Adhesive tapes are possibly one of the most widely used fastening, bonding or adhering materials available today. With a heritage that is based on necessity and innovation, adhesive apes have evolved from the simplest of concepts; adding a naturally occurring adhesive to a strip of cloth, to the marrying of technologically advanced materials that are at the forefront of research and engineering. There is a wide range of ever expanding purposes and uses for adhesive tapes. From the most basic of uses, that of mending holes, to providing a high strength bond between two substrates that may be used in the aerospace industry, the uses adhesive tapes continue to grow to meet the ever increasing demands of today’s industries.
Developed by Surgeons
Adhesive tape was first officially developed and used by a nineteenth century surgeon who applied a natural rubber based adhesive to strips of cloth for use as a safety tape. Nearly a century later an engineer working for a manufacturer of sandpaper developed an adhesive backed paper tape for use in masking materials that were being painted. That same engineer later developed the first transparent cellophane tape which was used to seal food packaging.
The electrical trade first benefited from tape that was composed of tar impregnated strips of cloth that were used as an electrical insulator for wrapping wire splices. Since then, air conditioning trade as benefited from the common silver coloured duct tape. In contrast to a tape that is used as an insulator, copper tape is used as a conductor. Copper tape is composed of a copper foil, backed with an adhesive that may be conductive. As a flat and effective conductor, copper tape can be used to electrically wire anything from small electronic devices to the wall of a house, prior to the application of paint or wallpaper.
For an all around utility tape, two types of adhesive tape dominate the market. Duct tape may be the most popular and well known utility tape, but there is another similar product called gaffer tape that is more durable and easier to remove from surfaces to which it has been applied. Gaffer tape is not waterproof like duct tape but it is durable and easy to use in a wide variety of applications.
Not Just Bonding
Adhesive Tape is not only used as a fastening or bonding agent. Tape may be used to mark or draw attention to an object or an area or space. The commonly utilized packaging tape is frequently used in factories and commercial businesses. In some cases a tapes may be used to draw attention to a sign, pedestrian or a bicyclist on a road in low light condition, as reflective tapes are. Reflective tape is often used to mark a cyclists riding gear, having been applied to a helmet, shoes or a pair of gloves.
While there is no shortage of applications for the various types of adhesive tape, there is also no shortage of uses for this versatile reflective material. Whether you need to attach something, connect it or mark it there is likely a tape that will suit your needs.