Pressure Sensitive Tape Limmitations

Useful though pressure sensitive tapes may be, there are some things they can do and some things they cannot do. Because the adhesive is an organic thermoplastic, there is a limit to the working temperature range, both for application and for use. At the lower end of the scale , the adhesive freezes and, although it may hold, it will become brittle and can fracture easily. At the upper end of the scale, although elastomers can be cross-linked to help their upper working temperature, the average adhesive fails fails about 135 degrees Celsius. Some special adhesives can work up to 260 degrees Celsius but they are rare and costly.

Similarly, because of the organic classification into which most adhesive components fall, they are susceptible to certain solvents, oils, greases and so on. Again only very special adhesives (such as certain acrylics) will resist such exposures.

Adhesive tapes are designed for easy removal with an adhesion much lower than its cohesion so that failure occurs at the interface. Because of this, there is a limit to which a tape can be loaded or sheared before it will fail. At this time, we do not build them to hold buildings together or to replace nuts and bolts, although tapes are now on the market for the construction field. Because of this, the adhesive now limits the tensile strength and the physical characteristics of the backing used, the adhesive failing before the backing. Conventional adhesives will still be needed in place of pressure sensitive tapes for some time to come.


Note: This material is an excerpt from Shuford Literature.

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