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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Most are unfamiliar with the tape converting industry and the wide array of adhesive tapes and their applications. Below are brief answers to frequently asked questions about adhesive tapes and the converting process. To learn more about a subject, please click on the links.
What is PSA Pressure Sensitive Adhesive tape?
Pressure Sensitive Tape is defined as an adhesive with a continuous strip of flexible material such as cloth, paper, metal, or plastic-coated on one or both sides and a permanent, tacky adhesive on the other side. At room temperature, the adhesive will adhere to a variety of surfaces with light pressure and usually comes on a roll. The key feature that differentiates a pressure-sensitive tape from other types of adhesives is that no activation by water, solvent, or heat is necessary to exert a strong adhesive force towards a wide range of materials such as paper, glass, wood, plastic, or metal. Learn More.
What are the Advantages of PSA Tape?
Pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes offer the following significant advantages:
- Easy to apply – adheres within seconds
- No special tools needed – scissors or tape dispenser
- No preparation needed – other than a clean and dry surface
- Quick to stick – no waiting for drying or chemical reaction
- Not messy – no surplus or waste
- Inexpensive – costs less than sealants
- Die-Cut parts minimize waste
- A wide selection – by varying the chemistry and construction, tapes are used in hundreds of applications
- Tailored-made adhesives – can be chemically altered, and custom made for specific applications
What is Tape Converting?
Converted flexible materials and adhesive tape products are used for a variety of applications in almost all industries. By converting jumbo rolls of tape or other flexible materials into a specific size roll, die cut shape or component part, the converted product can be used for many purposes, each aimed at improving performance and efficiency while reducing product costs. Learn More.
What is Cleanroom Manufacturing?
A cleanroom is a controlled environment where air pollutants like dust and airborne microbes are filtered out to provide a clean and controlled manufacturing or research environment. Cleanrooms are typically used for manufacturing and packaging for industries where small particles can adversely affect the product or manufacturing process, such as electronic, pharmaceutical, medical, and aerospace industries. Learn More.
What are the 3 Elements of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives?
- Adhesion – bonding strength of the adhesive to the substrate
- Tack – immediate grip of adhesive to the substrate. It is determined by the ability of the adhesives to quickly wet the surface it contacts.
- Cohesion – inner strength of the adhesive
What are the Types of Adhesives?
There are three types of adhesives, rubber, acrylic, and silicone adhesives, each adhesive with pros and cons.
- Rubber Adhesives – offers initial high tack, sticks to most surfaces, resistant to temperature and chemicals, but breaks down in ultraviolet light. Synthetic rubber offers much higher adhesion and shear resistance than natural rubber-based adhesives. Rubber adhesives are less expensive adhesive than other types.
- Acrylic Adhesives – offers years of protection against ultraviolet light yet is more expensive than rubber/resins and requires a significant time to cure.
- Silicone Adhesives – offers flexibility and resistance to high temperatures but is the most expensive adhesive.
5 Factors that Affect Tape Adhesion
- Time– the amount of time the adhesive is allowed to bond to the surface before effective force is applied. Full bond strength between the adhesive and substrate can take up to 72 hours. The strength of the bond builds gradually over time and varies based on the tape you are using.
- Adhesive– knowing the type of substrate that the tape will be applied to, will affect how well the tape will stick to it
- Pressure– the amount of force used to adhere the adhesive tape to the substrate. You can achieve this by applying heavy pressure with your thumb along the length or by using a J-Roller or other pressure system.
- Environment– all conditions of the substrate and surrounding environment affect the adhesive bond such as heat, cold, and water. Too high of a temperature and the adhesive can break down – too low and it becomes brittle. Humid climates or exposure to UV light can cause adhesive failure. Chemical or solvent exposure can destroy a bond with some adhesives.
- Surface – the surface energy, contour, and cleanliness of the surface will determine how well the adhesive will stick.
What is a Release Liner Used for?
A release liner is the component of the pressure-sensitive tape that helps the adhesive to unwind easily from the roll. Typically, the liner consists of a paper, film, or poly-coated paper with a release coating applied to one or both sides. Learn More.
How to Test Tape?
One of the most critical aspects of testing a tape is to test the tape on the actual substrate of the application. Sometimes the tape works on a substrate, but when any changes to the chemistry or condition of the substrate change, the tape could end up failing.
There are two common real-world tests for permanent bonding:
- Shear strength. – This is the force pulling down on the tape. To assess shear strength, hang a weight and see what happens. Does the tape slide? Where is the force trying to pull it apart?
- Peel Strength. Here we measure the degree of adhesion by lifting at 180-degrees, then lifting it the opposite direction. How well does it stick? Does it delaminate, or rip off the substrate? If it delaminates, it means the tape is stronger than the substrate.
What is VHB Tape?
Acrylic foam tape, often referred to as 3M VHB (Very High Bond) tape, is a permanent, industrial-strength double-sided acrylic foam tape. This high-performance pressure-sensitive acrylic adhesive has greater durability and elasticity than conventional double-sided foam tapes. Acrylic Foam tape is waterproof and ideal in automotive, construction, and other heavy-duty industry applications. Learn More. View Catalog
What is Flame Retardant Tape?
Flame retardant tape is specifically designed not to catch fire in a variety of high-temperature and high-profile environments such as in aerospace, automotive, construction, electrical, and marine industries. Common uses and applications typically involve sealing HVAC ductwork and bundling wiring in electrical installation. Learn More. View Catalog
What is Sound and Vibration Dampening/Deadening Tape?
Sound Dampening Tape is a pressure-sensitive tape specially designed to help stop sound from leaking through seam gaps and reduce noise, squeaks, rattles, and vibrations. Sound dampening tape helps manage sound distribution across sound transfer points as a quick, easy, and low-profile solution.
Sound Deadening Tape is a multi-purpose product that is ideal for sealing cracks, openings, and seams between soundproofing products as well as repairs to any rips or tears in your soundproofing materials. Learn More. View Catalog
What kind of adhesive/tape is good for cold weather?
Normally, the adhesive in tape freezes well before water freezes. However, if the tape has been specifically designed to withstand cold and moist weather conditions, they will continue to work their adhesive magic in low temperatures. Consider using aggressive acrylic adhesives that perform in cold, moisture-filled weather and maintain tackiness in outdoor applications. Learn More. View Catalog
Is tape safe to use on walls?
One of the biggest challenges for hanging and mounting décor is finding the right combination of permanent adhesion to the item yet having the ability to remove the adhered item from the wall when needed. When used properly, removable tapes can maintain adhesion and be easily and cleanly removed from surfaces.