Which Tape Adhesive Do You Need?

Which Tape Adhesive Do You Need?

Adhesive tapes are used every day. The adhesive tape market was worth $63.1 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $83.8 billion by 2026. But one type of adhesive is far from a one-size-fits-all solution. Jobs in the automotive, healthcare, electrical, transportation, packaging, and industrial industries all require different tapes and adhesives.

It's important to consider the adhesive type when selecting tape to ensure it is strong enough for the job. Deciding which adhesive is best for you can be overwhelming, but Tape Jungle — The Tape Superstore — is here to help.

Understanding Adhesion and Tape

Adhesion is when two particles or surfaces cling to one another. Different types of forces cause adhesion, but those responsible for most sticky or tact adhesion fall into the chemical, dispersive, or diffusive adhesion categories.

There are five factors of adhesion to consider when selecting the correct type for any given job:

  • Time: The amount of time the adhesive can be on the surface before effective forces are applied.
  • Adhesive: The material used to hold two or more objects together.
  • Pressure: The amount of force needed to adhere to the tape.
  • Environment: The conditions and surrounding factors that will impact the adhesive bond.
  • Substrate: The surface that the adhesive will make direct contact with.

Now that you understand adhesion, let's dive deeper into adhesive tapes. Adhesive tapes bond two materials together instead of using nails, screws, or other material fastening tools.

The tape itself is made up of three components: adhesive, carrier or backing, and release liner. There are three common types of tape:

  1. Adhesive transfer tape: These tapes have a release liner that carries an unsupported adhesive. The liner is usually paper coated with a release agent. Adhesive transfer tapes are commonly found in envelopes and the seals on bags.
  2. Single-coated tape: These tapes have an adhesive applied to only one side of the carrier or backing. The carrier may be any flexible material like paper, foil, or cloth. Electrical tape and masking tape are examples of single-coated tapes.
  3. Double-coated or double-sided tape: These tapes have adhesive on both sides of the carrier material. Bonding and mounting tapes are considered double-coated tapes.

There are also three common types of adhesion materials.

Acrylic Adhesive

Also available in single-sided and double-sided varieties, solvent acrylic adhesives are often used in applications that need resistance to solvents, chemicals, UV light, and moisture. Acrylic adhesives provide a high-performing balance of tack and shear strength and are less costly than silicone. Tapes with acrylic adhesive can be used indoors or outdoors and are good for long-term bonding. Their tack level and strength can be adjusted during manufacturing, making them highly customizable. Acrylic adhesive is often used in craft tape, such as for scrapbooking.

Tape Jungle's acrylic adhesives have strong bonding and can perform in high temperatures. There are two types: Water-based and solvent acrylics. Water-based tapes are more affordable, while solvent acrylics are more aggressive. Aerospace tape is a good example of a solvent acrylic adhesive.

Rubber Adhesive

Rubber adhesive systems perform well in low temperatures, indoors, and in applications with low-stress requirements. They are most commonly used in situations requiring a high initial bond and only mild chemical or solvent resistance. Electrical tape and trade show tape are common rubber adhesive tapes.

There are two types of rubber adhesives:

  • Natural rubber adhesive: These adhesives usually have high molecular weight with long polymer chains. They offer clean removability and good shear but aren't very temperature-resistant.
  • Synthetic rubber adhesives: This adhesive is also known as a hot melt adhesive (more information below). Synthetic rubber adhesives have thermoplastics with low molecular weight and short polymer chains. Synthetic rubber is more customizable than natural rubber adhesives.

Silicone Adhesive

Silicones are used in single-coated and double-coated tapes like splicing tapes, Teflon tapes (plumbing tape), and printed circuit board file masking tapes. They are most commonly used in environments with high temperatures and are known for their clean removability. Compared to rubber and acrylic, silicone is the most expensive.

Silicon adhesives are often accused of having low sticking power, but when used in the correct applications, silicone adhesives have great bonding strength.

Let Tape Jungle help you find the right tape adhesive.

Adhesives at Tape Jungle

Now that you know the basics about the three main adhesive types, let's dive into other kinds of adhesive Tape Jungle uses.

Hot Melt Adhesives

Hot melt is the go-to adhesive for many types of tape. This adhesive is commonly used in polypropylene (PolyPro) tapes. It's made of thermoplastic polymers and has three layers: the nonadhesive surface layer, the release layer, and the adhesive layer.

