Industrial Tapes News

How to choose the right masking tape for a specific application

(BPT) – First produced in 1925, masking tapes have proven to be a mainstay for a number of industries including automotive, construction, manufacturing and more. This product can be used to protect surfaces, join materials and aid in countless other tasks that businesses face regularly.

Given the inherent versatility of masking tape, it can be hard to find the right product for your specific application. There are a number of varieties on the market — and not all are created equal. At the end of the day, it can be easy to select the wrong product, potentially resulting in operational delays and failed projects.

In this article, we will detail a number of considerations that should be top of mind when choosing the right masking tape for your specific application.

What materials are you working with?

One of your first considerations should be the type of surface you are working with. Different materials require different tack, adhesion and other specific features — and you may not, for example, use the same masking tape with a ceramic or metal substrate as you would when working with wood or brick.

Furthermore, the shape of the surface you are working with can be just as important as the material itself. If the surface is curved or has other irregularities, you’ll need to be sure to select an adhesive that can conform to those surfaces for the duration of your project.

What environment will the tape be exposed to?

Masking tape isn’t bulletproof — and you will need to factor in the working environment that the adhesive will be exposed to.

Temperature is one of the biggest factors here, as abnormally hot working conditions can cause masking tape to falter before the job is done. 3M, for example, offers masking tape products that can withstand temperatures of up to 300 F, and others that are only approved up to room temperature. Additionally, any humidity or UV exposure should be factored in, as these variables can be just as detrimental to masking tape as the temperature itself.

So, if you need a masking tape solution for an outdoor application, temperature, humidity, direct sunlight and any other environmental factor should come into play during your decision-making process.

How long will the tape be used?

The duration that the tape will be used is another important factor to consider, as the longer the tape has been applied, the harder it may be to remove it without leaving any residue.

Masking tape comes in varieties that are designed for short-term projects, and others that are approved for longer durations. Revisiting 3M, they have masking tape varieties that are approved for as short as three days, and as long as 60 days. Therefore, determining the length of your application is an important step to consider before settling on a product.

What performance factors are required?

Going beyond the type of material you will be working with and the environment the tape will be exposed to, you also need to make sure your choice of masking tape has the performance qualities that are suitable for your application. A few of the top factors include:

Durability: How strong does the tape need to be? If it will be in an environment in which it may be prone to ripping or tearing, you’ll need to be sure your choice of masking tape can hold its shape and maintain integrity.

Thickness: How thick does the tape need to be? Masking tape comes in a variety of widths, and your application should influence how thick or thin your adhesive should be.

Holding strength: How useful is a masking tape that won’t maintain adhesion for the duration of your application? You’ll want to be sure to look for a product that can reliably hold, and if your tape needs to maintain adhesion for weeks, holding strength should be an important factor to consider.

Contact Evans EVCO for your adhesion needs

Masking tape may seem like a product that doesn’t need much consideration, but nothing could be further from the truth. The success of your application or job depends on the quality of your masking tape, and picking the wrong product could cause project delays at best, and a sizable hit to your bottom line at worst.

At Evans EVCO, we are experts in everything tape. Contact us today to get started with your application confidently.

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