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Author Archives: TPC Converting

  1. Why Are Tapes Better Than Glue?

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    Tape and glue are two common bonding methods that are used throughout numerous industries. While there are many suitable uses for liquid adhesives like glue, advancements in converting, laminating, and printing techniques have made tape highly versatile and effective. Also referred to as pressure-sensitive adhesive, PSA tape, or self-stick tape, these products are made by adding an adhesive material to a backing, such as plastic, paper, metal foil, or cloth.

    When it comes to tape vs. glue, in many applications tapes deliver more durable performance than glue, among other benefits. From quick bonding times to environmental sustainability and more, learn all the ways in which tapes are better than glue.

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    1. Tapes Are More Versatile

    Tapes are extremely versatile and come in a variety of sizes, strengths, and colors. There is a tape product tailored to the needs of virtually any type of project, with examples such as:

    • Double-sided tape
    • Custom packaging tape
    • Fabric tape
    • Silicone tape
    • Waterproof tape

    Tape’s versatility is not only due to the wide array of material options but also because of its easily customizable manufacturing process. Using die-cutting equipment, tape can be cut into any geometry or size. It’s also possible to laminate multiple materials together to create custom double-sided, multi-material tapes. These techniques can create a vast array of adhesive tapes. For example, pressure-sensitive adhesive can be added to the back of a material like foam or light-gauge aluminum.

    In addition, while many glues are created for general bonding purposes, tapes can be better customized to specific needs. Certain characteristics, like UV resistance or substrate compatibility, are more easily achieved using tape.

    2. Tapes Last Longer

    No matter what purpose you need an adhesive for, your solution must be able to withstand storage time and environmental conditions. Unfortunately, this presents a problem for many liquid adhesives. Glue tends to lose its effectiveness much more quickly than tape and breaks down during storage more easily. UV light or air exposure quickly dries out glue as the liquid solvents evaporate.

    Tape, on the other hand, is easily stacked and stored for long periods. It doesn’t require special storage conditions like airtight lockers or flammability cabinets. As long as they’re kept away from moisture, optimal performance is guaranteed for a long time.

    3. Tapes Bond Faster

  2. While liquid adhesives require a variety of extended curing times, tape bonds immediately. The physical interaction between tape’s adhesive layer and the substrate creates an immediate and durable bond: Simply peel, stick, and press. With glue products, the solvent needs to evaporate before a lasting bond can form. In some cases, an oven is required to accelerate this process and achieve the required bond strength. Hours or even days must pass before some types of glue reach their final cured state.

    4. Tapes Create Less Mess and Waste

    Since tapes have a uniform thickness, can be die cut according to exact specifications, and remain in optimal condition for long periods of time, they create much less waste than glue. With tape, after using a small amount, the remaining roll will still be usable for the next project. In contrast, glue can dry out, expire, become contaminated, or leak. If storage conditions are not highly controlled, glue is easily wasted.

    5. Tapes Are More Eco-Friendly

    Many glues use volatile organic solvents (VOCs) that harm the environment and people’s health as they evaporate. According to the EPA, VOCs from glues and adhesives can cause anything from allergic skin reactions to organ damage, cancer, and more—in addition to harming the environment. Tapes, on the other hand, are solvent-free, making them a more sustainable choice. In addition, since die-cut tapes are cut to fit each application’s requirements and remain usable even after storage, they create much less landfill waste than glue.

    6. Tapes Save Space

    Using tapes does not require additional equipment, so facilities can save square footage for other purposes. Tapes also do not require designated floor space for cure time, since tapes cure instantly.

Explore Tape Options at TPC Converting

If you’re considering tape or glue for an upcoming project, TPC Converting can help you find the right solution. While glue is necessary for certain applications, there is a vast number of projects where tape is the more suitable option. For reliable and easy-to-use bonding, custom tapes offer the ideal solution.

At TPC Converting, we help customers obtain effective, attractive, and cost-effective tape products, developed to meet their specific application requirements. To get started, contact us or request a quote today.

  • Common Converting Applications in the Appliance Industry

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    Adhesives, films, tapes, and gaskets are widely used in the appliance industry for applications ranging from assembly to protective panels to sound and vibration dampening and more. Converting operations like die and laser cutting, laminating, sheeting, and slitting make it efficient and cost-effective to manufacture these custom materials.

