Tape for Challenging Applications

Posted on 10/26/2015 9:21:36 AM By Hallie Forcinio

Tape is a common packaging component, but shouldn’t be treated asa commodity. Often it’s all that stands between safe arrival and damaged goods.

Proper specification can be tricky. No tape works equally well on all substrates or in all environments.Secure adhesion can be especially challenging on packaging with recycled fiber content or a coating. In addition, exposure to cold conditions can affect sealability. Fortunately, tape manufacturers have formulated products to perform in these conditions.

For tough-to-seal ultraviolet (UV)-coated substrates, Essentra Specialty Tapes, Forest Park, IL,offers double-sided tapes. Good adherence to UV coatings eliminate the need to use spot coating or block out areas where tape will be applied. Simplifying the coating process reduces costs, streamlines production and minimizes defects.

Andrew Ford, director of Sales at Essentra, describes a case example: “A printer for one of our customers forgot to block out areas on the customer’s UV-coated cell phone cartons. After the entire job was run, reworking the printed carton material was no longer an option, and the entire order would have had to be scrapped.” Fortunately, Essentra tapes bonded to the UV-coated carton, and the production run was saved.

The key to Essentra’s Duraco Red tape and 2811 Tissue tape is an adhesive formulated with UV inhibitors.

Essentra’s Duraco Red tape is supplied in standard rolls of 180 ft. and continuous long rolls of 750 ft.or on rolls of pre-cut pieces with 1,000 to 7,500 pieces per roll.The 2811 Tissue tape is available in short (216-ft.) or standard (2,000-ft.) rolls.

A specially modified acrylic adhesive, formulated for plasticizer resistance, bonds Duraco Red tape strongly and permanently. This high-performance, non-yellowing clear tape minimizes haziness and maintains the aesthetics and readability of underlying graphics or text.

A specially modified hot melt rubber-based adhesive adheres 2811 Tissue tape to difficult surfaces and materials that are lightweight. User-friendly “finger-lift” tapes feature a release liner with a dry edge on both sides that extends beyond the width of the adhesive strip. The extra width (dry edge) expedites liner removal versus flush-edge liners, where the liner and adhesive are the same width.

Another difficult-to-seal surface, paperboard or corrugated with high levels of recycled content,also requires specialized tape. A number of suppliers including 3M, St. Paul, MN, and Shurtape Technologies, Hickory, NC, address this need. The optimized adhesive formula of Shurtape’s HP 235 hot melt biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) tape provides high adhesion and shear and increased fiber tear for tamper evidence. Compatible with manual or machine application, the clear tape is available in 48mm or 72mm widths. Another BOPP tape, 3M’s Scotch® Recycled Corrugate Tape 3073, strongly bonds to the shorter fibers of recycled corrugate via a synthetic rubber hot melt with more than 10% bio-based content.

Cold environments also challenge tape seals. Packaging that must withstand the cold conditions of frozen food, dairy, meat and poultry processing and storage and unheated warehouses and trucks also have a number of tape options, including two from 3M, Scotch Cold Temperature Box Sealing Tape 3723 and 3721, and four from Shurtape, HP 132, HP232, AP 180 and AP 201.