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Are you looking for a strong and versatile adhesive to help get things done?

Many people use products like glue and duct tape every day to provide solutions where other products fall short. These tried and true adhesives function across a multitude of industries.

But few people consider using foam tape. Adhesive foam tape is another great solution to help people with bonding, gasketing, sealing, and much more for industrial uses.

Machine shops and manufacturing plants, as well as other businesses, can all benefit from the use of foam tape. The challenge is that not a lot of people know exactly how versatile it is or how much it can help them.

Today, we're going to educate you on the wonderful world of foam tape. We'll talk about its many uses and how it may be a better alternative for you and your team.

Who knows? By the end of this article, you may find ways your company can use foam tape to get more done every day.

Let's get started.

What Exactly Is Foam Tape?

Think of foam tape as a piece of foam with double-sided adhesive. It's best used when people want to pair the flexibility of foam with the security of adhesive backing.

Foam tape comes in handy for a variety of uses. It can be useful across a number of projects both at home and in an industrial setting. This is because the adhesive sticks to a number of different surfaces.

Foam tape can stick to aluminum, wood, and glass. It also has the ability to withstand conditions like intense heat and moisture. These properties make foam tape a versatile material.

In addition to withstanding all sorts of conditions and bonding to all sorts of surfaces, foam tape comes in a number of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.

That's why it's important to make sure you're choosing the right foam tape for your job. 

Uses of Foam Tape

Let's take a look at some of the primary uses of foam tape. 

Most people don't know that foam tape can actually help replace a screw or bolt. Foam tape is also less visible than screws or bolts, which makes it the preferred solution for some people. 

Foam tape will apply without a problem to the underside of surfaces. It's tucked out of the way and gives whatever project you're working on a sleek, finished look.

Screws and bolts can also cause vibrations under heavy pressure. Using foam tape eliminates this possibility. As a result, less damage occurs and the project becomes significantly less dangerous.

Foam tape can also be helpful when it comes to mounting pictures and other objects to surfaces. Retail stores use foam tape to hang sale signage and other messages that customers need to see. Foam tape isn't just reserved for light objects, though.

In fact, foam tape is exceptional when it comes to hanging heavy things. Mirrors and other heavy objects around your home can hang with the help of foam tape. And you'll never need to worry about them coming down because of the strength of foam tape.

Foam tape also comes in handy with padding. Many people have padded surfaces with foam tape products and loved their results. It can also help to fill in areas that might normally let in air, dust, or debris.

One of the industries where this comes in handy is the construction industry. Any excess airflow can really hurt your heating or cooling bill. Contractors will use foam tape to fill gaps to prevent air from escaping to help better insulate your home. They'll also use foam tape to decrease the amount of moisture that can get into your home.

Types of Foam Tape

With foam tape being as versatile as it is, it can accommodate pretty much any use you could imagine. The important thing for your foam tape to be effective is to make sure you're choosing the right foam tape for the job.

There are different sizes, shapes, and adhesives to choose from, so it's important to make the right decision. Let's go over the different types of foam tapes so you can choose which one is right for you.

General Foam Tapes

These are your standard foam tape options. Most of the tapes in this category are for indoor use. These would be the adhesives you use to mount pictures, mirrors, and other things around your home. 

They come in a wide variety of shapes, thicknesses, and materials. Some companies even offer products that are specific to mounting things. These specialty products usually aren't found as a traditional roll of tape.

They come as strips or squares to put directly behind the objects that are going to hang on your walls or other surfaces. You may pay a little bit more for these specialty products, as opposed to just buying a roll of foam tape, but it may be worth it in the long run.

Specialty Products

Using these specialty products ensures that you'll be able to mount your mirrors and pictures neatly and cleanly. No one will see the adhesive holding them up. You can also be sure that the tape rates highly enough to support the weight of whatever you're hanging.

These products will usually have a suggested weight on their packaging. It will help you decide if that particular tape can support your mirror or picture, or maybe you need to go with another option.

General foam tape can come in a variety of adhesive types. You can choose from acrylic, rubber/acrylic, high-temperature acrylic, and re-stickable tapes.

Acrylic Foam Tapes

Acrylic foam tapes are a little bit different than general foam tapes. These are foam tape products that have an acrylic backing on them. They aren't double-sided.

These types of tapes are a great tool because sometimes the acrylic used can survive in very high temperatures. This property is useful in a lot of industries, especially in the automotive industry.

Cars and trucks have a lot of parts that are operating at high speeds, under intense pressure, and in very high-heat environments. In the past, mechanics would use screws, bolts, or other fasteners to hold these parts together.

However, there's a problem with that. Screws and bolts can easily fail under the conditions found under the hood of a car. The intense pressure of a car's system could cause screws and bolts to rattle or come loose. And under high heat, screws and bolts could potentially melt or become damaged.