    Here we’ll look at the most common applications for conversion products in the appliance industry.

    Appliance Assembly

    Some appliance assembly tasks are well-suited to adhesives or tapes. Die cutting is used to make adhesive strips, polyester film panels, and gaskets in custom shapes and sizes. Using adhesives for home appliance assembly can boost productivity since these materials can often be applied using automated assembly systems such as dispensers or rollers.

    Common applications of converted materials in appliance assembly include:

    • Permanently adhering components, like nameplates or handles
    • Temporarily holding components or subassemblies in place between assembly steps, such as tacking panels or screens in place
    • Very high bond (VHB) adhesive materials used as alternatives to clips or fasteners
    • Bonding membranes between switch layers
    • Neoprene rubber appliance gaskets for dampening vibrations and noise
    • Gaskets or tapes for sealing internal connections

    Improved Visual Appeal

    In addition to performance, aesthetic appeal is a primary goal in appliance design. That can come from purely decorative elements as well as the pleasing appearance of a shiny, flawless finish. Decals, labels, and plastic film strips or sheets protect exterior panels during storage, transportation, and installation. They also provide opportunities for eye-catching branding, simple directions, or highlighting product features and functionalities.

    Converting operations like die-cutting, lamination, and sheeting are used in cutting film to size, applying protective layers to labels, and cutting complex shapes to fit components precisely.

    Some examples include:

    • Thin plastic sheeting applied to panels and surfaces to protect exterior finishes
    • Laminated safety or warning labels on cords or access panels
    • Temporary film covers that protect touch screens from scratches
    • Decorative decals and labels with branding, images, or instructions
    • Adhesive film covers on smooth glass cooktops or polished handles to preserve “like new” finishes

    Enhanced Product Protection

    Laminating involves applying a thin polymer or other coating layer to paper or another substrate to make it water-resistant, more durable, or textured. In addition to adding visual elements to an appliance, such as a decal, laminated materials provide protection from liquid ingress, corrosion, dirt, scratches, and even minor dings or dents.

    Other ways to improve product protection with converted materials include:

    • Custom-cut protective films
    • Foam gaskets to keep internal components and doors from moving and damaging each other
    • Rubber or plastic adhesive “feet” on the underside of cabinets or enclosures
    • Tapes for securing protective packaging, like cardboard or paper, between appliance doors, inside drawers, or to hold racks and cords in place during transportation
    • Plastic or laminated materials can strengthen delicate components and provide protection from moisture and dirt

    Acoustic and Vibration Dampening

    Appliances can create considerable noise and vibration during regular operation. Because they are often located near primary living spaces in a home, it’s important to minimize these as much as possible. Continued vibrations within an appliance can also damage it or shorten its service life. Custom die-cut gaskets, pads, and coverings made from foams of different densities are useful in dampening noise and movement in appliances.

    Sample applications for foam gaskets include:

    • Die-cut insulating mats and blankets in and around dishwashers to minimize vibration and noise
    • Foam gaskets applied to component mating surfaces to minimize rubbing
    • Gaskets and pipe or hose covers to limit rattling and squeaking in HVAC equipment
    • Padding and linings inside motor, pump, or fan enclosures

    Thermal Management

    Thermal insulation reduces heat transfer between components within appliances to ensure optimal performance. It also blocks excessive appliance heat from reaching neighboring furniture, cupboards, or fixtures.

    Die-cut gaskets and padding help regulate thermal energy and in doing so, they promote energy efficiency. Foils and other non-combustible, non-porous materials can reduce the risk of fire, control condensation, and maintain consistent operating temperatures.

    Some examples of thermal management applications include:

    • Gaskets and hose coverings in A/C and furnace units
    • Die-cut insulating pads wrapped around dishwasher tubs and slide-in ranges
    • Temperature-regulating foam strips in electronic devices

    Contact TPC Converting for Appliance Industry Tapes, Films, and More

    TPC Converting’s converting capabilities include custom laser and die cutting, lamination, slitting and rewinding, sheeting, stacking, and prototyping. We focus on efficient and cost-effective production for every project through established supplier relationships, value-added services, and time studies. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are committed to providing quality products and services time and again.

