Choosing the Right Tape for Your Project

By mcampbell types of tape, electrical tape, duct tape, heat tape, fiberglass tape, silicone tape, painter's tape With 0 Comments

The word “tape” doesn't simply encompass Scotch or duct tape, even though these are very common types. Many other types exist, so it’s crucial to choose the right one for your particular project. For example, some are built for weatherproofing while others will disintegrate at the first drop of rain. It's important to know the myriad differences between adhesive tape types to determine which one you need to use.

Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is called so because it's been used by electricians since its creation. The reason for this is that it's made from a PVC vinyl and is backed by rubber. This means it provides excellent insulation for live wiring and doesn't conduct electricity. Any kind of wiring project is likely to call for electrical tape.

Duct Tape

Duct tape, like electrical tape, gets its name from its primary use: HVAC ducts. Duct tape is exceptionally strong because it has a woven cotton backing, and the adhesive is very, very sticky. Because it's so malleable, it can conform to almost any shape and create a waterproof seal. Duct tape is excellent for general repair projects calling for a strong bond and extra protection.

Heat Tape

Heat tape is fun to work with, as you watch it change right before your eyes. It comes as a sleeve, which you wrap around whatever you're trying to seal. As you heat it up (usually with a blow dryer), it will shrink and conform around the surface, making a watertight seal. Heat-shrink tape can be used for a variety of purposes, including protecting a pipe from corrosion or sealing a few bottles of home-brewed beer.

Fiberglass Tape

Fiberglass tape is used for projects where the tape will consistently be exposed to high heat, which is why it's frequently used in industrial facilities and automotive shops. The tape is backed with a foil alloy and coated with a strong adhesive. It protects whatever it's wrapped around from excess heat, so it's often used to protect cables, engine hoses, and other mechanical and electrical components. If you need to protect a hose from drying out and cracking, foil tape is the way to go.

Silicone Tape

Silicone tape is something of a lone wolf in the tape world. It doesn't contain any adhesive, it has the ability to bond to itself, and it isn't used to stick two things together. Instead, silicone tape is used as a waterproof or insulating sealant. To apply it, you simply "wrap" it around the surface you want to seal. Let it dry for 24 hours, and it’ll create a nearly unbreakable bond. Silicone tape is often used in electrical components and wiring because it creates a waterproof seal and will not conduct electricity.

Painter's Tape

It's pretty well-known what painter's tape is used for, but did you know that there are different kinds of painter's tape? That roll of tape everyone seems to have somewhere in the garage is the most common, multi-use form, but there are actually more specialized versions. For example, exterior painter's tape has much better staying power and will stick to a variety of outside surfaces. On the other hand, delicate surface tape is used in more sensitive applications where regular tape might ruin fine wood grain or new paint.