duct tape

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Duct tape. Transparent on a 1-inch plastic core. With brown pressure-sensitive adhesive on a 3-inch cardboard core.
Fabric tape: black and silver-gray, roll core printed on the inside.

Adhesive tape is a collective name for strip-shaped carrier materials coated on one or both sides with pressure-sensitive adhesives , e.g. B. made of plastic films or foams , paper , metal foils or textile fabrics . So-called transfer adhesive tapes are also used in industrial production: thin, carrier-free adhesive films that are covered on both sides with waxed or siliconized protective paper before processing.

Adhesive tapes can also be processed into self-adhesive labels in tape form by printing and punching .


In 1901 Oscar Troplowitz developed the adhesive bandage for Beiersdorf AG, for which he invented the term leukoplast. In 1923, Richard Gurley Drew , an engineer at 3M , learned of the problem of masking finished parts on two-tone car paintwork. For two years he experimented with vegetable oils, resins and rubber, among other things. In 1925 he presented his first result. However, the carrier material made of crepe paper, coated with adhesive only at the edges, did not adhere sufficiently. Drew improved his tape by completely coating the backing material. Five years later, he invented the first transparent adhesive tape. It was intended for closing cellophane packaging.

Today there are more than 900 different adhesive tapes on the market.


The force that is necessary to peel off an adhesive strip is called the adhesive force . It is often measured on a 25 mm wide adhesive strip and has the unit N / 25 mm . The tear strength indicates the load a tape can bear. The tear strength is independent of the adhesive strength. Units are N / mm or N / 25mm . The elongation at break indicates the percentage by which an adhesive tape elongates under load before it breaks.

Double-sided tape / double-sided tape

Double-sided adhesive tapes are effective on both sides. They are used in all branches of industry. They are often used for laying carpeting . Heavy objects such as mirrors are also attached to the wall with particularly strongly adhesive variants . In paper processing they are used for splicing (joining) large rolls or in further processing when creating displays, mailings and brochure folders. In the construction sector, double-sided adhesive tapes are used to bond the vapor barrier films in the roof. Double-sided adhesive tapes (double-sided, carrier-free adhesive tapes) are used for assembly purposes in industry. In the automotive sector, they are used to glue decorative strips and trim parts, mirrors and emblems. They are also used in seat heating and electronic components.

Basically, you have to differentiate between different types of double-sided adhesive tapes. In addition to so-called adhesive transfer tapes without a carrier material (pure adhesive film), there are e.g. B. also double-sided adhesive tapes with a non-adhesive carrier material in the core or acrylic foam tapes without a non-adhesive carrier material.

Acrylic foam tape

Double-sided acrylic foam adhesive tapes, also known as acrylic foam or acrylic bond, are adhesive tapes with viscoelastic and particularly good adhesive properties on a large number of substrates. Compared to conventional foam adhesive tapes, the different product structures are immediately apparent:

While the foam adhesive tapes only have a thin adhesive film on the top and bottom, the acrylate foam adhesive tapes consist of adhesive through and through. The basis for this is the self-adhesive acrylic foam core, which is provided with an additional adhesive film depending on the requirements. This special structure of the acrylic foam adhesive tape enables the adhesive tape to flow into the surface to be bonded and to enter into a physical interaction with the substrate. It does not harden, but remains flexible and builds up 100% wetting. The sandwich construction can be combined as required. It enables the acrylic foam tapes to continue to absorb energy and to compensate for stress. You can stretch the double-sided tapes up to 50% of their thickness without tearing or peeling off.

Film tape and packaging tape

Motif adhesive tape

Most people are familiar with these tapes from the home and office . They are used to seal packages (packaging tape), to glue paper or to carry out minor repairs . The tapes used here consist of a plastic film that is thinly coated on one side with adhesive. PVC ( polyvinyl chloride ) and PP ( polypropylene ) are used as film materials .

From an environmental point of view, only PVC adhesive tapes are of concern, since disposal of the carrier film is critical. In the case of the less critical PP adhesive tapes, an acrylate dispersion is often used as the pressure-sensitive adhesive. Another environmentally friendly technique is the use of hotmelt adhesives. It is true that these adhesive tapes are significantly cheaper to manufacture, but since thin substrates are generally used and the thickness of the adhesive layer is less, the bond security often leaves something to be desired. Tapes with hotmelt adhesives also have the property of developing a loud and annoying run-off noise.

