AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

A Guide to Adhesive Tapes

Adhesive tape, or PSA tape, consists of a pressure-sensitive adhesive that has been applied to a backing material such as paper, plastic film, cloth, or metal foil. Some tapes are equipped with removable release liners that protect the adhesive until it is going to be used. Meanwhile, other adhesive tapes have additional layers of adhesives, primers, easy release materials, filaments, printing, and more.

In particular, pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) do not necessitate water, solvents, or heat activation to bond to materials such as paper, plastic, glass, wood, cement, and metal. When in a dry form, PSA tapes are tacky at room temperature and have the ability to adhere firmly to a variety of surfaces, needing only the pressure of your hand or finger for a secure application.

There are also two types of PSA tapes, those of which include a single-sided and double-sided variation. Single-sided tapes can bond to a surface easily or join two adjacent or overlapping materials. In contrast, double-side tape allows users to join two items back-to-back.

It is important to note that not all tapes are the same. Though they are all tacky, adhere well, and resist stress, adhesive tapes have unique qualities that set them apart from the rest. For instance, rubber/resin was the original adhesive of choice, offering a number of advantages unique to its innate properties.

Rubber/Resin Adhesives

Rubber/resin adhesives are not only less expensive than their counterparts, but they have a high rate of tackiness and can adhere to even hard-to-stick-to materials. Furthermore, rubber-based adhesives contain highly flexible bonds that are usually based on butadiene-styrene, butyl, polyisobutylene or nitrile compounds. More than that, they can be formulated to adhere at colder temperatures, they experience low shrinkage during curing, and they are incredibly resistant to chemical and environmental damages.

The major disadvantage that comes from such adhesives is that rubber/resin materials are prone to oxidation from the air. Therefore, prolonged exposure to UV light from the sun or other light sources can break down their adhesive properties. As an alternative to rubber/resin adhesives, synthetic rubber offers higher adhesion and shear resistance.

Other Adhesive Types

Today, other adhesives types are available, those of which include acrylic and silicone-based adhesives. Acrylic adhesives are colorless and can withstand exposure to UV light. However, they are costly, need significant time to cure, and cannot adhere to all surfaces equally. Similarly, silicone-based adhesives are more expensive than their counterparts, but offer many years of service life. Finding use in medical applications and the electrical industry where temperature poses a challenge, silicone adhesives offer increased flexibility and the ability to handle high temperature ranges.

Advantages of PSAs

PSAs offer countless advantages that make them optimal for a number of uses and applications. For example, other than making sure that the surface where the PSA will be applied is clean, there is no additional preparation necessary. When compared to fasteners like screws that need to be installed with precision and accuracy, PSAs adhere in seconds. As no special tools are needed, there is no surplus adhesives or waste of materials during application.


If you find yourself in need of PSAs, aircraft adhesive tapes, fasteners, or other related fastening components, rely on NSN 360. NSN 360 is the premier supplier of aviation products, NSN components, and electronic parts, all of which can be located on our easy-to-navigate database. With over 2 billion items to choose from, sourcing for your operations has never been simpler. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote which you can access via our Instant RFQ service, and see how NSN 360 can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.


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