What is the Shelf Life of Adhesive Tapes?
Many Factors Impact the Shelf Life of Adhesive Tapes
During these uncertain times, you may be wondering if your adhesive tape inventory has gone beyond its shelf life. The shelf life is considered the period of time an adhesive remains usable after being manufactured and before the material is converted for a specific application. Typically, the manufacturer’s shelf life for a pressure-sensitive adhesive is one to two years when stored out of direct sunlight, in ideal temperatures of 60° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit and at 40 to 50 percent relative humidity. However, there are many factors that play into the life of your product. Depending on the type of adhesive, substrate, release liner, application, manufacturer, and storage conditions, these factors will shorten or lengthen the time you will be able to use the product effectively.
Chemistry and Construction of Adhesive Tapes
The shelf life of a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape is dependent on the chemistry of the adhesive, substrate, and liner used in the product construction. Depending on the manufacturer, acrylic adhesive systems generally last anywhere from one to two years. Rubber adhesives are sensitive to environmental conditions which can often change the adhesive’s properties. Whether the silicone-based material is self-wound or comes with release liners, may extend the shelf life from 6 months to a year. Paper release liners are susceptible to moisture, so proper storage extends the liner’s usability.
Storage & Handling of Adhesive Tapes
During storage, environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and UV exposure can affect the shelf life of a tape. The first step is to follow the manufacturer’s storage recommendations, usually found on the datasheet. Proper stacking in a cool (preferably 60°F or cooler), dark, and dry storage location, preserves the integrity of the adhesive. Remember to rotate the stock to yield the best value. Tape performance is not expected to alter even after the shelf life expires but we do suggest that tapes are used prior to the expiration date.
Manufacturer’s vs. Converter’s Expiration Dates
Once the converter, in this case, MBK Tape Solutions, die cuts, laminates or replaces the liner or packaging, a warranty part date replaces the manufacturer’s shelf life date. When the converted product is stored in ideal conditions, it should continue to perform as prescribed by the manufacturer. It is up to the customer to test and validate that the pressure-sensitive adhesive will adhere for the life of the product. It is important to note that once a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape is unwound and successfully attached to one or more surfaces, its stability greatly increases and is less susceptible to usability and performance issues.
To learn more about the Shelf Life of Adhesive Tapes, visit the MBK Website.