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What Are The Different Types Of Tapes?

By 20/07/2020February 15th, 2021No Comments

What different types of parcel and packaging tapes are best suited to the packing industry?

We know what you’re thinking. ALL packing tape is the same. It merely seals a box, and that’s it. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. With such a wide variety of different types of packing tape available, also known as parcel tape or packaging tape, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming trying to pick the one best suited to your needs. So, we have narrowed down the different types of tape packaging companies need and their uses! Tapes are used in many various industries for many different purposes – so let us help makes things a little clearer.

Packaging Tape

Our 5 recommended types of packaging tape:

Heat Activated Packaging Tape

There are three different types of adhesives tapes, Acrylic, Hotmelt and Solvent. Each of which has various properties, which make each more suitable for different purposes. 

ACRYLIC Adhesive Packaging Tape – Ideal for the majority of standard packaging needs. A budget tape, used on plastic-based surfaces and best used in low volumes. Acrylic adhesives work on a broader temperature range of 0°C to 65°C. 

HOTMELT Adhesive Packing Tape – Stronger bond than that of Acrylic, especially on cardboard, but works within a smaller temperature range of 3°C to 50°C. Hotmelt tapes are much stickier and are more resistant to stress.

SOLVENT Adhesive Packaging Tape – A tape with consistent performance over a wide temperature range, and excellent ageing and UV resistance. Solvent-based tapes have the most robust adhesion properties and deal with extreme temperatures and high humidity the best, making it the favourite choice for heavy-duty packaging.

Printed Tape for Retail

Have you ever seen tapes which feature the word ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care’? Of course, you have! This is a prime example of printed tape. This form of tape is available in pre-printed or custom designed in a variety of ink colours and materials. Printed tape typically has three primary applications – branding, identifying or prevention. 

BRANDING– Manufacturers may fabricate a printed packaging tape featuring a company logo or design. Tape types may be printed with a slogan or logo to aid your business in being remembered. 

IDENTIFYING – Manufacturers often offer pre-printed messages on parcel tape for shipment purposes and as standalone indicators, such as “caution” signs. 

PREVENTION – Printed parcel tape is often required to draw attention to security and shipping instructions, therefore preventing the loss of goods during transit. 

Vinyl Packing Tape

High quality, durable, very adhesive tape for sealing any cardboard box. Vinyl packaging tape has more tack and can withstand more tension. It is also quieter when it is released from the roll without the need for a particular variant unlike with polypropylene tape. 

Vinyl tape is much better suited for long-term storage and withstanding extreme temperatures. Therefore, making it suitable for parcels that need freezing, refrigerating or are just likely to be transported and handled in cool environments. However, this additional strength though will mean it’s expected to cost you more than most polypropylene tapes. 

Self Adhesive Packaging Tape

Self-adhesive packaging tapes are made from Kraft paper but with an adhesive that is already active when released from the roll. Consequently, making it ideal for quick application.

Self-adhesive Kraft paper tape is a better option for anyone that wants a paper tape that acts as a standard type of packing tape. Again, being made from paper allows this tape to be recycled.  

Moreover, like other rolls of tape, it can be used with a standard pistol grip tape dispenser or is also easy to apply and tear by hand.


Water Activated Tape

Also known as gummed paper tape or gummed tape is composed of a starch-based adhesive on a backing made of kraft paper that becomes sticky when moistened. Before it’s wetted, this form of tape is not adhesive, essentially making it easier to work with.  

As the adhesive is only activated when it comes into contact with water, it forms a powerful bond. Consequently, making it ideal when used to seal cartons as the adhesive soaks into the cardboard and becomes part of the parcel – making it very difficult to tamper with.  

Moreover, as the water-activated tape is not made from plastic, this tape choice is much more environmentally friendly! Now more than ever, businesses need to consider the environment. It has been growing in popularity, with companies such as the e-commerce giant Amazon using it for their packages. 

Water-activated tape is the best tape system for export. It is cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and much, much more robust.

 Overall, before the application of a tape, it is essential to check the substrate surface area to ensure that the space is oil-free and clear of contaminants that might affect the adhesive.

Although we can all agree that the primary function of packaging tape should be to keep your boxes sealed, you can now see that different types of tapes can be better suited for specific situations and packaging needs. Whether you’ve got a light parcel that needs to be sealed for a short journey or heavy-duty items that required security over a long period – Eastpac can supply you with the tape you need.