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A Comprehensive Guide to Industrial Tapes and Most Common Applications

roll of plastic packaging film

Trying to choose the best industrial tapes for your applications?

Tapes are used widely in packaging, but also in many other industries and trades. They’re manufactured in different materials, sizes, and grades. Some tapes are strongly adhesive, others are suited to applications with extremes of temperature.

With so many kinds of tape available, it can be challenging to find the best solutions.

At Gateway Packaging, we offer a wide range of industrial and packaging tapes, for manual use, and for machines. When choosing the best tape, start by considering your needs for your applications.

Applications of Industrial tapes: packaging, protection, and more.

Common applications include:

  • Tapes with plastic, paper, and other types of backing are used by companies in many industries for sealing and wrapping products and pallets, and are available with adhesives of varying grades and strengths. These tapes may be printed with instructions, such as “fragile”.
  • Insulation: electrical and thermal.
  • Sealing against moisture. Often these are permanent seals, as required in the construction industry.
  • Enduring protection. Industrial tapes may be used to avoid friction on delicate surfaces, and guard against corrosion.

With seemingly unlimited applications, let’s look at the the two main groupings of adhesive industrial tapes you’ll find: single-sided, and double-sided.

Two groups of industrial tapes: single-sided and double-sided

Single-sided industrial tapes have their adhesive on one side of their backing material. These are the most common kinds of tapes for general purposes. You’ll find them everywhere in homes and industries.

General Purpose Tape

They can be specialized for heavy duty applications, and are tough. For example, filament tapes, with embedded strands of fibreglass, are extremely strong and durable.

Double-sided industrial tapes have an adhesive coating on each side of the tape. They’re used to bond materials together. For example: our Double Sided Cloth Tape is hand-tearable, and is often used for printing and carpet laying.

Single sided and double sided industrial tapes can be differentiated by their backing (carrying) materials, as well as by the adhesive used.

Single-sided and double-sided tapes can be separated further into how they’re applied. They may be:

  • Pressure sensitive. These tapes are tacky. When they’re pressed against a surface, they adhere strongly, and are used in a wide range of applications. They adhere to paper, glass, wood, and metal, but aren’t suitable for high-heat situations: the backing material may stretch or melt.
  • Heat-activated. Easy to handle because they’re non-tacky, the adhesive on these tapes requires heat to perform. They’re used to bond materials such as plastics and rubber, and are available with several kinds of backing materials.
  • Water-activated. Budget-friendly, the adhesive on these tapes has a backing of Kraft paper. To adhere, these tapes need moisture.
  • Self-adhering When you apply pressure to these tapes, they adhere to similar materials, and are often used for leak-proof bonding.

Let’s look at popular backing materials for industrial tapes.

Backing materials used in adhesive tapes, and their applications

Backing material (also called the carrier material), comes in many forms, such as the plastics: polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PET). Backings can also be of cloth, paper, and foam.

PET tapes are popular in many industries because they’re easy to remove, and won’t leave a residue of adhesive.

Cloth and fabric industrial tapes can be light or heavy-duty tapes. Since cloth tapes are strong, they may be used on heavy products.

Paper tapes are used on lighter products and packages.

Paper-backed tapes may be used for masking, as painter’s tape. These tapes are tearable, and easy to use. Not only do they stretch, some forms are heat and moisture resistant.

Foam-backed tapes are resilient, and bond strongly when used on rough or irregular surfaces. They’re popular in many industries for sealing, insulation, and dampening sound. They can withstand high-heat situations, and are used in the automotive industry to seal car windows and doors.

Our Double Sided Foam Tape has an acrylic backing, with a high-tack adhesive. It’s often used for signage, as well as for adhering bathroom fittings.

Adhesives used in industrial tapes: rubber, synthetics and more

Many different adhesives are used in industrial tapes.

They include:

  • Rubber and synthetic rubber. Tapes with these kinds of adhesives can be used on many surfaces, stick almost instantly, and are budget-friendly.
  • Acrylic. These tapes are tacky, and stable in temperature extremes. They’re UV resistant, and are often used for products and boxes which will be refrigerated.
  • Silicon. Industrial tapes with a silicon adhesive are popular in the medical industry, as well as in the electric industries. Not only are they well suited for situations with extremes of temperature, they’re also flexible, and long-lasting.

Get advice for your needs in industrial tapes

At Gateway Packaging, we’re happy to advise you on the best industrial tapes for your needs. Contact us today.