Your Cheat Sheet For The Right Adhesive Tape Around The Home
It might seem like a simple topic but there are actually a few important things to keep in mind when buying adhesive tape. No matter how much you want to wish that good old duct tape is the answer to every problem, the reality is more nuanced than that. So, if you want to make sure that the tape sticks, you need to stick to the right kind of tape.
First, it is worth knowing exactly how adhesive tape works. Did you hate science at school? Me too, but if you stick through the next paragraph of science, you might just find that the broken fender you haven’t fixed yet doesn’t come off in traffic because you used the wrong tape to hold it on.
Pressure-sensitive adhesive, invented by a German surgeon in 1985, is the principle activating property of most adhesive tapes. The pressure-sensitive adhesive is coated onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film, cloth or metal foil; it does not require any heat or solvent to activate and acquires its adhesive properties when light pressure is applied. Sometimes these tapes will require a release agent on their backing or a release liner to cover the backing. The exact science behind the actual adhesive properties is a little complex for a short blog like this but all you need to know is that it is possible and quite simple for manufacturers to alter the adhesive properties of any given tape.
Single Sided Tape
The classic. Single sided tape is the go-to for most of us when we are just in the need for a simple bond, sticking one object to another. The backing for single sided tape can be made from a variety of web-based products, including film, paper, fabric, foil and foam. In most cases, the backing will be treated with a release coating to allow a stable unwinding, or a primer might be used to ensure the adhesive sticks to the correct side of the tape. There is obviously a huge array of single sided tapes out there, and it is important to choose the right kind for the job at hand. When selecting an adhesive tape, remember to take into account the surface of items that you are sticking with and the kind of force that the bond will need to withstand.
For trickier work sometimes we need to go for the double-sided stuff. The obvious problem when it comes to double sided is that you lose some of the contact strength by having adhesive on both sides, and it is a slightly more expensive product, too. If you are making a permanent bond between two objects you might want to think about other adhesive options.
Also known as application tape, this is more of a specialty product that is used heavily by graphic designers for the creation of physical signs. Transfer tape is so called because it allows sign writer to transfer graphic designs from the release liner onto the sign surface.
So there you have it, more information than you ever thought was possible about this modest but useful household item. One last piece of advice: the majority of situations in which adhesive tape is needed arrive at unexpected times – a symptom of tape being such a useful quick fix in emergencies. So, if you really want to get the edge and be prepared in unexpected situations why not stock up on your adhesive tapes now, before the emergency occurs? You will be thanking yourself in the future!