How to apply adhesive tape correctly?
You probably wondered many times how to properly prepare a surface before applying adhesive tape, what mistakes you should avoid, and how to achieve the optimal (highest) adhesive strength. In today’s article, I will try to answer those questions for you.
CORRECT PREPARATION OF SURFACE BEFORE APPLYING ADHESIVE TAPE
The first, fundamental, and the most important thing you must pay attention to, is for all those surfaces to be well attached to their base. All “loose” surfaces should be torn off and all defects filled. For example, plaster that is not holding well will not guarantee a secure join. What does it matter that the tape will hold onto the plaster, if the hung object will fall together with the plaster. Similarly, a metal surface that has been poorly or badly painted could ruin all our work. Let us then pay attention to the quality of the surface onto which we will be applying our tape. The next step we must take while preparing a surface for applying an adhesive material is to clean and degrease the surface. Unfortunately, if we apply tape on a dirty surface, we will not obtain satisfactory adhesive strength. Even small and at a glance invisible particles of dust can thwart all our work. So here arises the question:
WHAT TO USE TO PROPERLY CLEAN A SURFACE BEFORE APPLYING ADHESIVE TAPE? WHAT AGENT TO CHOOSE?
What comes to mind are products that we all know and that are easily available, for example gasoline, solvent, acetone, nail polish remover, or glass cleaner. Unfortunately, none of the mentioned agents is perfect. Products such as gasoline or solvents largely are not degreasers. They clean a surface very well, but they leave a thin layer that makes adhesion more difficult. What then should we use to degrease a surface before applying an adhesive material? Theoretically, pure acetone or isopropyl alcohol (often called isopropanol or, in short, IPA) can be used. However, while using acetone we have to be careful, because it can damage some surfaces, for example wood, plastics, or surfaces that are powder-coated. For degreasing, we recommend only a 70% solution of isopropanol. IPA is less aggressive than pure acetone and it will not damage a surface. But what if you do not have IPA at home?
PREPARING A SURFACE BEFORE APPLYING AN ADHESIVE MATERIAL – WHAT TO USE FOR DEGREASING A SURFACE?
For degreasing a surface you can use pure spirit or simply vodka, but here you must be careful – it cannot be flavoured. Using vodka or spirit for industrial uses is simply uneconomic, due to the prices of those products. For our clients, we prepared for that end the dust-free KlejTo wipes saturated with isopropyl alcohol. The wipes are convenient, easy to use, and individually wrapped in blue sachets made out of a specialist material which prevents the evaporation of alcohol.