What is an adhesive tape?

Today we are going to talk about tape! Did you know that there are several types of adhesives? Rubber, acrylic, silicone, synthetic, etc. What are the properties of each? How long do they last? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Let’s find out today.

The different types of adhesives

First of all, you should know that adhesive tapes are called PSA (…) that is, they are pressure sensitive adhesives. In fact, all adhesive tapes require the application of pressure to properly adhere to materials.

  • Rubber Adhesive: This adhesive has the advantage of strong initial tack+pressure, which allows it to bond a wide variety of substrates including low surface energy plastics. However, the durability of rubber is limited over time as is its mechanical performance. These limitations vary with the formulation. Tapes with rubber adhesives are best suited for indoor or short-term applications.
  • Acrylic adhesive: This adhesive offers variable initial adhesion depending on the formulation of the product. Soft” acrylic adhesives are used primarily for bonding low surface energy materials, while “firm” adhesives are used for bonding high surface energy materials requiring good mechanical strength with good shear resistance. Acrylic adhesives generally develop a high final adhesion. They have good resistance to solvents and moisture, as well as to ultraviolet light. They are generally recommended for applications that are intended to be durable or for outdoor applications.
  • Silicone Adhesive: This adhesive is primarily used for bonding silicone materials and for applications requiring very good resistance to high temperatures. To learn more about silicone adhesives, please read the article written by ELKEM, a company specialized in silicones : Elkem is now one of the largest silicone manufacturers in the world, with research and development laboratories, production facilities and sales offices located in Europe, North and South America and Asia.

How do you choose your adhesive tape?

In order to choose the right adhesive tape, you need to consider several criteria, namely: electrical insulation, corrosion protection, UV protection, dustproof, adhesion to non-stick surface, possible scratch protection etc. You have to choose between a soft adhesive or a firm adhesive. A soft adhesive is one that has a high instantaneous adhesion. A “firm” adhesive is one that has a lower initial adhesion. You may also want to consider your needs: what surface are you planning to apply your adhesive to? Is your surface smooth or textured? What is the ambient temperature? Do you have an indoor or outdoor application requirement? You also have to consider the price and the solvent resistance (e.g. acetone).  In any case, do not hesitate to contact professionals to make the right choice.

We hope our article has given you an overview of what tape is. Feel free to supplement your research with other internet sources. In particular, some Youtube videos can help you better understand the information mentioned here.  Thank you for reading.


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