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When should I use a film tape over a foil tape in HVAC applications?

by | Aug 29, 2018 | HVAC Tape

Foil. Film. Cloth.

When it comes to HVAC tapes, there are a lot of options to choose from. The backing type has an impact on the tape’s performance, and it’s important to know how to choose the best type for the application at hand.

Foil is the most common backing type for HVAC tapes, as it is robust and helps contribute to the tape’s durability. However, film is also used as a backing in some HVAC tapes because it has a few different characteristics that make it a good alternative to foil in certain applications.

While foil and film backings can both be designed to provide full system closure and deliver performance for the life of the system, film tapes are typically more conformable to rough or uneven surfaces. This means that film tapes are better able to get into the nooks and ridges of surfaces that are not perfectly flat, allowing for maximum surface contact with the tape’s adhesive.

Reflective insulation is a great example of when you may want to choose a film tape over a foil tape. HVAC technicians often find it challenging to get tape to stick to reflective insulation and stay adhered long-term due to facing numerous thermal cycles in unconditioned spaces and because reflective insulation is built with ridges that make it difficult to achieve maximum surface contact with foil tapes. Because film tapes are more conformable, the adhesive is better able to get into the ridges for maximum surface contact – and maximum adhesion – making it a good option for sealing reflective insulation.

Apart from conformability, film tapes offer many of the same features as foil tapes, including the ability to be printed, UL Listed, and permanent.

Find a foil HVAC tape to keep in your toolbox at Shurtape.com.

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