Considerations when choosing double-sided adhesive tapes

With so many choices in the marketplace making so many promises, choosing what type of double sided adhesive tape to use in your business can become overwhelming. However, using the right tape for the right job can provide both you and your customers with multiple benefits that will help to maximise productivity and profitability.

By-lined to Chris Holmes, Category Manager, Spandex UK

Most customers use tape, double-sided adhesive tape or single sided. But, some are not always using the correct tape for the specific application. This can lead to issues such as a sub-standard application, which, if repeated too often has the potential to impact on your reputation as well as the profitability of your business, if you have to go back and print and apply the job again. So, how do customers know what tape to buy to create the best result for the right job?

There are four groups of key factors customers should take into consideration when purchasing double-sided adhesive tape: surface, application, load and environment.

Surface
Understanding the nature of the bonding surface is vital to identifying the correct adhesive tape to use. There are two types of double-sided tape, one with a ‘carrier’ and one without. Carriers such as polyester, PVC, polyurethane foam and acrylic foam are used to add structure to the tape making it more user friendly and easier to handle as well as add resistance to different stresses and harmful elements. Whereas adhesive tapes without a carrier are more flexible and suitable for applications where a structure is not required.

There is also a need to identify the complexity of the surface as this will determine the type of carrier and adhesive required. For example, thicker tapes are needed for more complex rough and uneven surfaces, whereas thinner tapes are ideal for flat and even surfaces. So, choosing a ‘carrier’ or ‘no carrier’ is entirely dependent on a customer’s end application.

Load
Load refers to the stress that the tape will have to endure when in-situ. For instance, an adhesive that bonds well to a very specific surface is not necessarily suited to deal with heavy weight, friction and movement. Knowing what weight is involved from the outset will help customers select an appropriate tape and will ensure that the end product will stay exactly where it is supposed to.

If customers have an application where friction and movement is unavoidable such as vibrating machinery then polyethylene foam and acrylic foam carriers help absorb this friction and movement. This extra level of absorption helps to reduce vibrations and ‘noise’ preventing the application from shaking and coming loose.

Environment
Will the tape be used on in internal or external environment? Will it be exposed to high temperatures? Being aware of the kind of environment the tape will operate in is key as there are many potentially damaging factors that could affect the tape while in use.

For instance, some tapes and adhesives are not built for external use and may break down over time, causing a less than perfect end-result and cut short to the longevity of the banner, poster or sign. When choosing a tape for use in external applications customers should also be mindful of harmful environmental factors such as UV exposure, moisture, chemicals and oils. Certain adhesives will offer protection against these potentially damaging factors and will ensure the tapes perform and last their expected lifespan.

Application
Once the correct tape has been selected, it is essential for sign makers to ensure the tape is applied correctly. Adhesive tapes are designed for a wide range of applications including: banner seaming and hemming, panel mounting, POS displays, external signage, automotive trims, posters and illuminated displays. Looking at factors such as surface, load and environment will help customers determine the right tape for any application. Once the correct tape has been chosen, it is then essential for the tape to be applied properly to achieve the best result. Therefore, when sign makers apply the tape they need to ensure the bonding surface is in good condition checking that the surface material is clean, dry and free from oils and contaminants.

Choosing the right tape for you
Double-sided adhesive tapes are often an afterthought in the sales process, once the signage material of system has already been purchased. This can sometimes lead to the wrong tape being selected, which could be due to time or cost savings. However, earlier consideration in the purchasing process could prevent issues arising further down the line meaning sign makers can budget correctly accounting for every aspect of the installation. Being armed with the correct information and knowledge from the outset will help maximise productivity and will provide the best result for customers. And, hopefully one that will keep them coming back.

At Spandex we have over 20 different types of double-sided adhesive tapes and our philosophy has always been to offer our customers the best service and products for their specific needs. If you’d like to explore our range of double-sided adhesive tape in more detail then request our guide on line via www.spandex.com