The tape is one of the handiest items for manufacturers, builders, hardware workers, artists and artisans, students, and domestic workers. Although it is a ubiquitous and basic item, many people lack information on its optimal use.

The first ever tape to be invented was a surgical tape, in 1845. Next came the band-aid in 1925 which was simply a veil attached to a cloth-backed tape. Today, we have many different varieties of tapes available. These varieties include box tape, scotch tape, clear tape, carton sealing tape, brown packing tape and poly tape. Each of these tapes is specifically designed for a certain type of application. From fixing pipes to wrapping gifts, these tapes have got you covered.

In this piece below we have answered some commonly asked tape related questions. This information will also help you choose the right tape for your project and use it optimally.

Common Tape Related Questions

How is tape made?

The manufacturing of tape requires about 30 different raw materials. It starts with a mixture of acids and alcohols. Crude oil is used to build certain raw materials. These raw materials are taken in specific proportions and dissolved in water. The resulting product is polymerized to produce an adhesive.

The tapes that have cellulose backing have a slightly different manufacturing process. It is made using wood pulp or cotton linters. The cellulose fibers from the wood or cotton are broken down into monomers. After the formation of monomer, a plasticizer is added which forms a sheet on both sides. Lastly, finishing treatment is given to produce a matte finish. The finished product is coated with adhesives.

The final product coated with adhesives is packed into jumbo-sized rolls. The jumbo roll is divided into smaller sized rolls for commercial and retail purpose.

What are the different types of adhesive tapes?

Commonly, there are six different types of adhesive tape. Find more about the taps below:

Aluminum metal tape:

Mostly used in the electrical industry. This tape is resistant to high temperatures and is used for thermal conduction. Known for retaining their adhesive nature even at high temperatures.

Masking tape:

Has a thin thickness and is very easy to tear. Mainly used for packing cartons. Some artists also use it for spray maintaining to cover the areas that have to be protected by the paint. Its texture is similar to that of paper and can be easily written on. Therefore, students also use it in the lab for labeling their samples.

Double-sided tape:

Different from other tapes as it has an adhesive coating on both sides. This tape is made from cellulose fibers and usually finds its use in domestic chores such as attaching a hanging to a wall.

Duct tape:

A relatively strong type of adhesive tape. Duct tape was mainly invented for sealing duct seams. However, they have found a wide range of uses in our everyday tasks. Duct tapes can be used for fastening wires and threads. They are also heavily used in craftwork.

Electrical tape:

Used for insulating electrical wires at home and offices. They can also easily repair cuts and damages on electrical wires. Electrical tapes are made from vinyl or plastic and therefore are elastic in nature. They come in a variety of colors.

Cellophane tape:

The most common type of tape in households. Used for wrapping sheets and gifts, sealing boxes and sticking little items on walls.

What are medical tapes and how they are different from adhesive tapes?

Medical tapes are used in first aid kits and in medical setups. They have certain characters that make them more useful for medical purpose. Some important features of medical tapes that we usually do not find in adhesive tapes are:

  • Waterproof in nature
  • Binds to skin
  • Does not adhere to the hair
  • Easy to tear and flexible in nature
  • Breathable
  • Does not leave residue on the skin

Is there any standard size of a tape roll?

The tapes come in small and large sized rolls. The small rolls are 19mm X 33m whereas, the large sized rolls are 19mm X 75m.  On the other hand, packaging tape is 50mm X 66m.

Which type of tape is ideal for packing purpose?

Brown packing tape is ideal for packing purposes. This tape is usually light colored or sometimes even clear. It is used for sealing packages for shipping. Brown packing tape is of high strength and durability; it can not only seal cardboard boxes but also bottle caps, containers, and food packages. It is easy to tear with a sharp object but is durable enough to keep the enclosure in one piece.

Which type of tape is ideal for outdoor use?

For outdoor use, tapes that have a sturdy construction and can stand rain, heat, humidity, and wind are ideal.

Is there any ideal method for tape application?

Tape application is pretty much general. However, certain types of tapes such as medical tapes and painters tape have specific applying instructions. Check with your retailer or look for usage guidelines.

What is generally the shelf life of adhesive tape?

The general shelf life of adhesive tape is one year.