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Application of Adhesive Tape

It is important to appreciate there are 3 factors that can affect the performance of the bond. These are:

  1. The pressure applied to the surface - all tapes with an adhesive are classified as "Pressure Sensitive", and so any pressure you can apply to the tape once it has been adhered will speed up the bond. The pressure applied may just be in the form of rubbing your hand along the tape after it has been adhered.
  2. The ambient temperature and environmental conditions when the tape is applied - most pressure sensitive tapes need a temperature in excess of 15 °C to begin to bond. Temperatures below this means the adhesive will become more firm, and will be difficult to bond; warming the tape in some way will "soften' the adhesive, and will assist greatly in establishing the bond. In addition to the environmental conditions, moisture as a result of high humidity can also be a potential problem. In instances where moisture appears on the surface of the substrate to which the tape will be adhered, it is vitally important to wipe the surface with a lint-free clean cloth in one direction, so it is completely dry before applying the tape.
  3. Clean Surfaces - it is vital that the surface to which the tape is being applied is dry and free from contaminates. These surface contaminates (i.e. grease, mould, rust, dirt, dust etc.) will "deaden" the adhesive, and negatively affect the bond strength. Often, wiping over the surface in one direction (so as to not cross contaminate) with a lint-free, clean cloth will suffice. Where the contaminate requires more robust cleaning, Acetone on a lint-free, clean cloth would be appropriate. Where scale or rust needs to be removed from a particularly dirty surface, abrade the surface with a sanding disc, then wipe clean with Acetone and a lint-free cloth in one direction (do not use methylated spirits).