    Contact us to speak with a specialist about custom converting services for your appliance industry applications.

  • How Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives Play a Crucial Role in the E-Mobility Space

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    The automotive industry has relied on pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes for decades. The shift to electric mobility (e-mobility) and other advancements in the automotive sector have made PSA products more critical than ever due to their strength, functionality, and versatility.

    Pressure-sensitive adhesives can improve the dielectric strength, reduce the flammability, and optimize the design of e-mobility components. These properties support the industry’s goals of cutting costs, minimizing charging times, improving safety, and enhancing driving range.

    Learn more about the benefits of PSA tapes for e-mobility.

    Improve Safety

    One of the main advantages of using PSA materials in the automotive industry is the ability to support safety, which is a top priority especially in EV battery manufacturing operations. Lithium-ion batteries are flammable and must be assembled and packaged correctly. Otherwise, they can pose a risk to drivers and passengers, potentially leading to low consumer confidence in EVs and costly recalls.

    It’s possible to mitigate these risks through the use of PSA tapes that work specifically for EV batteries. Tape materials like silicone, rubber, and acrylic offer protection against thermal runaway and other fire hazards. They also comply with regulations around flammability, such as UL 94 VTM-0.

    PSA products are compatible with many materials and cell types. As single components, pressure-sensitive tapes do not require mixing nozzles or the additional processing time of other adhesive solutions. Individual battery cells and pouch cells can be wrapped in PSA tapes and compression pads to protect them against vibration and impacts. The insulation and protection of these EV battery adhesives prevent damage during charging and discharging. Acrylic foam tapes may also be used as gaskets, due to their ability to form a watertight seal.

    Support Thermal Interface Materials

    Another advantage of pressure-sensitive adhesives is the ability to support thermal interface materials (TIMs), which are key components in EV batteries as they allow for efficient heat transfer. When attached to chiller plates or heat sinks, TIM adhesives will help cool battery cells and modules.

    Examples of viable PSA solutions here would include high wet-out adhesives that reduce the thermal impedance between the system’s heat source and the TIM. Other solutions could include:

    • Flame-retardant PSA materials
    • Acrylic adhesives for use with non-silicone materials
    • Silicone-based PSAs for silicone materials

    Boost Manufacturing Efficiency

    PSA tapes also increase the efficiency of manufacturing for various products, including gaskets, cell-to-cell bonding, electrical insulation, and compression pads. Specifically, tape adhesives for batteries improve the manufacturing efficiency of cell-to-cell bonding by forming high-strength bonds with speed and ease. Automated tape applicators, such as those available from TPC Converting, further improve production efficiency for e-mobility components.

    Additionally, unlike other types of adhesive materials, PSA tapes offer instant curing to create a fast, strong solution ideal for both bonding and assembly. As a result, manufacturers can substitute mechanical fasteners with tapes, which are more lightweight, thin, and easily repositioned.

    Another potential application for PSA tapes is bonding flexible bus bars, forming a durable bond with flame resistance and sufficient insulation.

    Reduce Noise

    Another key concern for EV component manufacturers is reducing noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). PSA tapes can help with this by reducing rattling, squeaking, and buzzing in various parts of the vehicle.

    Contact TPC Converting for Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives

    Looking for high-quality PSA tapes or other types of adhesives for your application? You’ll find the options you need when you turn to TPC Converting. We offer a selection of high-quality PSA tape materials, as well as films, foams, and paper packaging products for nearly any application.

    In addition to supplying adhesives for EV batteries, we provide converting services for our customers to make nearly any type of product from a wide range of raw materials. Based on our customers’ project requirements, we can provide die cutting, precision cutting, precision rewinding and slitting, laminating, and more using state-of-the-art equipment and a selection of materials, including paper, foam, tapes, and plastic films.

    With over 55 years of experience, we’re ready to match the best solutions to your next project. Reach out to us today to find the right PSA for your application or learn more about our capabilities.

