PSTC President Michel Merkx
The Construction Specifier, January 2018
Pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape technologies have properties that can insulate a building from environmental events such as precipitation, vapor ingress, extreme cold and heat, and external noise. While there may be a temptation to use putties and caulks instead of PSA tapes for insulation purposes, those materials are typically employed as fillers meant to span gaps—they do not provide an air or water barrier. Liquid sealants and mechanical fasteners are often utilized on exposed building surfaces, but PSA tapes can be used as an effective alternative or complementary barrier throughout a building by sealing areas like windows and doors that may be vulnerable to outside environmental fluctuations.
Tape, which is generally thought of as a product binding things together, is actually multifaceted and versatile with usage going beyond its more understood ‘stickiness.’ In other words, tapes are sticky, but are also developed to comprise properties made for specific applications, including barrier and insulation. Various PSA tape backings (e.g. aluminum and multilayer films) can create a vapor barrier to protect the insulation. By using a Class-1 vapor barrier with very low permeability as a backing material, one can extend the life of the insulation system. Read more.