Selecting the right adhesive tape for signage applications can help maximise productivity and profitability. So, what do you need to consider?
By-lined to Chris Holmes, Category Manager, Spandex UK
Sign makers and graphic producers use tapes for a wide range of applications such as banner seaming, panel mounting, displays, signage and posters. Failing to use the correct tape for the specific application could lead to sub-standard applications which can impact on your reputation as well as the profitability of your business. So, how do you know what tape to buy to create the best results?
There are four main considerations: surface, load, environment and application.
Understanding the nature of the bonding surface is vital to identifying the correct adhesive tape to use. There are two types of double-sided tape, one with a ‘carrier’ and one without. Carriers such as polyester, PVC, polyurethane foam and acrylic foam are used to add structure to the tape making it easier to handle and resistant to different stresses and harmful elements. Adhesive tapes without a carrier are more flexible and suitable for applications where a structure is not required.
The type of the surface will determine the type of carrier and adhesive required. For example, thicker tapes are needed for rough and uneven surfaces and thinner options are ideal for flat and even surfaces. So, choosing a ‘carrier’ or ‘no carrier’ is entirely dependent on the application.
Load refers to the stress that the tape will have to endure when in-situ. For instance, an adhesive that bonds well to a very specific surface is not necessarily suited to deal with heavy weight, friction and movement. Knowing what weight is involved from the outset will help you select an appropriate tape and ensure that the end product stay in place.
If customers have an application with friction and movement such as vibrating machinery, then polyethylene foam and acrylic foam carriers help absorb this movement. This extra level of absorption helps to reduce vibrations and ‘noise’ preventing the application from shaking and coming loose.
Will the tape be used on in internal or external environment? Will it be exposed to high temperatures? Being aware of the environment of the application is key as there are many potentially damaging factors that could affect the tape while in use.
For instance, some adhesives are not built for external use and may break down over time and cut short the longevity of the banner, poster or sign. When choosing a tape for use in external applications sign makers should also be mindful of harmful environmental factors such as UV exposure, moisture, chemicals and oils. Certain adhesives will offer protection against these potentially damaging factors and will ensure the tapes perform and last their expected lifespan.
Once the correct tape has been selected, it is essential for sign makers to ensure that it is applied correctly. Adhesive tapes are designed for a wide range of applications including: banner seaming and hemming, panel mounting, POS displays, external signage, automotive trims, posters and illuminated displays. When sign makers apply the tape they need to ensure the bonding surface is in good condition checking that the surface material is clean, dry and free from oils and contaminants.
Choosing the right tape for you
Double-sided adhesive tapes are often an afterthought which could be due to time or cost savings. However, earlier consideration in the purchasing process could prevent issues arising further down the line meaning sign makers can budget correctly accounting for every aspect of the installation. Being armed with the correct information and knowledge from the outset will help maximise productivity and will provide the best results.
At Spandex we have over 20 different types of double-sided adhesive tapes and our philosophy has always been to offer our customers the best service and products for their specific needs. If you’d like to explore our range of double-sided adhesive tape in more detail then request our guide on line via www.spandex.com