Adhesive Properties

Tape adhesive properties

Tape manufacturers generally use three different types of adhesives on tapes.  Of course, there are variations within each category, but there are some very general guidelines that can help you choose the best tape for your application.  The following is an overview of those general guidelines.

General information

Tape adhesive microscopic levelMost of the tapes that Viadon carries utilize a "pressure sensitive adhesive" system, or PSA.  This adhesive system is designed to require pressure to activate the adhesive that will, quite literally, "flow" over time into the microscopic crevices of the substate material (i.e., the surface to which the tape is applied).  This is called "wetting out," though it does not actually refer to the adhesive being wet or even any liquid being involved -  it is the process of the adhesive flowing into microscopic crevices, along with removing air bubbles.  This is why applying pressure is so important for pressure sensitive adhesives.  

Most tape manufacturers recommend a minimum of 24 hours for best adhesion and up to 7 days for maximum adhesion (though the 24 hours timeframe is usually sufficient for most applications). 

PSA's are of benefit in situations such as anodizing and/or plating, where a substrate is immersed in fluid for a metal finishing process.  The additional time allowed for the adhesive to flow into microscopic features of the substrate creates a sharp cut off line for the anodizing / plating process.  The additional time may require an overnight wait for full adhesion to occur (anodizers in particular), but can avoid costly rework and get the job done right the first time. 

Above all, the key is very often one important point if maximum adhesion is needed: When applying the tape, PUSH DOWN, hard.

Rubber-based adhesive

Tapes with a rubber-based adhesive are often lower-cost tapes.  This is usually a less-expensive type of adhesive to manufacture.  It has good initial adhesion properties, but doesn't necessarily last for long-term applications.  It will withstand temperatures up to 180F, meaning that for most ambient or low temperature situations, it is an excellent choice.  The low cost of the adhesive and substrates it is applied to means these tapes are often the best value for short-term tape applications where a long-term bond is not required.

Examples of Viadon rubber-based adhesive tapes: VIGC Industrial Grade Tape, PVC6 Vinyl Tape

Acrylic-based adhesive

Acrylic adhesives are a step up from rubber-based ones.  Acrylic adhesives can be made with a wide variety of adhesion properties, from low-adhesion / barely tacky to very aggressive adhesives that bond permanently to surfaces.  The temperature range of acrylic adhesive tapes is much larger too, often allowing for tapes that withstand 250F to 350F on the high side, to 0F - and sometimes lower - on the low end.  Also, initial adhesion is quite good even at low temperatures, making acrylic adhesives ideal for low temp situations. 

Examples of Viadon acrylic-based adhesive tapes: AF805 Aluminum Foil Tape, LF420 Lead Foil Tape

Silicone-based adhesive

Silicone adhesives are often the most expensive, but they have some of the best properties for high-performance applications.  Able to withstand temperatures up to 500F, silicone adhesives are often applied to carriers like polyester, glass cloth, kapton and aluminum foils for applications where higher temperature demands are required.  On the flip side, silicone can also be used in very low tempertures, down to 100F.  It is also the only adhesive that will stick to silicone or siliconized products (such as release liners).  It's chemical resistance is generally excellent, though like any material, always be sure to test a sample for a given application first.

Examples of Viadon silicone-based adhesive tape: VGT215 Green Polyester Tape, GCT Glass Cloth Tape