At NEDC, about 50% of the materials we cut have an adhesive backing. This is usually because it helps with installation, or perhaps the end user needs it to stick without an otherwise conventional fastener. The question comes up all the time, “Can my insulator come with adhesive backing?” or “Can my gasket have tape on the back?” The answer, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, is yes. While there are many different types of tapes, NEDC normally deals with acrylic tapes or silicone tapes. Normally if our customer does not specify what type of tape they are looking for, they are going to receive their part with acrylic PSA laminated on the back of it. With that said, the diversity of acrylic tape backings is incredible to say the least. The reason for this is an acrylic tape has a number of benefits when it comes to economies of scale, availability, customization, and general properties.
The first reason is the shelf life. Typically acrylic based tapes are certified with longer shelf lives than their silicone adhesive counterparts. This allows for the customer to be able to put their parts in stock for longer than they would be able to otherwise. However, while the certified shelf life of acrylic tapes generally is longer, for the most part it is not for the part itself, rather the roll the adhesive comes on that is of concern.
The second reason we generally use acrylic tapes is for the most part acrylic tapes have lower cost per unit than their silicone adhesive counterparts. This can be especially important when parts have a larger footprint. It is important to note that in certain cases an acrylic tape can be far more expensive than any comparable silicone or rubber based adhesive.
Thirdly, since acrylic tapes have many more possible variants than do silicone tapes in the marketplace, this makes finding one that works in your application much easier. This makes it possible to choose a tape that can be handpicked to match most applications. As an example, 3M Company carries several different types of low surface energy acrylic based tapes, such as 9472LE, 8153LE, 8132LE, and others. Some other variants of acrylic transfer tape are their VHB Transfer Tape line that includes 9469PC, 9485PC, and 9473PC.
Lastly, in general acrylic tapes have a good balance of properties that make them useful in a number of environments. As an aggregate, acrylic tapes have long shelf lives, great temperature resistance, high shear strength, and gradual buildup of adhesion. When an acrylic tape doesn’t meet the exact requirements, it may be easier to find something that works when there are hundreds of types available. However, it is important to keep in mind that any tape should be tested before use to ensure that the tape will work in your application.
If you have an application that requires an adhesive acrylic backing on your part, or you need help picking out a certain type of acrylic adhesive feel free to contact our Sales Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.