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

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.

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