As a third alternative, natural rubber adhesive is used. It is considered to be relatively environmentally neutral, emits hardly any vapors, and in conjunction with a PP carrier, disposal is unproblematic. PP tapes with natural rubber adhesive are among the most demanding adhesive materials.

Fabric tape

Particularly tough adhesive tapes are reinforced with textile fabric or fabric made of particularly tear-resistant plastics . The reinforcement is usually anisotropic with the main effect in the longitudinal direction. Often the tapes can therefore be torn off by hand in the transverse direction, which enables easy processing.

Adhesive plaster

Different roll plasters

A sticking plaster is an adhesive textile tape in widths of 1.25 to 5 cm on rolls for fixing bandages or for attaching various articles to the skin. They are usually used to fix gauze, gauze bandages or compresses in order to cover the wound in combination with them. In many cases, catheters are also attached to it in order to avoid slipping or accidental misalignment.

To produce the adhesive plaster that emerged from the therapeutic plaster, a mass of fat, oil, wax and turpentine was originally spread on a surface made of canvas or cretonne . The term monopoly Leukoplast is common for pure medical adhesive tape . Other medical adhesive tapes are also used depending on the desired properties (e.g. elasticity, tear resistance or skin-friendliness).

The plaster combined with a wound pad is also called a rapid wound dressing . Patches for widening the nostrils are called nasal patches . A catchy brand name is Hansaplast .

The self-adhesive adhesive plaster is a German invention: Beiersdorf received the patent on November 8, 1882 . The development was brought to series production by Oskar Troplowitz .

Lead soap , which was formerly used as an adhesive, was replaced because of its toxicity. A brand name that reflects the white adhesive on the sand-colored fabric, which has become a generic term, is Leukoplast - leuko, Greek for white.

Adhesive plasters are now often made of somewhat stretchable plastic film, which are perforated for the passage of water vapor (from sweat). In the past, only rolls of 4, 6, 8 and 10 cm width (with a wound pad as an endless central strip) were cut individually as required or in stock. Today, individually manufactured plasters with rounded corners are the rule. Colorful motifs as imprints delight children.

Duck Tape (Duct Tape)

The tissue tape or duck tape commonly used in the USA
The main application of duck tape is practical temporary solutions, here on the moon vehicle
Duck tape holds removal goods
Gaffer tape
Red gaffa

Duck tape (German universal adhesive tape , armored tape or industrial adhesive tape) is the historically grown American colloquial term for silver-gray, self-adhesive and waterproof fabric tape.

Typical characteristic values ​​are:

  • Adhesive strength: 13 N / 25 mm
  • Tear force: 100 N / cm
  • Elongation at break: 18%
  • Temperature resistance: max. 60 ° C

Johnson & Johnson's fabric adhesive tape was originally developed for the American military to keep moisture away from ammunition boxes. The term goes back to the word duck , which (with the exception of “duck”) denotes a hard-wearing fabric, mostly made of cotton. It is related to the Dutch word doek ("cloth") and the German word cloth . According to a folk etymological interpretation, the name refers to the waterproofness, duck tape is as waterproof as duck plumage.

The soldiers soon realized that this adhesive tape was not only suitable for sealing ammunition boxes, but also for repairing rifles, jeeps, airplanes, etc. After the war a house building boom followed, and the still olive green duck tape became popular with janitors and home owners, also for repairing leaky ductwork . Accordingly, the manufacturers soon released a silver version of the duck tape so that hot-dip galvanized pipes that had been mended with it were less noticeable. Due to the acoustically similar words duck and duct ("pipeline"), the term duct tape arose in folk etymology .

Duck tape is widely used in the United States and in stage technology in general . Duck tape is also used in motorsport for the temporary and quick repair of panels, open doors, hoods or aerodynamic parts, e.g. B. popular after "contact with the enemy" during racing. The tape is supple and tear-resistant lengthways through fabric reinforcement . It can be easily torn across without tools, but the adhesive residue is so stubborn that complete removal is often only possible with solvents .

