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Different Types of Adhesive Tapes: Selecting the Right Type of Adhesive Tapes

Types of Adhesive Tape

Hardly anyone is a stranger to adhesive tapes. You can find one lying around in your home, office, etc. Adhesive tapes are strips of plastic films or paper, coated with adhesive on one or both sides and serve multipurpose functions in various industries and real-world applications. From simple household solutions to complex industrial solutions, adhesive tapes are of many types, and they all are manufactured according to their various use cases.

Before PSA (pressure-sensitive tapes) were invented, traditional glue and paper were used to secure the packaging. The discovery of sticky tapes came about when a scientist named Richard Drew was a scientist for 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) in 1925. He discovered the first-ever masking tapes.

What are Adhesive Tapes?

Adhesive tapes are stripped, with a sticky layer as a supporting layer that holds two things when little pressure is applied to them. They are made up of a roll of plastic film, cloth, paper, or sometimes even metal. They have good durability without applying heat or water to them.

There are two types of adhesive tapes used in industrial tapes: one is water-based, and the other is solvent-based.

Water-based adhesives come in acrylics, natural rubbers, or other synthetic materials.

Solvent-based comes from rubber, vinyl, or other synthetic material that dissolves in solvents such as alcohol and esters.

Types of Adhesive Tapes

There are various kinds of adhesive tapes that have been developed over the years, designed keeping in mind the various applications, be it as a stationary item or an industrial instrument.

Adhesive tapes are mainly of the following types:

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Tape

A strip of fabric, paper, or plastic with persistently sticky adhesive on one or both sides is referred to as pressure-sensitive adhesive tape. The glue must be permanent and not heat-activated.

However, it should be pressure-triggered in the sense that it only sticks if you apply light pressure to it, such as with your finger. The glue should not transition between liquid and solid states, as it's frequently rolled up.

The adhesive stays on the original envelope or bag and transmits adhesion to another material when you push the adhesive side.

These pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes are used in shipping, postal services, schools, etc.

Water-Activated Tape

Water-activated or “gummed” tape is commonly used for sealing uneven cartons and boxes effectively.

The tape is soaked with water before sealing corrugated fiberboard boxes. Typically, the tape is 3 inches (7.62 cm) broad. As the glue bonds to the fiberboard material, it creates a strong, long-lasting seal that can withstand rough treatment during transportation. Its strengthened design ensures consistent performance in a variety of settings and applications.

On recyclable cartons and non-unitized cargo, the tape typically works effectively.

Gummed tape is a cost-effective packaging tape that may be used in a variety of sectors and applications, including food, beverage, medical pharmaceuticals, paper, print, electronics, transportation, and distribution.
Heat-Sensitive Tape

Heat-activated tape is not regarded as pressure-sensitive tape since it is normally tack-free until a heat source triggers it.
In the last 30 years, thermoplastic adhesive films have created a niche in the industrial bonding and welding of hot-melt adhesives in film form.
Thermoplastics may be reshaped by heating and are commonly used to manufacture or join items using polymer processing processes.
To attain final bonding strength, heat-activated (hot melt) adhesive systems must be exposed to increased temperatures (usually 180 °F (ca. 82 °C) or above). To achieve a final cure and bond, temperature, pressure, and dwell time are utilized. Hot-melt tapes have excellent adhesive strength and very high holding power. It is incredibly flexible and has substantially better adherence to most materials, including fiberboard, than acrylic tape.

Drywall Tape

Drywall tape is a durable paper tape used to hold and cover drywall joints. This tape is not self-stick, but rather a drywall joint compound that holds it in place. It features an adhesive to stick on the drywall surface properly. It is a heavy-duty tape and this tape is immune to ripping and water damage.

It was designed to seal the seams between two surfaces of drywall, which will improve the integrity of the drywall.

Drywall tapes are generally made from paper and fiberglass mesh.

Box sealing or parcel Tape

Box sealing or parcel tapes are pressure-sensitive tapes that are used for sealing uneven boxes and parcels. An adhesive material is typically coated with a polyester or polypropylene film.

The backing is generally made up of polypropylene, vinyl, or Kraft paper. When we are talking about box-sealing tapes, linear is sometimes used on some pressure-sensitive tapes or double-sided tapes.

Most packaging tapes use one of these four adhesive tapes: acrylic, solvent, hot melt, or water-activated.

Double-sided Tape

Double-sided tapes, as the name suggests, are coated with adhesive on both sides. These are usually used to stick two surfaces together. With PSA (pressure-sensitive tapes) exposed on both sides, they enable the bonding of similar or completely different parts using only the tape between them.

Tape material and thickness are two essential things for the application that are required for the tape to be durable enough. The adhesive tape does have great stability, and many bonding applications perform multitasking.