  • How Die Cut Materials Are Used in Automotive Manufacturing

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    Precision die cutting is used to produce a wide variety of automotive components to improve the comfort, reliability, efficiency, and safety of vehicles. Offering improved flexibility and customizability, die cut materials are used in everything from EV batteries and noise reduction components to heat shielding and electronics. Keep reading to learn more about the various applications of die cut materials in the automotive industry.

    EV Battery Materials

    Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers rely on quality adhesives, tapes, and encapsulation materials to secure batteries in place and protect them from the elements. At TPC Converting, we design EV battery adhesives and tapes specifically to meet the rigors of EV operation. They can be used to provide superior adhesion, insulation, and structural support for nearly any kind of EV battery.

    Based on our customers’ needs, we offer the following precision die cut materials for EV batteries:

    • Cell-to-cell bonding
    • Thermal runaway protection
    • Compression pads
    • Pack seal and gasketing
    • Thermal interface materials (TIMs)
    • Cell wrapping
    • Flexible busbar adhesives
    • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film material encapsulation

    Bonding, Joining, and Fastening

    For some automotive applications, die cut adhesive materials can be used in lieu of mechanical fasteners. They offer a lightweight alternative that can improve aesthetics, reduce both bulk and weight, maximize the longevity of sensitive vehicle components, and reduce assembly costs.

    Common bonding, joining, and fastening applications where precision die cut adhesive products can be used in place of mechanical fasteners include:

    • Nameplate and emblem attachment
    • Exterior and interior trim attachment
    • Air and fluid management systems
    • Thermal management
    • Interior and exterior electronics
    • Structural components
    • Weatherstripping
    • Rear-view mirror and camera attachments
    • Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) reduction

    Noise Reduction

    Die cut parts are commonly used to manufacture acoustic insulation materials that dampen sound and vibrations for a more comfortable, quiet driving experience. The experts at TPC can custom die cut noise reduction materials based on your unique specifications, ensuring they fit seamlessly into the various components of the vehicle.

    Precision die cutting can be used to produce the following types of noise-reduction materials:

    • Foam pads for consoles and dashboards
    • Felt strips for interior trim pieces
    • Acoustic insulation for flooring and doors
    • Gaskets and seals for windows and doors
    • Sound-deadening solutions for speaker enclosures
    • Adhesive-backed foam tape for securing components that may vibrate
    • Anti-squeak strips for window and door frames
    • Vibration dampeners for engine components
    • Rubber bumpers that reduce rattling in moving components

    Heat Shielding

    Engines and other automotive components create heat while in operation. If improperly managed, this heat can transfer to other areas of the vehicle and cause various issues. For example, both premature seal and gasket failure and interior overheating can result from exposure to excessive heat over long periods of time.

    TPC Converting offers die-cut heat shields for various applications, including:

    • Floorboards
    • Starters
    • Fuel lines
    • Firewalls

    Electronics

    Die cut materials are often used to protect sensitive vehicle electronics from moisture, heat, and other harsh environmental factors. Common applications include:

    • Seals and gaskets for wire harnesses to prevent the entry of moisture, dust, and other contaminants from entering cables and wires
    • Pressure-sensitive films and tapes to hold wiring and components in place, preventing movement or vibration
    • Thermal gap pads, interface components, and other thermal management solutions that facilitate heat dissipation
    • Electrical insulating materials for mirror backings and other applications
    • Surface protection films that prevent scuffs, scratches, and other damage to delicate parts during transportation and installation
    • RFI and EMI shielding materials
    • Flexible graphite and other heat-spreading materials for touch screens and electronic displays
    • Low-emission adhesive tapes for attaching electronic components to automotive surfaces

    Paint & Coating Maskings

    Historically, masking techniques for automotive paint and coating applications involved manually cutting tape pieces by hand. This is a labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive process.

    Precision die cut adhesive tapes dramatically simplify the process while increasing its efficiency and accuracy. The result is a repeatably flawless paint or coating application.

    Contact TPC Converting for Automotive Die Cutting Services

    If you want to benefit from top-quality precision die cutting solutions for your automotive application, TPC Converting offers a range of products and solutions. We custom-tailor every solution, whether you need tapes, labels, films, or other die cut materials.

    For more information about our custom die cutting capabilities, or to get started on your custom automotive solution, contact TPC Converting today.