Duck Tape is now a brand name , the related rights of which were sold by Henkel to Shurtape Technologies LLC in mid-2009 .

Gaffer tape

Gaffer tape , gaffer's tape or Gaffa Tape (in German-speaking countries also Gafferband or gaffer tape ) of English. gaffer " lighting master , gaffer" and tape "adhesive tape". Gaffer Tape is a sturdy, strongly adhesive adhesive tape made of fiber-reinforced plastic film that can be easily torn apart by hand, crosswise and lengthways - after two-handed local tearing with the edge of a fingernail - in the direction of the weave , and which can generally be removed without leaving any residue after a short period of time. It is usually two inches wide, or two inches. It was developed in 1959 by lighting technician and cameraman Ross Lowell on the basis of Permacel adhesive tape from Johnson & Johnson .

Typical characteristic values ​​are:

  • Adhesion (against peeling): 9 N / 25 mm
  • Tear force: 50 N / cm
  • Elongation at break: 11%
  • Temperature resistance: max. 60 ° C

Gaffer tape is produced by different manufacturers in different quality. Due to its easy handling and tool-free separability, it has proven itself especially for stage workers for quickly fixing cables (trip-free on the floor) and similar work.

Mainly there is Gaffer Tape in the colors silver, white and black. The black version mostly harmonizes with the normally black stage floor, the silver with aluminum crossbars . The white is often used for the lettering of switches or mixing consoles .

The manufacturer Advance Tapes has registered the brand name Advance Gaffa , but not the word Gaffa or Gaffa Tape . The name Gaffer-Tape was a registered word mark of the German stage specialist ZILZ until 2007 . Also entered is Pattex gaffer tape the company Henkel .

In Austria it is mostly known as lasso among stage workers .

Duct tape

Black duct tape

Armored tape or armored tape is a special fabric tape that is used in the Bundeswehr , but also in other areas. The term comes from the soldier language of the Bundeswehr. The word tank expresses stability and durability (heat-resistant, water-repellent, etc.). Armored tape consists of a permanent fabric structure with a strong adhesive mass, which, unlike normal adhesive tapes, has good adhesive properties even on mineral substrates such as stone. Another explanation of the origin of the name: If you twist a corresponding length together, you can tow a small tank with this “rope”. This is due to the fact that the tape can be torn off by hand when unrolled, but is very tear-resistant when twisted together.

The armored tape normally used by the Bundeswehr is 75 mm wide and has the specification TL 7510-011 Type B. There are also smaller versions, also in different colors.

Typical characteristics:

  • Elongation at break: 11.5%
  • Adhesive strength: 6 N / cm
  • Tensile strength: 80 N / cm

Adhesive tapes in the building trade

Painter's tape

Painter's tape

The masking tape (also masking tape , masking tape , masking tape , in Switzerland and Austria cover band called) consists of cellulose and pressure-sensitive adhesive and is mainly used for masking window and door frames or other items to protect them from the applied coatings, paints or adhesives .

In addition to smooth masking tape , crepe tape is often used, the transverse crepe structure of which allows the carrier a certain elongation along the tape, making it possible to produce curved contours up to a radius of five times the bandwidth and curved surfaces. With a certain amount of practice, by folding the tape on the inside of the curve, tighter radii are possible.

Painter's tape can be peeled off cleanly and residue-free from most surfaces (abrasion-resistant painted walls, wallpaper , tiles, light switches, door and window frames) immediately after use . The more time passes, the stronger the tape bonds with the subsurface, so that parts of the masked surface (paper fibers, paint, varnish, wood splinters) can be torn away when you pull it off. In these cases it can help to pull the tape off at an acute angle. Over time, the tape hardens until it can only be removed with a spatula.

After the application of flowable paints, especially lacquer paints, the tape should be removed before the paint has dried. This avoids the formation of a more visible paragraph, since the color on the edge can run to a round finish after the tape has been removed. For thick ink application as well as plaster , coating plaster , sludges and similar coatings that adhere poorly to the substrate, the tape should also be inclined even before drying off is deducted from the coated surface, high order not parts of the coating or tear.

Cleaning tape

Plasterers and plasterers use a 50 mm wide plastic adhesive tape for masking. It is more moisture-resistant and more tear-resistant than painter's tape, so that it can be removed again after the plaster has set. The rolls are usually 33 meters long.

