Technical Information

PRESSURE SENSITIVE TAPE

Pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape can be defined as a continuous flexible strip (usually in a roll form) of cloth, paper, metal, plastic or foam that is coated on one or both sides with a permanently tacky adhesive that at room temperature with light finger pressure will adhere to a variety of surfaces with no phase change (liquid to solid).

PSAs can be blends of natural or synthetic rubber and resin; acrylic, silicone or other polymer systems that may or may not include additives.

SINGLE-COATED PSA TAPE

For single-coated pressure sensitive adhesive tapes an adhesive is applied to only one side of the backing. The backing composition may be paper, polymeric film (such as polyester, polypropylene, etc.), foil, non-woven or high- thread-count-woven cloth. The adhesive composition may be acrylic, rubber or silicone.

Examples of single-coated tapes are electrical, masking, carton sealing and medical.

Backing
Paper, polymeric film (such as polyester, polypropylene, etc.), foil, non-woven or high- thread-count-woven cloth.

Adhesive
Acrylic, rubber or silicone.

The construction of single-coated tapes typically have a backing that is 1 to10 mils thick (25 to 250 microns), and an adhesive thickness of 2 mils to 5 mils (50 to 125 microns). The tape may be self-wound (usually with a release coating on the back of the film) or lined with a paper or film-release liner. 

DOUBLE-COATED PSA TAPE

Double-coated pressure sensitive adhesive tapes have an adhesive applied to both sides of a backing. The release liners are commonly paper and coated on both sides with silicone release agents that create a differential release. 

The pressure sensitive adhesive is coated on both sides of the carrier, which is typically a polymeric film such as 0.5 mil polyester. The adhesive on each side of the carrier may be the same or different chemistries, and it may have the same or different coating thicknesses.

Examples of double-coated tapes include mounting, medical and membrane switch.

Release Liner
Commonly paper and coated on both sides with silicone agents that create a differential release.

Carrier
Coated on both sides. Material is typically a polymeric film, such as 0.5 mil (12.7 microns) polyester.

Adhesives
May be the same or different chemistries on each side of the carrier, and may have the same or different coating thicknesses.

Double-coated PSA tapes usually have an adhesive thickness that is 2 to 5 mils (50 to 125 microns). They are normally coated on each side of a polymeric film or nonwoven cloth and lined with a silicone (typical) differential release liner. 

REINFORCED PSA TAPE

In addition to the backing and adhesive, reinforced pressure sensitive tapes include a reinforcement layer of woven or knitted cloth or glass strands that are parallel to the machine direction. Typical backings include polymeric films such as polyethylene and polyester. Rubber-based adhesives are the most common, but others can also be used effectively.

Examples of reinforced tapes are duct and filament.

Backing
Includes polymeric films such as polyethylene and polyester. Tie layer or adhesive layer anchors reinforcement to backing.

Reinforcement
Materials are woven and knitted cloths or strands of fiberglass oriented in the machine direction.

Adhesive
Rubber-based adhesives are the most common, but others can also be used effectively.

Reinforced tape construction normally includes:

  • A backing layer that is 1 to 5 mils in thickness (25 to 125 microns)
  • A reinforcement layer of woven or knitted cloth with a threat count of 8 x 15 to 30 x 50
  • Or, glass strands with a thread count of 15 to 50 that are parallel to the machine direction
  • An adhesive thickness that ranges from 2 to 10 mils (50 to 250 microns)


UNSUPPORTED PSA TAPE

Unsupported pressure sensitive tapes (adhesive transfer tapes) consist of release liners and adhesives. The release liners are commonly paper and coated on both sides with silicone release agents that create a differential release. Acrylic adhesives are commonly used in this application.

These are perhaps the most useful and versatile tapes because they can be used to band two surfaces directly, or they can be laminated to other films and forms by convertors and fabricators.

Examples of unsupported tapes are envelope sealing, graphic attachment and splicing.

Release Liner
Commonly paper and coated on both sides with silicone release agents that create a differential release.

Adhesive
Acrylic adhesives are commonly used.

Unsupported pressure sensitive adhesive tape construction usually has an adhesive thickness that ranges from 2 to 5 mils (50 to 125 microns) and a differential release liner.

Transportation

The list of potential uses for PSA tapes in transportation is a mile long. See how tape is used in this dynamic industry.
View video here.
 


 

Design

Because of their viscoelasticity, PSA tapes may allow you to avoid design constraints presented by traditional metal fasteners.
View video here.
 


 

Strength

There are several standardized tests that measure the strength of PSA tapes. This video shows how tape strength is determined.
View video here.
 


 

Construction

The list of potential uses for PSA tapes in construction is virtually endless. Find out how tape is used for construction applications.
View video here.