Hot melt adhesives are more durable than acrylic adhesives as they can withstand drastic temperature changes without damage. They're good for general adhesive jobs like labeling and packaging.

Natural Rubber

PVF and polypropylene tapes often use natural rubber adhesives and work well on materials like leather, fabrics, and paper. This adhesive has good water resistance and can withstand 0-150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Natural rubber adhesive is often used for electrical tape since it is non-conductive. These tapes are also more durable than standard PolyPro tape, so consider using natural rubber PVC tape if you plan to do heavy-duty packing.

Small businesses with smaller budgets should also consider PVC tapes with rubber adhesives as they are very cost-effective.


A unique adhesive solution, water-activated tapes are just what they sound like activated by water. If you're packing a box that could get left out in the rain, choose water-activated adhesive to rest assured that your tape will stay intact even if it gets wet.

Choosing an Adhesive

With so many adhesive and tape options on the market, narrowing down your choices to find the best solution can be difficult. Here are a few questions to ask when choosing an adhesive for a project:

  • Will the adhesive tape be used in a permanent or temporary bond?
  • Are there color or clarity requirements for this application?
  • Are there temperature requirements or extreme temperatures expected?
  • What level of chemical resistance does the tape need to have?
  • What surface coating, texture, and contamination will the adhesive tape be exposed to?

Choose the right tape adhesive for your projects with Tape Jungle.

Types of Tape at Tape Jungle

Now that you know about the different types of adhesives Tape Jungle uses, let's look at the kinds of tape these adhesives can be used on.

Custom-printed Tape

On top of our large inventory of existing tapes, Tape Jungle offers you the chance to create your own custom-printed tape with an easy-to-use design process. Whether you need custom tape for branding, decoration, or anything in between, Tape Jungle has you covered with our variety of custom-printed tape options. Custom-printed tape is a great way to make both business materials and personal touches stand out.

There are four custom-printed tape materials: Standard, Premium, Paper, and Digital Printed Tape. Each type has multiple materials to choose from, so there is always something to fit your custom tape needs.

ATG Tapes

Adhesive transfer gun (ATG) tape is reverse-wound unsupported acrylic transfer tape used in an adhesive transfer gun, also called an ATG dispenser. If you are working on something that needs linear adhesion application, ATG tape and dispensers are a perfect choice. ATG tape is double-sided and has good adhesion to lightweight materials like paper, most plastic films, metals, and foils.

ATG tape is a good pick for poster displays, scrapbooking, a presentation, or other crafts.

Double-sided Tape

Double-sided tape is convenient and versatile and can come coated in many different materials like polyester, acrylic, cotton, synthetic rubber, and more. Tape Jungle has eight double-sided tapes suitable for numerous applications and can be permanent or removable.

Double-sided tape is great if you want to adhere two materials together inconspicuously. Double-sided tape is often used with fabric, scrapbooking, securing rugs in place, photography display, and other paper or fabric crafts.

Gaffer Tape

Gaffer tape, also known as audiovisual cord tape, is an adhesive tape made of heavy-duty cotton cloth. Gaffer tape can adhere to irregular surfaces and has superior water, vapor, and abrasive resistance. The best part? Tape Jungle Gaffer tape is easy to remove and hand-tearable.

If you are working on a project in the staging, film, TV, theater, or music industries, chances are gaffer tape is the right choice.

Reflective and Safety Tape

Tape Jungle also carries commercial-grade high-intensity reflective tapes with a high-tack permanent adhesive. These tapes are commonly used for marking and safety applications, as spike or glow tape in the entertainment industry, or for rugged outdoor use on road signs, emergency vehicles, automobiles, and trailers to improve visibility.

Tape Jungle Can Help You Pick the Perfect Tape

Tape Jungle is committed to providing the educational resources clients need to make the best purchase for their applications. If you can't find the information you need online, Tape Jungle's experts are here to answer all of your questions. Reach out to us via the contact us section on our website.

With more than 300 adhesive tapes, Tape Jungle is your one-stop shop for whatever tape and adhesive combination you need and can help you design custom-printed adhesive tape in minutes. Check out Tape Jungle's massive inventory of adhesive tapes today.