Sealing tape for vapor barrier

For masking vapor retarders and other diffusion or waterproof sheets in construction are certified foil tapes with particularly strong and durable adhesive strength used for hermetically sealing the film shocks and edge connections.

Aluminum tape

Aluminum adhesive tapes consist of a thin, self-adhesive aluminum foil, which is used, for example, to make aluminum foil-coated insulation and ventilation ducts airtight. In electrical engineering, aluminum can be used to shield electrical fields. If the adhesive used is heat-resistant, the tape can be used to seal off exhaust pipes in heating systems.

Due to its very good UV and weather resistance, aluminum adhesive tape can be used outdoors, for example for sealing transparent twin-wall sheets as greenhouse glazing .

Polyisobutylene tape

Polyisobutylene tape with separating layer to prevent premature self-sticking.
Cable sealing with overlapping layers of butylene adhesive tape

Polyisobutylene tape is permanently plastic. It is also called self- vulcanizing or self- amalgamating tape . It often has no adhesive layer so that it does not stick to other materials. If it is applied in several layers, it welds together within a few minutes to form a cohesive, plastic layer, comparable to plasticine. Some tapes have to be stretched during application until they contract to about 23 of the original width in order to activate the self-adhesion.

Polyisobutylene tape is used, for example, as an insulating material. Wraps around electrical cables that are overlapped by half offer good protection against moisture. The dielectric strength is at least 10 kV • mm −1 , the specific electrical resistance is more than 10 10  Ω • m.

Further typical characteristics:

  • Adhesive strength: - (if there is no adhesive layer, no or low adhesive strength with other materials)
  • Tear force: 8 N / cm
  • Elongation at break: 400%
  • Temperature resistance: −40 to 90 or 100 ° C; optimal processing temperature 0 to 30 ° C
  • Water absorption: 0.4%
  • Elongation: 600-800%
  • Dielectric strength: 20–40 kV
  • Salt water, plasticizer and UV resistant
  • Can be painted over with acrylic varnish

More adhesive tapes

Commercially available magnetic tape

Magnetic tape

Magnetic adhesive tape consists of an extruded magnetic tape that is equipped with a double-sided adhesive tape. By removing the protective paper or the protective film, the pressure-sensitive adhesive is exposed and the tape can be glued.

Magnetic tapes are multi-pole strip magnetized. As a rule, they are magnetized with three or five poles. There are two versions of each band with opposite polarity (SNS - NSN; SNSNS - NSNSN). As a result, both bands can be brought together precisely and with precise edges.

As a special variant of the magnetic tape, there are also tapes magnetized on the front. These are not attracted to the broad, flat side, but rather in the area of ​​the edges. This allows individual elements of large graphic areas to be brought together without creases and without an air gap.

Polyimide adhesive tape

Polyimide adhesive tapes are used in electrical engineering and electronics because of their electrically insulating and heat-conducting properties.


Adhesive tapes are usually supplied as rolled goods and cut or torn off to the required length for use. Various types of dispensers are also used to make things easier . They are used e.g. B. also as a sealant .

Most adhesive tapes do not stick well at temperatures below 5 ° C. If it is very cold, the rolls should be stored at room temperature until shortly before use.

Bondings become stronger over time, as the adhesive more and more flow onto the bonded material.

Highly electrically insulating adhesive tape charges up when it is removed from the roll. Light, thin, flexible tape therefore has a tendency to be attracted by the influence of other bodies, to clap and to stick if the tape is not tensioned by force.

Under a strong vacuum (p <10 −2 mbar), unrolling adhesive tape from the roll can trigger a certain luminous phenomenon locally and generate ionizing radiation.

Paper tape

With paper tape , wet tape or wet tape , the adhesive is activated by contact with water. This type of adhesive tape is mainly used to close cardboard boxes. After activation, a firm connection is created with the packaging and the tape cannot be removed from a box unnoticed. The carrier material is based on kraft paper, the adhesive is mostly based on potato starch , which makes the tape environmentally friendly. In some variants, the tape is reinforced with embedded glass threads.

