Next to boxes, tape is probably the most commonly used item in the packaging industry.
It’s your insurance broker telling you that your items will remain in the four walls of that comfortable cardboard box, so make sure you’re using the right one.
Mostly, it’s pretty straight forward but remember tape can also be used to fix things, guide painters, do arts & crafts projects and everyday household use, so it can get tricky...or sticky.
So let's break it down as follows.
For starters there are two kinds of tape adhesives.
The first (and more common) is called Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) which is basically any tape that has an adhesive component and sticks when pressure is applied. This is your masking, duct, scotch tapes etc.
The second is solvent activated (usually with water or heat) such as kraft tape (gummed tape).
Now let's get into your Tape.
Packing tape is your go-to tape, and probably the most popular of tapes. Also known as Acrylic tape, it comes in clear and tan, and is used for all your standard boxes and shipping and moving boxes. It seals great and even if it might feel thinner than others it doesn't mean it’s not as strong.
Note: They sometimes carry a pretty strong scent.
Duct tape or “duck” tape is a pressure sensitive tape coated with a backing material. It works great for sealing things and it's also waterproof! Originally it got it's name from sealing air ducts now it can do that and is also handy when you need something really strong and durable. It usually comes with a silvery shiny backing, but can also come in many colors. (Not to be confused with Gaffers tape)
Note: Because of the strength of the adhesive and the coated backing, Duct tape can leave a little residue when peeled off a surface,(depending on how long it stays there).
Also known as painters tape, Masking tape is an easy on-easy off tape and is very easy to tear, that’s why it's used in many painters job. It will rarely leave a mark on the applied surface when it's removed. It’s easy tear comes from the fact that its a paper material with an adhesive, it comes in many colors too! Painters use it to protect against staining windows or even flooring.
Note: It’s really easy to write on, good for makeshift labels if you need.
Similar to scotch tape, Cello tape is usually a thin, light, & transparent tape. It’s great to keep lighter things closed, and it's easy to tear and doesn't get you too sticky, It can be used for office use, wrapping gifts and sealing envelopes.
Note: You can even use this with a household dispenser.
This is your placeholder tape – Strapping tape is meant to hold pallets together temporarily it has a special glue that sticks mainly to itself and is very strong in terms of ripping
Note: Not to be confused with Electrical tape
This is Reinforced Water Activated tape (Gummed Tape) – It’s great to have a printed logo on to get your brand properly noticed. It also has a tamper strip, and you can see if its been broken so it makes a great sealer for shipping products. It needs a machine to dispense and is used in many warehouses but you can use this machine in the comfort of your own home as well.
Note: If you don’t have a machine handy, you can self activate the adhesive with by running a wet cloth over it.
Very similar to strapping tape, Filament tape differs by having fiberglass embedded in the tape for added strength. They are used for very similar purposes, mainly for boxes or pallets with heavy loads and for keeping things attached in a more durable way.
8. Machine Grade Tape
Essentially, Machine Grade Tape is regular acrylic tape but with larger yardage. The rolls run bigger with more tape so you'll be getting less rolls per case. They are for machine use only and that's usually when your load is getting too large to self seal and you”ll use a machine. Usually for manufacturing and doing large runs of packaging.
We hope you found this useful, get packing!
- The Boxery Team
The Boxery Blog
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