Once acrylic foam tapes became available, however, that changed the game. Mechanics could use the acrylic foam to hold together parts without having to worry about screws or bolts coming loose. This fundamentally changed the way cars are designed and what they can do moving forward.

These types of tapes also come in handy in the electrical and energy industries. Companies now produce foam tapes that are specific to the solar industry. 

Solar panels and inverters are fragile systems that need to be set up a certain way in order to work properly. Acrylic foam tape makes that possible. Some acrylic foam tape products have UV resistance. This makes them the perfect material to construct and repair banks of solar panels, as well as the inverters that serve them.

VHB Tapes

VHB tapes have some interesting properties that set them apart from the types we've previously mentioned. These tapes are a more permanent solution than the other tapes mentioned.

These tapes can replace metal fasteners like screws and bolts. They also can replace stronger metal fasteners and even be used in place of welding. Their ability to provide almost invisible fastening also helps to keep surfaces smooth.

This could come in handy in an application where things need to be streamlined. Aerospace mechanics come to mind. Everything in regard to a plane and its flight needs to be kept aerodynamic.

Even the tiniest screw or fastener can severely increase drag or resistance, affecting the plane's ability to fly. Airplane mechanics don't need to worry about that with VHB tapes.

VHB tapes also provide pressure-sensitive bonding. This makes them very efficient at providing the strength necessary for your project right away. These types of tapes can provide immediate handling strength.

Many people like using VHB tapes because it's a quicker process than drilling, installing screws, or welding. These tapes can also be used on windows and doors.

VHB tapes can also accommodate heavy signage and are flexible for indoor or outdoor use.

Foam Tape vs. Mechanical Fasteners

As mentioned earlier, foam tape can take the place of most mechanical fasteners. There are industries where welds, bolts, and screws come in handy. However, there are a lot of other industries where it makes more sense to use a foam tape product.

With foam tapes, you can enjoy all of the strength of a mechanical fastener but with even more versatility.

Foam tapes may be a better option than fasteners because they can be applied quickly and easily. They also can help you to save costs.

Applying foam tape to bond surfaces takes less time and skill than a mechanical fastener. As a result, teams that choose this option can decrease their labor time. Foam tapes also come at a lower price tag than most mechanical fasteners.

Foam tapes also beat mechanical fasteners when it comes to insulation. Depending on your industry, insulation may be a key part of what you do. Two applications where insulation really matters are thermals and acoustics.

Specific Examples

Some industries rely heavily on consistent temperatures. Environments need to be kept at a certain ambient temperature in industries like science and healthcare. Foam tape can create an airtight seal on equipment and between rooms that can help people in these industries do their jobs.

The same goes for acoustics. Acoustics are huge in the music and entertainment industry. Using foam tape instead of screws or bolts helps to enclose auditoriums and sound booths more completely.

The result? No air, and no sound, end up leaking out.

Foam tapes also require zero equipment for installation and they don't require drilling holes. Drilling holes is risky because it may harm surfaces, cause leaks, or increase the likelihood of corrosion.

Foam Tapes vs. Liquid Adhesives

Foam tapes can also do the job of liquid adhesives like glues. In fact, they may even be able to work better.

Often, liquid adhesives can be messy. Foam tapes don't require mixing. They also don't generate the same amount of waste as liquid adhesives.

If you mix a liquid adhesive, you may wind up not using all of it. With foam tapes, you don't have that problem. The only waste or excess you'll deal with is the paper backing you need to remove prior to using the tape.

When it comes to using tape, there is also no prep time or cleanup. Just cut your tape, peel the backing, and you're good to go. It makes for fast and easy application.

You also don't have to worry about tape products running or sagging as you do with liquid adhesives. And tape products also have a longer shelf life. You don't need to worry about tape hardening or becoming unusable like you do with glues and other adhesives.

The Tale of the Tape

There you have it! All you need to know about foam tape products. We hope that by reading this, you realize that tape shouldn't be seen as a weak product. It can stand up to all the jobs most other fasteners can.

Maybe now, you see a use for foam tape and other non-traditional adhesive products in your everyday work. If you have any more questions about foam tape products or how they can be used in your business, contact us at any time.

We're here to help and would love to talk about how we can help you use foam tape and other adhesive products to take your company to the next level.

Scott Chambers

Written by Scott Chambers

Business Development Manager for Strouse Scott graduated from Coastal Carolina with a degree in Business Management. He then attended the University of Baltimore School of Law earning his JD in 2016. He passed the bar later that year, and he started working for Strouse in 2017. Scott is in charge of marketing and business development in addition to being Strouse's In House Counsel.

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