The Ultimate Guide to Double-Sided Tape
Double sided tape that will help the construction industry save time and maximise strength. We have created this quick reference guide for construction professionals.
Double-Sided Tape — Some quick wins to put into practice today:
Know which tape to use — It will work only if you choose the right kind of tape. You will save time in the long run if you consider variables such as the texture of the surfaces to be taped, temperature fluctuations, moisture exposure and length of time needed for hold. Another consideration is whether you will need to cleanly remove the tape. The best quality tape will work only if it is the right tape for your project.
Divide the load — When fasteners such as screws or nails are used to attach surfaces, the stress is carried by very small points. An important advantage to double-sided tape is its ability to divide the stress over the entire surface. This load division creates a sound structure without the vulnerability of small stress points. The tape is also much easier to use than fasteners, making double-sided tape an efficient tool for construction projects.
Surface texture — The best double-sided tape for the job depends in part on the texture of the surfaces you are bonding. For materials with irregular or rough textures, such as concrete or wood, a tape with a foam carrier layer and thick adhesive is the optimal choice. A thinner tape with a cloth or paper carrier layer will hold glass, PVC and other smooth surfaces.
Field conditions — Heat, cold, temperature variability, moisture and dirt can affect the performance of double-sided tape. A variety of jobs, including house wraps and vapour barriers, can expose the tape to extreme heat, sub-freezing cold, rain and snow. In colder temperatures or wet or dirty conditions, the tape’s adhesive layers tend to be less tacky. Frequent temperature changes can also affect tape performance. Weather-resistant tape is a must in these situations. Acrylic foam tape withstands sunlight and temperature extremes particularly well.
Length of time — Many jobs, such as insulation or floor underlay, require double-sided tape that will create a permanent bond. Some surfaces, such as a red carpet at a special event, need only a temporary bond. Double-sided fabric tape provides a medium strength bond that will hold for the duration of an event but allow a clean removal.
Overlap seams — The purpose of a floor underlay, house wrap or vapour barrier is to keep moisture away from a building’s inner structure. A drawback to single-sided tape is that water can seep behind the tape and cause structural damage or mould growth. Double-sided tape is the best choice because the tape seams can overlap to create a better seal against water seepage.
Make a building quieter — In today’s hectic environments, people value quiet spaces. Noise reduction can create a more comfortable workplace or relaxing home. Manufacturers sometimes create a sound barrier by attaching a foam layer with double-sided tape to wall panels and floor underlay. The double-sided tape itself creates a flat, airtight seal that helps reduce noise in a building.
Attach insulation — Double-sided tape creates a strong, durable bond for attaching insulation board. Acrylic foam tape provides a weather-resistant bond that will help the insulation maintain the proper temperature.
Remove tape adhesive with care — Whether it’s rubber or acrylic, the adhesive layer of double-sided tape can be difficult to remove. Proper removal depends on the surface material; always test a small area first. Soapy water will remove adhesive from smooth surfaces such as acrylic, marble and linoleum. For concrete, granite and other stone surfaces, apply a paste made from laundry detergent, baking soda and water. Brush off the paste after it dries. To remove residue from most walls or floors, gently scrape with a putty knife while applying heat with a hairdryer or heat gun. Rubbing alcohol will dissolve adhesive, but can damage painted surfaces.
Quick and clean installation — Double-sided tape provides a quick and clean way to attach floor underlay, house wrap and other construction components. The tape allows two surfaces to stick flat with no globs to clean up and no fumes to worry about. Even if there is a labour shortage, the work can be done without specialised training.
Temporary mounting before permanent attachment — You can make arranging light switches and other items much easier by temporarily attaching them with double-sided tape. Paper tape is a good choice for attaching items on a trial basis before permanently attaching them.
Double-Sided Tape Glossary
Adhesive — The sticky, tacky material that creates the bond between the tape and a surface. Rubber and acrylic are common adhesives on double-sided tape. Different adhesives bond best with certain surface materials; it is important to know the texture and material of the surface to be taped.
Carrier layer — The layer of tape material between the two layers of adhesive. Carrier layers for double-sided tape can be made of a variety of materials, including foam, cotton fabric or paper. Certain carrier layers provide the best bonds for certain types of surfaces. Irregular or textured surfaces particularly need tape with a flexible carrier layer such as cloth.
Liner — A covering that prevents unwanted materials from adhering to the tape. Usually coated with silicone, the liner keeps the tape in clean, usable condition during shipping and handling. The tack and bond strength of the tape are preserved when a liner protects the adhesive layers.
Tack — The bond that occurs at first contact with an adhesive. When a strong bond occurs right away with very little pressure, the adhesive has high tack. If a bond requires more pressure and more time, the adhesive has a low tack.
Adhesion — The physical bond between two materials, such as between tape and a surface to be bonded. Adhesion strength determines the long term durability of the bond between two surfaces.
Surface energy — The strength with which a surface material attracts or repels another surface material. High surface energy promotes a strong bond and is found in many smooth surfaces such as glass and bare metal. Some plastics have low surface energy and need a high-tack adhesive to form a bond. Silicone has a very low surface energy that does not bond easily and generally requires silicone adhesive.
Foam tape — Consists of a thick foam carrier layer, usually coated with acrylic adhesive. Foam tape is generally used for mounting, sound reduction and heat reduction. Usually available in a range of thicknesses, foam tape is a good choice for distributing a heavy load. Its flexibility helps it bond uneven surfaces. Acrylic adhesive coating adds to the durability and weather resistance of this type of double-sided tape.
Cloth tape — A flexible tape with a carrier layer that is usually made of cotton, this tape often has a heavy adhesive coating. Its flexibility makes cloth tape a useful adhesive for bonding uneven surfaces such as wood or stucco. It is also a frequent choice for temporary carpet installation at special events.
Paper tape — Thin, flexible and tearable by hand, paper tape has a rubber adhesive coating on both sides of the carrier layer. Suitable for temporary adhesive needs, its flexibility makes it a good choice for irregular surfaces.