Tape is a common household item. It actually comes in handy when you want to fasten things without having to use screws or nails. In fact, using a tape is like a walk in the park. All you have to do is make sure that the surfaces that you want to seal or bind are free from impurities. Once the tape is in place, you can then use a pair of scissors or a blade for cutting it to the desired length. On the other hand, buying a tape can be a daunting task simply because there are many varieties out there. Most novice shoppers end up disappointed when they spend their hard earned money on a tape that’s not ideal for the purpose they intended to use it for. This article will shed light on the various types of tape and what you should consider when buying one.
1. Insulating Tape
This type of single coated tape is usually made from various plastic materials. Since the tape can’t conduct electricity, it’s highly recommended for covering electrical cables and wires. The tape is also flexible due to the materials that it’s made from. And although it comes with a layer of adhesive substance, you must apply some pressure on the surface for it to stick. Since the tape is not designed to stick on anything else rather than itself, it’s very easy to remove it. The other thing is that the tape comes in various color coding. If the tape is red in color, it should be used on wires that carry high voltage. Similarly, green and blue coded tapes should be used on neutral and low voltage cables respectively.
2. Heat Activated Tape
A heat activated tape basically comes with one layer of adhesive that’s blended with either polyester, nylon or vinyl. For the tape to be effective, you have to expose it to a source of heat and also apply mild pressure or it will not stick on the surface. This type of tape is commonly used in welding and molding projects. In addition to that, the tape is also used for laminating hard copy documents to make them resistant to water and scratches. The challenge in using this tape is that you must not use too much heat because it will damage the adhesive substance. On the other hand, too little heat will prevent the adhesive from being activated. What this means is that you must maintain a balance between extreme and medium heat.
3. Water Activated Tape
Just like the name suggests, a water activated tape can never stick when dry. You must therefore apply some moisture on the tape when you want to use it. It’s commonly used in retail stores to wrap items. Manufacturers prefer to use this type of tape when transporting huge consignments of goods because it’s easy to tell when the items have been tampered with. And unlike other tapes that require you to use a blade to cut them, this tape can be cut without using a knife or blade. You just hold the tape on one edge and tear it away.
How to Choose the Best Tape
Like stated earlier in the article, buying the best tape is easier said than done, especially if you don’t have someone to guide you. And the fact that we live in times when people prefer to buy things online complicates it further. The last thing you want is to waste your bucks on a tape that will not be able to meet your needs. Here is a list of things that you should consider when buying adhesive tape.
1. Type of Tape
Once you have decided to buy tape, it’s important you first find out the exact type that’s ideal for your need. One of the common mistakes that most people make is to think that a tape is just a tape. You see, there is no way you can use a water activated tape to insulate electrical wires. It will actually be a recipe for trouble. This is because humidity will buildup in the tape, which means the wires will electrocute anyone that dares to touch them. Similarly, you can’t use a laminating tape to laminate documents because you will not be able to see through the adhesive coat.
2. Length and Width
If you want to use the tape on a larger surface, it’s advisable that you pick a larger roll as it will be longer and perhaps, even wider than a smaller one. The same case applies to width. A tape with a higher width is ideal for sealing larger surfaces because it will make the work to be less cumbersome. Thinner tapes are recommended for small projects. The good thing is that width and length is usually indicated on the side of the package.