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What are the differences between adhesives on HVAC tapes?

by | May 27, 2016 | Best Practices, Foil & Film Tapes, HVAC Tape

With so many HVAC tapes to choose from, picking the right tape for the job is important for success. Among the considerations when selecting is the type of adhesive, which can impact the tape’s stickiness, usage, durability and more.

Let’s break down the differences in adhesive systems:

  • Rubber: Whether natural or synthetic, rubber adhesive systems offer good tack and adhesion to a variety of surfaces, but will not perform well in colder temperatures, especially if it reaches below the freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butyl: A specialized rubber adhesive system, butyl tapes are extremely durable,  have good flex properties and are often used in applications where an airtight bond is required. Tapes with butyl adhesive systems offer a service temperature – the temperature a tape may experience once it’s been applied – range from -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so they can be used where the temperature varies after application, like an unconditioned attic. Application temperatures – temperature during which the tape is used – are a bit more limiting. Butyl tapes should only be applied when temperatures are between 35 degrees Fahrenheit and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Many butyl tapes also come with a liner since the adhesive system is aggressive and forms a permanent bond to the surface it sticks to – even if that surface is itself!
  • Acrylic: Offering a good balance of adhesion, shear and tack, tapes with acrylic adhesive systems are resistant to thermal and UV degradation. They can be used on many surfaces and perform in a much wider application temperature range – typically anywhere from -30 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Acrylic adhesives do an excellent job of forming a permanent bond, which is critical in HVAC applications. Due to the highly aggressive nature of this adhesive system, most tapes that use an acrylic adhesive must also have a liner to prevent the tape from permanently sticking to itself once it is in a roll format.

Adhesive is just one factor that should be taken into account when selecting a tape. Tape characteristics like backing, strength and permeability are a few other factors that can impact the job.


Visit Shurtape.com to learn more about HVAC tapes.


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