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March 27, 2017

According to a technical definition, pressure sensitive adhesive tapes are strips of tacky material that activate when they’re pressed against a surface. The backing strip is fabricated from plastic, paper, metal, or some other flexible material. The sticky substrate covering the internal surface of this “tape” is a pressure-activated bonding agent. What else is there to say?

About Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes 

A sticky chemical plays the role of the tacky bonding substrate. It adheres to create an impressive bond, an anchoring force that refuses to be broken. Curiously, unlike other sticky substances, it’s not water or heat that triggers the fastening action. No, this roll of tacky film uses pressure as an activation mechanism. The sticky stuff simply fastens in place when the tape is pressed down. Granted, the substrate is formulated to deliver impressive chemical anchoring power, but it’s the backing tape that reinforces this action. That tape is flexible, so it can be wrapped around a surface several times to create a robust bond.

Types of Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes 

Plastic films are traditionally employed as the tape. Alternatively, a flexible metal variant is available. This tape material is commonly used in heated applications, places where extremely hot pipes require a chemical fastening aid. There are also fabric-reinforced rolls of tape, material variants that resist high temperatures and moisture. As for the chemical formulations coating the internal surface area of the tape, there are several chemical bases that persevere here, including age-resistant acrylics and synthetic rubbers.

Presenting Tackifier Resins 

Many of the rubbers we’re referencing are known to be pliable. That’s just a natural feature found in both natural and synthetic rubber. Tackiness, meanwhile, is not a typical property contained in polymer technology. In order to solve this tack-less issue, special tackifier chemicals are added to the PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) substrate. These intentionally sticky compounds then imbue the substrate with “grab,” an initial bonding characteristic that increases when pressure is applied.

The benefits expressed by this tape family are many. Primarily, everything that’s required to create a fast and reliable seal is right there on the roll. The tape sticks permanently or semi-permanently (depending on the substrate formula). No solvents, hardeners, heat or curing agents are required, just pressure. Effectively, the tape adheres as it’s pressed against a surface. Acrylic substrates are already imbued with this sticky property, but an embedded tackifier is required to make rubber and silicone PSA tapes contact-sticky.

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