What is your opinion on the most durable type of tape?
Many individuals rely on products like adhesive and duct tape on a daily basis to solve various problems. However, when it comes to strength and versatility, adhesive foam tapes excel in bonding, gasketing, sealing, and industrial applications.
TMS Packaging has been assisting customers in selecting the right foam tape for custom parts production for over three decades. As a converting company, we possess expertise in identifying the most suitable flexible materials.
In this discussion, we will explore the numerous uses of foam tape and how it might serve as a superior alternative for you and your team. By the end of this article, you may discover ways in which your company can enhance daily productivity using foam tape.
What Is Foam Tape?
Think of foam tape as a piece of foam with adhesive on both sides. It is particularly useful when you need the flexibility of foam combined with the adhesive’s reliability.
Foam tape proves handy across a wide range of applications, both in household projects and industrial settings, owing to its adhesive properties. It adheres to various surfaces, including aluminum, wood, and glass, and can endure harsh conditions such as high heat and moisture. These characteristics make foam tape an incredibly versatile material.
Additionally, foam tape is available in various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right one for your specific task.
What is Foam Tape Used For?
Many people are unaware that foam tape can effectively replace screws or bolts, with some preferring it due to its discreet appearance compared to mechanical fasteners.
Foam tape can be easily applied to the undersides of surfaces, providing a sleek and polished finish to your projects. Unlike screws and bolts, which can generate vibrations under heavy pressure, foam tape eliminates this concern, reducing potential damage and enhancing safety.
Foam tape finds applications in mounting pictures and other objects on surfaces, as well. Retail stores use it to hang sale signage and other important messages for customers. Furthermore, foam tape is not limited to lightweight items; it excels at hanging heavy objects like mirrors securely around your home.
Another common use for foam tape is padding, which serves purposes such as protection, vibration absorption, and sound dampening. It can also seal gaps to prevent the ingress of air, dust, or debris, a highly sought-after feature in the construction industry. Contractors utilize foam tape to insulate homes and control moisture levels effectively.
What is the Best Foam Tape?
Given its versatility, foam tape can cater to nearly any conceivable use. The key to its effectiveness lies in selecting the appropriate type for the task at hand.
Various types of foam tape are available, each with distinct sizes, shapes, and adhesive properties. When seeking the best foam tape, begin by assessing your specific needs and choose between general, specialty, acrylic, or VHB foam tapes.
GENERAL FOAM TAPES
These are the standard options for foam tape. Most tapes in this category are designed for indoor use, ideal for mounting pictures, mirrors, and other items around your home. They come in a wide range of shapes, thicknesses, and materials. Some companies offer specialty products specifically designed for mounting purposes, which may come in the form of strips or squares to be applied directly behind objects on your walls or surfaces.
SPECIALTY FOAM PRODUCTS
Specialty foam products ensure neat and discreet mounting of mirrors and pictures, with the adhesive hidden from view. These products often feature suggested weight limits on their packaging to help you determine if they can support your specific items.
General foam tape may come with different adhesive types, including acrylic, rubber/acrylic, high-temperature acrylic, or re-stickable tapes.
ACRYLIC FOAM TAPES
Acrylic foam tapes differ slightly from general foam tapes as they have an acrylic backing. These tapes are valuable in industries where high-temperature resistance is crucial, such as the automotive industry. Acrylic foam tapes can withstand the extreme conditions found under the hood of vehicles, offering a secure alternative to screws and bolts.
These tapes are also beneficial in the electrical and energy sectors, with specific products designed for the solar industry. Some acrylic foam tapes even possess UV resistance, making them ideal for constructing and repairing solar panels and inverters.
VHB tapes possess unique properties that set them apart from other types. They provide a more permanent solution compared to other tapes and can replace metal fasteners, including screws, bolts, and welding. VHB tapes offer almost invisible fastening and maintain smooth surfaces, making them suitable for streamlined applications like aerospace mechanics.
In the aerospace industry, where aerodynamics are critical, even small fasteners can impact a plane’s performance. VHB tapes are durable and, when correctly applied, are likely to remain in place, ensuring efficiency and safety. These tapes also offer pressure-sensitive bonding, delivering immediate handling strength, and can be used for various applications, including windows, doors, and heavy signage. Some VHB tapes are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, with certain types offering resistance to outdoor elements.
What Can You Use Double Sided Foam Tape For?
As previously mentioned, double-sided foam tape can replace most mechanical fasteners, offering the strength of a mechanical fastener with added versatility.
Double-sided foam tapes are often more efficient than fasteners because they are quick and easy to apply, reducing labor time. Additionally, foam tapes tend to be more cost-effective compared to most mechanical fasteners.
Foam tapes are superior to mechanical fasteners in terms of insulation. Insulation is critical in many industries, such as thermal control in science and healthcare environments or acoustic control in the music and entertainment industry. Foam tape can create a reliable airtight seal, maintaining ambient temperatures and preventing sound leakage in these applications.
Furthermore, foam tapes do not require specialized equipment for installation, eliminating the risks associated with drilling holes, such as surface damage, leaks, or corrosion.
Foam Tapes vs. Liquid Adhesives
Foam tapes can also fulfill the role of liquid adhesives like glue, and in some cases, they may even outperform them.
Liquid adhesives can be messy and may require mixing, leading to potential waste. In contrast, foam tapes do not need mixing and generate minimal waste, with the primary waste being the paper backing that must be removed before application.
Using foam tape requires little preparation and cleanup, making it a fast and convenient option. Unlike liquid adhesives, foam tapes do not sag or run, and they typically have a longer shelf life.
Should I Use Foam Tape?
Machine shops, manufacturing plants, and various businesses can benefit from the versatility of foam tape. However, its potential is often underestimated.
Whether or not to use foam tape depends on your specific application and project requirements. Foam tape is not a weak product; it can perform the same tasks as other fasteners. After learning about its diverse uses, you may identify opportunities to incorporate foam tape and other non-traditional adhesive products into your everyday work.
TMS Packaging is here to assist, and we are eager to discuss how foam tape and other adhesive products can elevate your company’s capabilities.