding environmental resistance and a fast setting time.
  • Epoxy Resins have incredible strength and minimal shrinkage when curing. They are also very tough and highly resistant to damage.
  • Rubber based adhesives offer incredible flexibility.
  • Silicone adhesives are also very flexible and highly resistant to extreme temperatures.
  • Polyurethane and Isocyanate adhesives are flexible, highly resistant and very durable.

Backing/Carrier Material for Adhesive Tapes

There is a plethora of materials used as backing material for adhesive tapes. The list is long and includes

  • Paper
  • Cloth
  • Felt
  • Foam
  • Metal Foil
  • Plastic Film or Polymer
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)/polyester
  • Polyimide
  • PVC/Vinyl
  • Rubber
  • Silicone
  • Acrylic Films
  • Glass/Fiberglass
  • Filament
  • Fluoropolymer/PTFE/PVDF
  • Transfer tape

Not all adhesive tapes include a carrier such as synthetic resin adhesives.

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