A brief overview of adhesive tapes


Dr. Horace Day, a surgeon was the first one to develop a key component of some adhesive tapes called Pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) in 1945.

In 1901, an adhesive patch called Leukoplast for the German company Beiersdorf AG was invented by a German Oscar Troplowitz. In 1936, Beiersdorf AG invented a transparent adhesive patch known as Tesa.

 Properties of adhesive tapes:

Adhesive tapes are composed of carriers, pressure-sensitive adhesives(PSAs) and separators. These can be roughly divided into two categories: double-coated and single-coated. Various functional adhesive tape is usually developed by selecting constituent materials successfully.

The sticking mechanism between adhesive tapes and objects is ‘intermolecular force’. It is an electrical interaction occurring when two molecules come into close connection with each other. Generally, two objects don’t stick together however close they are. The reason is the surfaces of objects are rough at the nano level and molecules cannot approach each other until the intermolecular force works. For filling the unevenness of both object’s surface and allowing them to stick together, we can use “PSAs”. The fluidity of PSAs fills the object’s surface unevenness, resulting in the intermolecular force that sticks objects together.

Applying adhesive tapes in place of mechanical fasteners enables us to use lower temperature applications, which can simplify the manufacturing processes.

Classification of adhesive tapes:

The adhesive tapes can be classified into several types which are as follows.

Pressure-sensitive tape:

PSA tape or the sticky tape consists of a pressure-sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film or metal foil. It is sticky without any heat or solvent for activation and joins with light pressure. These tapes usually require a release agent on their backing to cover the adhesive. Sometimes, the term “adhesive tape” is used for these tapes. Many pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes exhibit transparency, observable in a dark room when peeled off a dispenser roll or other surface.

Water-activated tape: 

Water-activated tape or gummed tape is starch or animal glue-based adhesive. A certain type of gummed tape is called RGT (reinforced gummed tape). The backing of this reinforced tape consists of two layers of paper with a cross-pattern of fiberglass filaments laminated between. The laminating adhesive now is more commonly a hot-melt atactic polypropylene. Standard Specification for Reinforced and Plain gummed Tape are usually meant for Sealing and Securing. This is mostly used for closing and sealing boxes. Before closing fiberboard boxes, the tape is activated by water. The tape is mostly 3 inches wide.

 Heat sensitive tape: 

The heat-activated tape is usually not sticky until it is activated by a heat source. It is sometimes used in packaging. A tear strip tape for cigarette packs is the best example for the same. Also, thermal release tape, such as Revalpha by NITTO DENKO, loses its stickiness and completely releases when heated to a certain temperature. This type of tape is often used in the semiconductor industry.

Drywall tape:

Drywall tape is sometimes available with a gummed or pressure-sensitive adhesive. This is used to make the joints between sheets of drywall materials.

 Thus, from the above-mentioned types choose the best adhesive tape to obtain the best results.