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PSA tape defined. Why tape?

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Have you ever wondered exactly how tape works? There are multiple types of adhesives on the market today. When you think of tape, you're most likely thinking of pressure sensitive adhesive tape.

What is pressure sensitive tape? And how do we use it? Keep reading to read all about pressure sensitive adhesive tape along with its benefits and common uses.

Pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape can be defined as a continuous flexible strip of cloth, paper, metal or plastic coated on one or both sides with a permanently tacky adhesive at room temperature which will adhere to a variety of surfaces with light pressure (finger pressure) with no phase change (liquid to solid) and usually on a roll.

PSAs can be blends of natural or synthetic rubber and resin, acrylic, silicone or other polymer systems, with or without additives.


To qualify as pressure sensitive adhesive tape, a tape must have three qualities.

  • Adhesion: this refers to the strength of the adhesive or the sticky material to the substrate, or the surface the tape sticks to.

  • Cohesion: refers to the strength of the adhesive or the strength of the stickiness.

  • Tack: refers to how long the adhesive takes to stick to a given substrate or surface. An extremely tacky tape would stick immediately with little pressure. A less tacky tape would take more pressure to stick.

Just to clarify, to qualify as a pressure sensitive adhesive, a tape must require pressure to bond. If it requires anything else like a solvent or heat, then the tape does not qualify as pressure sensitive adhesive tape.


They’re the ultimate custom solution.

  • Save time: Compared to other bonding methods, tape often provides full functionality without curing time or exposure to heat.

  • Improve aesthetics: Tape provides a clean, consistent surface finish that you can’t get with rivets and screws. Unlike liquid adhesives, tape doesn’t ooze or create unsightly bond lines.

  • Save money: When considered against welding or other heat-related methods, tape doesn’t require electricity, expensive machinery or other application costs.

  • Help the environment: Using tape can eliminate certain solvents and/or other harmful substances from your process.

  • Increase your quality: Compared to single-point-joining methods, tape provides seamless fastening for complete surface-to-surface bonding.

  • Improve product durability:

Tape often dissipates mechanical stress loads and helps to continually reduce vibration fatigue, as opposed to more traditional methods that don’t.

With no need for holes or cut outs, tape can often provide an effective mechanical barrier that protects surfaces from corrosion or other environmental deformation. Many other bonding methods do not.

  • Reduce product weight: Tape solutions can often replace heavier materials in various sealing applications.

  • Decrease production time: In comparison to liquid or hot-melt adhesives, tape is faster and easier to attach.

  • Lower equipment costs: Unlike liquid and hot-melt adhesives, expensive adhesive delivery systems are not required. You need only peel and stick.


PSA tape is used for just about anything. You see it all around you if you look closely enough. Box-sealing tape or packing tape, masking tape, duct tape, double-sided tape, electrical tape, and even athletic tape like what you see on hockey sticks and baseball bats all are different qualities of PSA tape. It can be used to bond, shield emi / rfi, manage heat, mask off areas, protect surfaces, dampen vibration, suppress sound, seal, gasket and a ton of other solutions.


There are different kinds of PSA tapes such as Single Side, Double Side, Transfer Tape, Reinforced Tape etc.

Single Side Tape: Adhesive coating is done only on one side of the carrier and may come with or without a liner.

Double Side Tape: Adhesive coating is done on both sides of the carrier and always comes with a liner.

Transfer Tape: Adhesive layer itself acts as a carrier. It always comes with the liner.

Reinforced Tape: Reinforcement scrim/mesh as explained above is laminated on to the carrier and after coating of the adhesive, it gives extra strength to the PSA Tape.

For all of your adhesive solutions, contact us. We'd love to help.

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