Adhesive, It has been serving mankind since times unknown because of its usefulness. Since it is found in trees, the first use of adhesive was plant based. Later, synthetic based glue was developed because the earlier variant was vulnerable to environmental conditions. But, no product is perfect, right? So, enter the ‘adhesive tape’.
The packing tape is a strip of plastic, paper, cotton or any other fabric that is coated with adhesive (at one side or sometimes on both sides, depending on the use) to attach objects together, just like simple adhesive. However, packing tapes have a lot of advantages over adhesive, due to which it has ‘taped’ to every individual’s day-to-day life, fulfilling needs simply and effectively. First of all, adhesive packing tapes are very efficient. You can staple or use glue/adhesive to stick materials, but most of the time, packing tapes tend to more effective and economical. Also, the initial style and charm of the product is maintained regardless of its irregular surface. Different objects of different nature can simply be joined together with an adhesive tape without any incompatibility concern. It is so versatile that it can replace all kinds of latches like screws and bolts to maintain the structure properly. Today, adhesive packing tapes have been developed not only to stick materials but also to seal in air, water and even light, thus acting as a proper barrier against the unwanted conditions. Modern packing tapes also have noise reduction and stifling properties.
The different type of tapes available today are-
- Pressure Sensitive Packing Tapes or PSA tapes: This is the most commonly used type of tape. As the name suggests, the tapes are coated with mon-reactive adhesive that sticks itself to the item when pressure is applied. It does not need any heat or water to activate and works well by peeling it off and ‘taping’ the item concerned. Since tapes are just strips coated with adhesive, they need a release liner coated with a release agent. This help in providing a release effect for the strips to peel off of its roll and to prevent it from adhering to the roll itself.
- Water Activated Packing Tapes: Also known as gummed tapes, these are packing tapes which are generally starch based or animal glue based and the backing of these tapes are made of paper, preferably kraft paper (animal glue is made with boiling certain animal tissues). As the name suggests, the adhesive property of starch and animal glue gets activated when it comes in contact with water. That is why paper or any other such material is important for it to be the backing end since it gets dissolved easily. These type if packing tapes are used for closing and sealing boxes, specifically corrugated boxes and shipping boxes.
- Heat Sensitive Packing Tapes: Similar to gummed tapes, Heat Sensitive Packing Tapes require an external agent to activate its adhesive properties, in this case ‘heat’. Mostly used in shipping and packaging industries and semi-conductor industries, their adhesive property gets activated fully when exposed to a certain amount of heat. A common example is that cigarette packets, popcorn packets and candy floss packets are sealed with these tapes.
- Plasterboard Adhesive: Also known as drywall tapes, these tapes are quite handy in constructions. They are used in making joints between sheets of drywall materials, and help in making seams invisible. They can be made of paper, cloth or mesh along with gummed or pressure sensitive adhesive.
The utilisation and diversity of packing tape will keep on developing as an answer for attaching and joining because of advances in adhesive technology, convenience and cheap cost with contrast to traditional joining ways.