Adhesive Tape

Choosing the right packing tape

3 mins

A guide on the different types of packing tape and choosing the best packing tape for your application and needs.

Packing tapes have come a long way and there are now many different types of tape all having their own unique benefits and performances for different applications… Who knew right?

Many companies who use packing tapes usually find the most suitable solution through an often lengthy and costly process of trial and error, when their chosen packing tape fails to perform as expected. This steep learning curve is for the most part avoidable if you familiarise yourself with some of the basic properties and performance of packing tapes today.

Packing tapes are essentially an adhesive product made up of two main parts

  1. The Backing material 'carrier'
  2. The Adhesive

Different carriers and adhesives are combined to better suit different applications.

The most common types of carriers are;

  • PVC/Vinyl
  • Polypropylene
  • Kraft paper

Polypropylene and even Kraft paper tapes are fast becoming the more popular choice due to their lower environmental impact and Polypropylene is also a more cost effective option and performs well in most applications.

The different types of adhesive are;

  • Solvent
  • Hot melt
  • Water based acrylic

Solvent was traditionally the most common and popular adhesive of choice however hot melt and water based acrylic are now more widely used and have become the preferred choice as a more cost effective option with lower environmental impact. The choice of adhesive in the tape is vital to ensure lasting and effective performance of the application.

The most common types of tape used today

Acrylic polypropylene low cost, effective solution for general applications like carton sealing. Tear resistant and high initial grab, requires pressure in application for best results. Available as a low noise option. More environmentally friendly option - solvent free.

Hot melt polypropylene is a low cost solution suitable for most general applications, high initial grab and suitable for high speed volume use. Performs well in extreme temperatures making it the best choice for cold storage or deep freeze conditions. Requires an amount of pressure in application for best results - best applied with dispenser or tape applicator.

Solvent polypropylene is a more expensive option for general applications, requires minimal pressure on application and good long term adhesive. Available as low noise option.

PVC/Vinyl vinyl packing tapes use a solvent adhesive. It is generally a more expensive higher quality solution suitable for most applications and long term storage. It is easy to apply, low noise and requires minimal pressure on application.

Kraft paper tapes use a water based acrylic adhesive and are an expensive but good quality solution for general applications like carton sealing. Increasing in popularity it is a good choice for the more environmentally conscious companies or products.

If your application is suited to polyethylene tapes it may also be worth considering the length of your tape rolls. Longer tape rolls are sometimes available in the more standard polyethylene ranges. 150m rolls as oppsed to the standard 66m will save you significantly in downtime changing rolls, waste in less tape cores to dispose of and space in more tape per box to store. Take a look at our range of 150m packing tapes and take advantage of our free trial offer.

Swiftpak is a packaging supply company with over 30 years experience in choosing the right packaging supplies if you are looking to improve your packaging operation or need advice on the right packaging supplies for your products please get in touch and we will be happy to advise.