Wet adhesive tape with pasting to be moistened was formerly wound on a small perforated wooden core. By moistening the free end, it had to be glued to the winding itself so as not to roll loosely. Alternatively, it could lie in a box or drawer vibration-free without rolling. There is a thin white version, which is very transparent after gluing, which is also used to glue stamps on the back with a folded piece ("fold" for short) in an album, as well as a type made of high-tensile kraft paper for closing folding boxes.

Roll core, flange, intermediate layer, bracket

Roll cores of adhesive tapes consist of diagonally wound cardboard or plastic and are rather smooth on the inside so that they can slide easily in a plain bearing. In some cases, the roll core of the tape is pressed onto an axially mounted spindle, usually with axially oriented transverse grooves. Mostly, however, rolls of adhesive tape are only held by cylindrical webs that protrude from opposite flat surfaces. A side cover can extend as far as the encapsulation of the roll and is used to prevent the sides of the tape roll from sticking to dirt or causing rubbing or cuts.

A core made of plastic allows the adhesive tape to be used up to the last centimeter of its length. A cardboard core “uses up” the first winding. In order to make the outer end of the winding, the beginning, easy to grasp for the user, rolls sometimes come with a grip tab attached at the bottom. In use, at the remaining free beginning, an approximately 5-10 mm short piece (adhesive on adhesive) can be folded over in order to produce a good grip again. It can remain on the used adhesive strip, even if a good peelable option is desired at the bond point.

Tear teeth on a small piece of knife or an adhesive tape dispenser are used for targeted tearing and often have a short adhesive surface to hold the free end. Adhesive strips with lateral tear prongs can easily be torn in and through from the side and are offered for offices and medical applications, for example for attaching infusion tubes and the like to the skin.

Roll cores typically measure 25–26 or 76, more rarely 28 or 51 mm inside diameter, so - in order - 1, 1.5, 2 or 3 inches . The 1-inch core fits nicely on a thumb or finger, while the 3-inch type core fits over a folded hand. These two recordings by the hand are ergonomic and allow the hand to be used largely undisturbed as long as the fingers are not pointed downwards.

Double-sided (= double-sided adhesive) adhesive tape can , but does not have to be , rolled up with an intermediate layer of peel-off material. Sealing materials based on foam always come with a peel tape. Roll cores can be equipped with flanges inserted on the side, typical for electrician's insulating tape and Teflon thread sealing tape, which, because it is non-adhesive and highly electrostatically attractive, is even completely encapsulated with a cylindrical plug-in sleeve for transport.

Loose rolls of glue can easily unroll in sloping or flat areas. If a round wrap is laid flat on the floor without protection, dust and dirt usually stick to it. If the adhesive tape is wound on a flat piece of material, a small amount can be transported compactly in a trouser pocket.

In the production process, adhesive tape is first rolled up on jumbo rolls and then unwound on small rolls, and is made up to width and length. The quality feature is freedom from telescoping, i.e. a precisely cylindrical roll and freedom from fish eyes and air bubbles in the bond of the roll. These make annoying noises when unwinding and remain u. U. still visible in the bond.

See also

Similar materials


  • Katrin Cura: From medical adhesive plasters to technical adhesive tape - 70 years of Tesa . In: Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau 2006 , vol. 59 (12), pp. 654-656, ISSN  0028-1050 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Adhesive tape  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Adhesive Tapes  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ABC of German inventions . Report by Dorothee Ott and Kristine von Soden. Hessischer Rundfunk , December 23, 2010.
  2. On the origin of the term duck tape . William Safire, March 2, 2003, accessed July 17, 2018 .
  3. "(tape so gaffa tape, gaffer's) gaffer tape n." Entry in: Oxford English dictionary , second edition 1989.
  4. ^ Rhett Bartlett: Ross Lowell, Oscar Recipient and Inventor of Gaffer Tape, Dies at 92 . In: The Hollywood Reporter, February 26, 2019.
  5. a b Datasheet Vulkan Tape. Makra Chemie GmbH
  6. Harald Chmela, Richard Smetana: HCRS Home Labor Page > Physics> X-ray radiation with adhesive tape, Lower Austria, from April 2005, accessed October 28, 2017.
  7. ^ A patent specification , accessed October 28, 2017.