Adhesive Tape

There are several diferent types of adhesive tape available, and depending on the DIY task you are undertaking, one is not always as good as another.

Duct Tape

Often called Duck Tape, this is a vinyl tape reinforced with fabric. It is pressure sensitive which means that it sticks stronger the more pressure that is applied to it. Widely available and comes in a few different colours (but mainly black or silver). Duct tape is very strong and a good all-purpose tape.

Electrical Tape

As the name suggests, electrical tape is designed to be used in areas that conduct electricity. More specifically it is used to insulate electrical wires and elements. Electrical tape is pressure sensitive and either plastic or vinyl backed. There are several types of electrical tape available, with some designed for very specific and specialised purposes. Professional electricians generally stick to black tape for basic insulation, with other colours often used to indicate voltage levels, etc.

Friction Tape

Friction tape has similar uses to electrical tape, but it has mostly been replaced by the plastic or vinyl type these days. Friction tape is made of cloth which has been impregnated with adhesive, making it is sticky on both sides. The rubber based adhesive acts as the electrical insulator and also offers some degree of waterproofing. A few years ago this would have been common amongst professional electricians, but nowadays most tend to use Electrical Tape.

Gorilla Tape

Sold as “the toughest tape on the planet”, gorilla tape is a fairly new product designed for general purpose uses. The tape features a double layer of adhesive and two layers of fabric backing. This is what gives it its strength. The manufacturers claim it is 145% stronger than any duct tape on the market and because of the thicker layer of adhesive, is said to be able to bond to surfaces duct tape can’t such as stucco and brick.

Masking Tape

Masking tape is a type of pressure sensitive tape made of a thin and easy-to-tear paper, and an easily released pressure sensitive adhesive. It is available in a variety of widths. It is used mainly in painting and decorating, to mask off areas that should not be painted. The adhesive is the key element to its usefulness, as it allows the tape to be easily removed without leaving residue or damaging the surface to which it is applied. The tape is available in several strengths, rated on a 1-100 scale based on the strength of the adhesive. Most painting operations will require a tape in the 50 range. Household masking tape is made of an even weaker paper and lower grade adhesive.

Pressure sensitive Tape

Pressure sensitive tape, PSA tape, Adhesive tape, Self stick tape, Sticky tape consists of a pressure sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film, cloth, or metal foil. Some have a removable liner which protects the adhesive until the liner is removed. Some have layers of adhesives, primers, easy release materials, filaments, printing, etc. made for specific functions