Choosing the Right Packaging Tape

If you’re wondering ‘What tape should I use for my packaging operations?’ or ‘How do I know if the packaging tape I’m currently using is the best option?’, we can help with that. There are a lot of variables that need to be determined before choosing the right tape for your application. We enlisted the help of our packaging engineers to gather some insight into what factors and tests go into determining the best tape for the job.

What are the main factors to consider when choosing the right packaging tape?

• Net weight of the contents - Does the tape offer the right holding power based on the weight of the shipment?

• Substrate - What type of surface will the tape be used on?

• Environmental conditions - Will the package be facing cold or humid temperatures?

• Distribution conditions - What does the tape have to hold up against along your package's journey?

• It tamper evidence is needed - Will your contents require a special type of tape to assure tampering protection?


In what situations do you use acrylic vs hot melt packaging tape?

Both types of tape can be used in just about any application, but there are a few key differences:

• Hot melt (synthetic rubber) is more consistent in machines, has a very high shear value, and performs well in normal temperatures of 40 to 100 degrees F.

• Acrylic tape is well suited for use on highly recycled corrugated and in extreme temperatures from 32 to 140 degrees F.


What are the main warning signs that you’re not using the best tape for the job?

It's a clear sign you aren't using the right tape for your application if:

• You're using more than one strip of tape for a center seam pattern.

• The box is breaking open during distribution.

• The box flaps are popping open right after sealing.


What tests are performed to verify the correct tape is being used?

Shear Adhesion

What it does: Measures lateral force of tape

When to test: If the box flaps aren't staying closed


Tensile Strength

What it does: Measure max force before tape breaks

When to test: If tape breakage is occurring due to rough handling



What it does: Measures the maximum stretch of tape before breaking, expressed in a percentage.

When to test: You're tape is breaking or wrinkling due to not being stretched out correctly


Peel Adhesion

What it does: Measures the bonding strength of an adhesive and the substrate it was applied to.

When to test: If you're trying to determine an optimal adhesive for the substrate it’s being applied to.

Learn more about the Packlytics Packaging Test Lab.

Get your tape performing at its best.

Rocket Industrial carries a large variety of adhesives tapes and can guarantee through testing that you have the solution you need. Contact our packaging specialists for more information.

Rocket Industrial's Corrugated Capabilities