We're only a retailer, but we work closely with different tape converters who supply us with the products we sell on the FindTape.com web site. We often get asked what exactly does an adhesive tape converter do? Basically a tape converter uses various processes to modify adhesive tape products that they get from tape manufacturers. These processes include slitting, rewinding, die-cutting, printing, laminating, etc. They convert (change) master rolls of tape (similar to large rolls of carpet or newsprint in size) to usable sizes and forms for customers. For instance typically gaffers tape comes in a 56" x 900 yard jumbo roll and then individual rolls are converted from that source material into industry standard sizes such as 48mm x 55m on a rewind slitter that cuts the tape as it pulls it off the source roll and then winds it back up on smaller cardboard cores. Other products may be custom cut on lathes that are more flexible when different widths are required. Tape manufacturers also convert their own tape; but often times it is more economical for a specialized converter to do the work for them (also tape manufacturers typically have very high minimums for rolls cut to non-standard widths).
The following are some general recommendations or guidelines to follow when applying a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape:
- Make sure the surface you are applying the tape to is completely dry and free of any debris before the tape is applied.
- If any cleaning supplies were used recently on the surface please make sure no residue remains from the cleaning product (if so please use water to remove and then let it dry completely).
- Unwind the tape from the roll (if the tape has a release liner remove it now). During this step be careful not to contaminate the adhesive by touching it at all with your fingers since it will transfer natural oils over to the adhesive side. Also try to immediately bond the tape to the surface without entrapping air between the tape and the surface it is being applied to.
- Use some application pressure (it doesn't have to be that forceful) in order to achieve maximum bond strength.
- If the tape has an acrylic adhesive the dwell time the tape needs to be in contact with both surfaces (before it reaches it maximum adhesion) is typically 1 to 24 hours. For best results during this dwell time try to provide some application pressure; also if holding an item vertically against a surface try and support the weight if possible.
While film release liners are great since once you get them started they can be removed very quickly from a roll of tape without the possibility of the liner ripping like a paper release liner may at times do (that's why to cover large areas like a convention center floor the tape needs to come on a film release liner); nonetheless they can sometimes be hard to get started.
The easiest way to remove a release liner is to unwind a section of the tape from the roll and apply that section of tape to the first surface you are bonding to and then let the adhesive set before you try and remove the liner. However if you need to remove the release liner before the adhesive has set on the first surface here are some tips or guidelines to follow:
- Unwind a short length of tape from the roll.
- Bend a small amount (1/8 to 1/4 inch from the corner) of one of the corners back towards the liner side (so the liner is touching liner) - this will cause the film liner to stretch more than the backing on the tape which will typically result in the liner overhanging the tape by a little bit.
- Then try to drag the tape away from the liner with your thumbnail while using another fingernail to squeeze or pinch the liner in place.
- Once you get enough of the liner removed you will have something to hold on to in order to start pulling the release liner away from the tape.
*** if you have trouble removing the liner with your fingernails you can also try a pair of tweezers, razor blade or utility knife to help separate the release liner from the tape
When using tape to mark off gym floors you want to be sure you don't use too aggressive a tape so as to ensure the finish/wax of the gymnasium floor does not come up or is damaged when removing the tape. A vinyl tape such as JVCC V-36 colored vinyl tape or a premium vinyl tape such as JVCC V-36P (if you want the tape to adhere a little longer) would be your two best bets. If you'd rather go with a matte finish tape then a low-adhesion gaffers tape such as Scapa 125 would be another one to look at. Thank you.