There is a wide range of tapes, with many different uses. Most are self adhesive, but not all.
- Electrical insulation
- Available in various colours
- Often misused
- Can sometimes fall off in time
- Fairly tough, easy rip general purpose tape
- For bundling materials
- Masking (but several times the price of paper masking tape)
- Peelable flexible paper based tape
- Easily removed if not left on long.
- Masking tape is best removed within a day or 2
- Leave it a week or more and it can fail to be removable.
- Longer open time tapes are also available
- Outdoor duty masking tape also available
- Used to reduce chipping of laminate edges during sawing. Apply tape across the cut line.
- Masking woes & solutions
- Wide paper or polythene with peelable adhesive strip along one edge of one side
- Used similarly to masking tape, but giving much wider protection.
- Different widths available
- Giant plastic masking tape
- Sometimes applied to carpets, furniture etc during decoration
- Eg Sellotape, Scotch tape, etc
- Very low cost, light duty, limited life
- All the adhesive tape defects in one tape type:
- low strength.
- adhesive fails in time
- adhesive fails if wet
- adhesive creeps & fails if heated
- adhesive not peelable
- old adhesive permanently marks the workpiece
- tape goes brittle in time
- tape discolours
- tape vulnerable to UV
- tape often shreds during use
- Sometimes useful to hold things temporarily while you fix them permanently.
- Can be used as a temporary measure if nothing else is to hand
- Tough cloth reinforced tape for most jobs
- Not recommended for ducting, ducting conditions cause premature failure
- Most popular tape for kidnap, abduction, armed robbery etc
- Reminding employees of that can be counterproductive
- For ductwork & HVAC
- Narrow conductive window tape, detects broken glass.
- Mostly superceded by PIR and ultrasonic glass break detectors.
- Window foil has a mix of advantages and disadvantages compared to its more popular alternatives.
- Tape sticks permanently to itself.
- Temporary repairs to pipes & hoses
- Insulation tape substitute, esp where the tape must not fall off in time
- Stretch it during application to ensure it bonds together
- Obsolete cloth insulating tape with very poor adhesion
- Crack repair tape
- Ultrathin cloth with tapered edge
- Put it over the crack & paint. Very quick, & hardly noticeable
- The painted tape has a non-smooth surface, so will soil faster than the surrounding flat smooth wall
- It is therefore a bit of a bodge.
Clear Waterproof Tape
- Repairs to plastic cracks.
- To repair plastics, align the plastic very accurately and apply tape to both sides of the crack. This prevents the break flexing and separating. The broken edges need to be aligned perfectly for this to work effectively. If done correctly with a tough tape, there will be no extra flexibility at the crack, and good usability is restored.
- Can be used as glass crack repair where the lost strength is acceptable, eg for greenhouse glazing
Gummed Paper Tape
- Tape over PB joints before painting for a budget no-filler job.
- Formerly used as a peelable tape, the paper must be soaked to release the glue.
- Watercolour or lining paper strips & wallpaper paste can be used in a similar way.
Corner Bead Tape
- Flexible paper tape
Plasterboard Joint Tape
- An open mesh tape applied to joints before filling.
- Reduces cracking & prevents cracked filler falling out
- Black/yellow & red/white striped tapes used to draw attention to hazards.
- Non-adhesive tape used to cordon off hazardous areas
- Available in orange, red & white, black & yellow
- Slippery non-stick conformal tape used to seal plumbing joints
- Suitable for gas, water, oil, etc
- Suitable for high pressure gas as well
- White is used for water but not approved for gas
- PTFE on yellow reels is approved for gaswork
- PTFE is a relatively inert material, making it suitable for use with a wide range of chemicals.
Marine Grade Tapes
Various different tapes come under this heading, but all are designed to be reliable in a harsh environment, and equivalent marine products have much longer life on land than products designed for land use.
They also come with much higher price tags, but where durability and reliability are important, marine grade adhesives are an excellent choice. Don't be surprised to see price tags starting at tens of pounds per roll, rising to over £100.
- Stronger, thicker and stickier than cellophane tape
- Parcel tape brands vary a lot in strength & adhesion
- Use as a better quality replacement for sellotape
- Repairs plastic items - see Repair plastics
- Cleans animal hair off sofas, chairs, clothes, & items to be painted
- Preprinted parcel tapes are available with phrases such as 'fragile' 'security seal' and so on.
- Printed parcel tapes are avilable to order with any (legal) phrase or picture on
- Whiteboard pens may be used on parcel tape
- White parcel tape & whiteboard pens make an effective wipe-clean shelf marking system.
Clothes Cleaning Tape
- Extra-wide version of budget parcel tape
- Cleans clothes & upholstery of hairs & loose dirt
- Widely used in the clothing industry.
Double Sided Tape
- Available in several types
- Foam layer takes up gaps between uneven surfaces
- Light duty
- Light duty
- Very thin, no gap filling property
- Heavy duty, for carpet
Some seriously heavy duty marine grade double sided tapes exist. The toughest of these contain 2 adhesives. A weak repositionable adhesive allows correct positioning, then when pressed hard the microbeads release adhesive tough enough to be used on the exterior of an aeroplane.
- Used to record security cameras
- Correct video formats should be used to avoid legal issues if used as evidence
2 distinct types exist
- Coarse rough surface to prevent slip
- Used on stairs & other fall hazard areas
- Foam rubber coated string mesh
- Stick to underside of rugs etc to reduce slip risk
Lane Marking Tape
- 2" Coloured PVC tapes
- Available in various colours
- Can be used for colour coding areas on large business premises
Hook & Loop Tape
- Aka velcro
- Removable reusable fixing
- Holds items to walls, dashboard etc
- Sometimes used in clothing & footwear
- High longitudinal strength tape
- For banding, packaging & bundling.
- Very tough cloth tape
- For carpet jointing
- Removable double sided carpet tapes are available for rugs etc.
Pipe Repair Tape
- Tapes especially designed for temporary plumbing repairs, featuring near zero stretchability and high strength adhesion.
- 2 part tape packs are available
- Self adhesive roof flashing tape
- Life expectancy far below that of lead flashing
Flexible Weatherproof Tape
- Remains flexible
Fibreglass Reinforced Tape
- Contains glass fibres for very high longitudinal strength
- Used for packaging large & heavy items
High Bond Tape
- High adhesion long life tape
Melamine Edging Tape
- Edging for melamine laminated chipboard sheet
- Available in white & brown and sometimes other colours
- Available in different widths
- Iron it to bond it in place.
- Trim carefully after ironing if necessary
- Self adhesive foam tape draught excluders are a very low cost way to save money & energy & increase RH.
- Budget types deteriorate fairly quickly
- Longer life foam tapes such as EPDM are higher priced
- For fitting glass to plastic frames
Closure Plate Tape
- Approved for gas work
Ridge vent Tape
- Wide finely corrugated aluminium tape
- Fits under ridge tiles providing ventilation
- Used to seal ends of multilayer polycarbonate roofing sheet
- Ultrafine mesh tape
- Allows water vapour dispersal
- Keeps out insects
- Keeps out most dirt
- Non adhesive tapes with safety warnings printed on them
- Used over underground services such as electricity wires & gas pipes.
- Best fitted a short distance above the service to be protected, as tools are likely to go below the level of the tape before it is seen & read.
- Stiff tape for threading cable through inaccessible spaces
- Aka fish tape
- This is one type of tape you don't want.
- Wash your hands at lunch time.