Double-sided tape has many applications, whether you want to adhere trim to a vehicle, mount a mirror to a wall, or even temporarily hold carpet tiles in place.
Double-sided tape will do the job quickly, efficiently and without a mess! The key benefits of using Double-sided tape against adhesive ware are that it is often much quicker to apply, from application to use. It’s also usually more economical and simpler to use for those less experienced and be sure you will have less mess.
Another factor to remember when comparing double-sided tape to mechanical fixings is that double-sided tape is not visible, so it’s aesthetically appealing compared to fasteners, and it doesn’t damage the material, which can cause corrosion and other side effects. Also, with materials such as plastic, ceramics, and glass, mechanical fixings are not possible, and Double-sided tape becomes the only natural alternative.
These are some of the many industries you can use double-sided tapes in:
- automotive industry
- appliances industry
- building and Construction industry
- electronics industry
- paper, sign & print industry
Materials double-sided tape is often used with are: aluminium composite panels, metals, plastics, ceramics, timber, concrete, masonry, MDF, leather, paper, cardboard, textiles, fabric, rubber, foam materials, brick, elastomeric materials, and films.
Due to the many different applications, purposes and desired outcomes, there is a considerable variety of double-sided tapes. Next comes the question of how I choose the correct tape. When selecting a double-sided tape, you need to consider the peel strength, tensile strength, elongation, temperature resistance, and dielectric strength.
Every double-sided tape is designed slightly differently to give you the best outcome. All Adhesive tapes have multiple layers that serve a purpose. The adhesive layer can be applied to either side or both sides of a carrier or may not even have a carrier but be pure adhesive. The typical double-sided tape consists of 3 main components, the carrier, the adhesive, and the liner.
This image exemplifies it in more detail:
- The liner is usually coated in silicone.
- The adhesive on the outside of the carrier
- A primer, so the glue adheres to the carrier
- The carrier
- A primer, so the glue adheres to the carrier
- The adhesive on the inside, which is exposed as you remove it from the roll
The liner is what covers the adhesive and stops exposure to the adhesive while in storage. This liner can be made from several different materials. It is primarily a thin plastic or paper lined with silicone to make it easy to remove. There are many options depending on the application.
The carrier is a vital part of any double-sided tape. For instance, a thicker and more pliable carrier will be required for textured and uneven surfaces so you can ride the ridges without putting additional tension on the adhesive. Thinner carriers are necessary where you need them to be discrete, bearing in mind that the holding power will only be as great if there is the same flexibility. The carrier’s colour will also come into play if you need transparent or if it’s a coloured application required. Some carrier materials include cloth, foam, paper, plastic, rubber, silicone, and urethane.
If there is no carrier, this is usually called a transfer tape. Applications that require a certain amount of flexibility and stretch traditionally use this type of tape.
When deciding on the adhesive, you need to understand the application. What temperature resistance does it need? How quickly does it need to hold? Is it a permanent application? Is it a provisional application? Is it an Indoor application, or is it an outdoor application? What are the load-bearing requirements for the double-sided tape?
There is a large variety of adhesives available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation:
Pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA) are permanently tacky at room temperature in dry, solvent-free form. They adhere firmly with light pressure to various dissimilar surfaces upon contact. PSAs do not require water, solvent, or heat activation to exert a strong adhesive force on materials such as paper, plastic, wood, and metal. PSAs have a sufficiently cohesive hold and elastic nature so that despite their aggressive tackiness, they can be manipulated and removed from smooth surfaces without leaving a residue.
Acrylic adhesives create a permanent adhesion. Acrylic adhesives are generally made by mixing two or more components that react chemically to form a cross-linked adhesive. They provide excellent resistance to environmental exposure and faster curing time than other resin systems. Acrylic adhesives typically have a very high cohesive strength; this allows them to withstand many different solvents and chemicals. This type of adhesive cannot be used at temperatures above 145 degrees Celsius.
Rubber-based adhesives provide highly flexible adhesion and are usually based on butadiene-styrene, butyl, or nitrile compounds. Rubber adhesives are inexpensive, offer high initial bonds, and are adequate for short-term, non-critical applications, such as indoors. Rubber has a minimal chemical, temperature, and UV light resistance.
Hot melt becomes tacky or sticky when put under heat. The adhesive may soften but not necessarily melt and is applied as a liquid or high-viscosity paste. Hot melt adhesives are available as fast set, delayed set, and pressure-sensitive types. The types of adhesive can be repeatably softened and melted by heat and hardened or formed by cooling. They are available at various levels of stickiness.
Silicone adhesives and sealants have a high degree of flexibility and high-temperature resistance. The adhesives have an inorganic backbone and organic side groups specially formulated for premium performance. They form bonds with silicone-coated and other LSE surfaces and can remove cleanly from some substrates.
Some of the recognised double-sided tape names and combinations are as follows:
Tissue tape is a commonly used double-sided tape with coated tissue paper. Used a lot in stationary, printing, art and craft, and other general applications. They are very convenient to use as you can rip them to size and are thin enough to adhere to irregular surfaces. They are also highly affordable, making them the perfect solution for light bonding tasks.
Acrylic tape is the tape often recommended for Industrial applications because of its durable characteristics. They adhere to a range of surfaces much better than tissue tapes and can resist harsh weather conditions, making them perfect for indoors and outdoors. This being said, they should only be used when a permanent bond is required.
Polyethylene foam tape
Double-sided polyethylene foam tapes have characteristics that separate them apart from tissue and acrylic double-sided tape. Because they are made from Polyethelene foam, they have a thick cushioning which allows them to handle impact, dampen the sound produced from fibration, conform to irregular surfaces and provide insulation. You can often buy them in different shapes or even get them die-cut to suit the form you need. There are also indoor and outdoor variations available.
Transfer tape is a tape that has no carrier and is perfect when you need flexibility. For instance, they are often used for hemming banners, a flexible material.
Polyester tape is generally a reference to the carrier. It has a thin layer of polyester that isn’t tearable, unlike tissue tape so you can create a robust and cohesive bond. Often used when bonding two materials that need a thin join but don’t need the same strength that acrylic tape will give you.