It is good at handling moisture on the surface; it has a strong handling limit to the applied pressure. It also has the advantage of being fast to assemble. They can be either thin or thick (paper or foam-based material) coated with rubber and acrylic, or sometimes modified versions of different materials.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is generally made up of polyethylene with a rubber-based adhesive material. It has some unique features, like waterproofing and strong strength.
It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use because of its durability and waterproofing features. Some of them have thicker adhesives and tougher backing. You can apply them to surfaces like wood, metal, plastic, etc.

Electrical Tape

Electrical tapes are pressure-sensitive tapes used to insulate the material that allows electricity to conduct through them, specifically electrical wires.

It can stop the electrical current from accidentally passing to other wires, which can cause short circuits and even start an electrical fire.
Electrical tape provides safe ways to insulate the wires and keep the electric current contained. While one should use all the safety measures before working with electricity, It can be made up of plastics, but PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is the most popular, as it stretches well and can give long-lasting insulation.

Filament Tape

Filament tapes are also packaging tapes but with high strength. The adhesive is coated on a polyester or polypropylene film, and a fiberglass filament is embedded throughout the length.

Filament tapes are well-known for their properties like bundling and reinforcing capabilities. It is a PSA constructed of polyester film with a natural rubber-based adhesive system.

Industries that frequently use filament strapping tapes are food and beverages, electronics, automotive parts, and metalworking manufacturers.
Cello tape and scotch Tape

These are brand names of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes that are generally sticky.
Cello tapes are thinner and more transparent than scotch tapes. It is ideal for wrapping presents or gifts. It is a favorite art material and stationery item used to wrap goods like paper boxes, cardboard, and office supplies.
Scotch tape is available in several widths and adhesive strengths for various uses, such as cleaning keyboards, repairing shoelaces, and wrapping up gifts.

Surgical Tape

Surgical tape is used to attach bandages and other dressing items to the skin around wounds. It is made up of hypoallergenic adhesive material, which has breathable porous material like cotton and 3M micropore papers.

It is gentle on the skin and stays in place perfectly for several days. Specifically designed for the wound to protect it from water contact, the tape only works when applied to dry skin. Conforming to our body and perfectly sticking to the curved surfaces of our body between fingers, toes, joints, etc.

Despite their strength, waterproof tapes can be torn easily with fingers, making them ideal for fast-paced situations.

Gaffer Tape

They are also known as gaff tapes or spike tape for narrow, colored gaffer tape. It is a high-duty, heavy-duty vinyl-coated, pressure-sensitive adhesive tape.
It can stand a much higher degree of heat before beginning to lose its adhesive effect. A common application of gaffer tape is to secure the cable to a stage floor, podium, or other surfaces, either for safety or privacy.

Security Tape

It is a type of adhesive tape that helps reduce shipping losses and theft. It is a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape or label that has special temperature-resistance properties. They are made up of special-quality film and ink.
Tamper-evident security tapes provide security for shipping cartons, wooden crates, or other containers.
To conclude, adhesive tapes are a versatile and essential part of our daily lives. They come in various types of tapes that are designed for specific applications, offering unique features and durable outcomes.

Adhesive tapes serve multiple purposes across various industries, from holding parts together to protecting them from moist and dusty surfaces. Many tapes are available in various strengths and configurations for multiple applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) What are the different types of adhesive tapes?

There are various types of adhesive tapes: each one has its benefits and applications.

Single-coated adhesive tape

The single-coated adhesive tape, on one side, is used in various applications like packaging, holding, and bundling. It includes materials such as paper, cloth, and adhesive foil tape.

Double-coated adhesive tape

These tapes feature both sides of adhesive backing. It is applicable where adhesive applies to both surfaces. For example, automobiles and aerospace agencies

Transfer adhesive tape

Transfer adhesive tapes are double-coated tapes with a release liner on only one side. This release liner is removed when adhesive tape is applied, making it ideal for applications on a one-sided adhesive surface.

Q2) What tape is the strongest?

The strength of an adhesive tape depends upon its adhesive properties, the type of backing material, and the thickness of the adhesive layer, but industrial tape is the strongest adhesive tape. Industrial adhesive tapes are extremely strong adhesive tapes, typically having high adhesion and a strong backing material. Adhesive tapes come in heavy-duty applications, such as industrial and construction applications.

Q3) What does it mean by PSA (pressure-sensitive adhesive)?

It is a type of adhesive that is activated after applying pressure to it. This type of adhesive is highly effective in tapes because it will work perfectly on various surfaces.

They are available in two types of strength, from low-tack to high-tack. Low-tack adhesive tapes are for temporary applications, while high-tack tapes are for permanent use.


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  • Created on May 16, 2022

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