After a long day of tirelessly looking at gasket solutions, you’ve finally stumbled upon adhesive transfer tape. However, without any context, you’re probably asking: why should I use this in my part?
Adhesive transfer tape is a thin adhesive that can conform well to textured surfaces. Thanks to its unique composition, manufacturers can use transfer tape for bonding in many applications.
In the past, Strouse has worked on many gasketing projects centered around adhesive transfer tape. Not every project is well-suited for transfer tape gaskets, and if you know the advantages of having them, you’ll be more prepared to decide whether they suit your purpose.
Today, we’ll explore the advantages of using adhesive transfer tape in custom gasket attachment applications.
WHAT IS ADHESIVE TRANSFER TAPE FOR?
Adhesive transfer tape is a thin, double-sided adhesive with a high bonding ability. The tape has no backing, but it has a liner on either side for easy application and maneuverability.
Adhesive Transfer Tape Within a Gasket
Gaskets — whether adhesives, foam, metal, cork, rubber, paper, or another material — are substrates used to perform two essential functions:
1) create a pressure-tight barrier/seal between two stationary surfaces
2) use superior adhesives on these difficult-to-bond surfaces.
Gaskets also often require strong environmental and chemical resistance, plus, fast, easy application is always preferred.
Regarding gasket attachment applications, there is a range of available options: liquid adhesive, spray adhesive, adhesive transfer tape, double-coated tape, acrylic adhesive VHB™ tape, and more.
Adhesive transfer tapes have been proven successful for custom gaskets throughout various industries but are most common in transportation, fluid handling, medical, military, electronics, and appliances. In many applications, the goal is to keep the gasket in place until the flange bolts are tightened, preventing gasket slippage during sealing.
Adding the adhesive backing to a gasket may not seem complicated, but this often overlooked gasketing component requires tons of engineering knowledge and innovative thinking.
When Should You Choose Adhesive Transfer Tape?
Adhesive transfer tape allows for a wide variety of new and innovative gaskets. As one of the thinnest thin bonding tapes (less than 1 millimeter), adhesive transfer tapes are an extremely conformable material that can remain unseen.
- Flexibility — Thin and conformable, these tapes bond to irregular shapes and sizes, and they offer clean aesthetics
• No Carrier — Unlike double sided tapes, these tapes have no carrier, so they’re not limited to their temperature resistance
• Low Profile — These tapes are more aesthetically pleasing and can be easily stacked atop one another to perform different functions
• Optical Clarity — Optically clear adhesive (OCA) typically only comes in the transfer tape configuration because transfer tape is thin and uses minimal construction material
For a thick, heavy-duty gasket aimed at sealing something like immense water pressure, you’re better off using a material such as foam. However, if your gasketing needs involve an extremely thin and flexible, low-profile bonding material, potentially with optical clarity, then you’ll want to consider adhesive transfer tape.
Each adhesive type offers unique benefits depending on the performance required. Yet, only tape (double-sided, adhesive transfer, and VHB™) can be pre-applied to gasketing material before die-cutting to make the right parts.
Adhesive transfer tapes also offer the following:
• Instant adhesion to flat, untextured substrates
• Ability to join dissimilar materials under challenging conditions
• Temperature and solvent resistant
• Doesn’t add bulk to designs
• Easy application
Do Adhesive Transfer Tapes Function Well in Manufacturing?
While building a gasket, a transfer tape’s release liner helps prevent the gasket material from stretching during processing. This means equipment can run faster, saving money.
Another cost-saving feature is when, during high-volume production, converters can kiss-cut gaskets on a roll so they can be automatically applied to the end surfaces to meet higher volume demands.
An experienced converter will know which adhesive transfer tapes perform well on different gasket materials, which will allow them to create products that meet various temperature/humidity, environmental, and other application requirements.
Although some converters use a priming solution to help the adhesive transfer tape stick to the gasketing material, most gaskets could be applied without a priming solution if the correct adhesive is selected at the beginning of the process.
Due to their design, cutting adhesive transfer tape into precise gaskets can be challenging— not to mention doing so hundreds, thousands, or even millions of times. Yet, flexible material converters are well-equipped and experienced in building and executing successful production plans.
Planning a Gasket Application
Choosing the best gasketing material isn’t always straightforward with so many options available. You may have to try multiple design variations until you achieve your ideal solution.
While the tape you choose may seem like a small part of a gasket’s success, it’s actually a critical decision that can make or break a part component. Your chosen material will not only be reflected in your budget, but also your production process efficiency and future automation expenses.
A project consultation will help you and your converter decide how to move forward to achieve your product goals effectively.
If you’re interested in finding a suitable material and planning the most efficient way to build your part, consider contacting a flexible material converter for a project consultation.
Feel free to check out our Learning Center for more information on gasketing and adhesive transfer tape.
Originally published: April 21, 2021