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A-Z Tape Glossary


ABRASION RESISTANCE: The ability of a tape to withstand rubbing and/or scuffing and still function satisfactorily.

ACLAR FILM: A chlorofluorocarbon film used in applications requiring clarity and very low moisture vapor transmission rate. (Registered Trademark of Allied Chemical Corp.)

ACETATE FILM: A transparent film produced by chemically treating cellulose. Provides moisture resistance and aging characteristics superior to those of cellophane.

ACRYLIC ADHESIVE: A pressure-sensitive adhesive formed by the polymerization of acrylic ester monomers, and which generally exhibits excellent clarity, aging and weathering characteristics.

ADHESION: A measure of the ability of a pressure-sensitive tape to adhere to a specified surface under specific conditions of application and removal. This is usually expressed in the amount of force, in ounces per inch width, required to remove a piece of tape from a polished steel surface by pulling it back on itself at a 180 degree angle at the rate of 12" per minute. Adhesion is only one of the factors determining the sticking qualities of a tape, other factors are:

Feel: Feel is the degree of stickiness of the adhesive as determined by touching it with one's fingers. This is often a misleading test of effective adhesion.

Finger-Stick: See "Feel".

Hold: Refers to the ability of a tape to adhere for long periods of time to a specific surface while under a specified stress. Hold is tested by applying a small area of tape to a specific surface and hanging a weight to the free end of tape. Values are stated as hours and minutes transpiring between application and failure. Sometimes hold is tested at0 degree pull-off and sometimes 20 or 90 degree pull-off. Hold values are especially significant determining suitability of tape for packaging where constant stress on the tape is in effect.

Peel: The force required to pull a strip of tape from a surface at a specific angle and speed. Measured after application under specified standard condition, and usually expressed in ounces per inch width.

Quick-Stick: Refers to the ability to adhere to a specific surface after a very brief contact at a very low pressure.

Shear Adhesion: The bond strength of a tape when stressed at a 0 degree angle.

Specific Adhesion: Refers to ratio of adhesion to a particular surface as compared with any other surface as a standard.

Tack: Refers to the sticky feel of the adhesive. Can be measured by rolling ball method. Expressed as a ratio of height of the drop of a ball to distance traveled in a horizontal guided track.

ADHESION TO BACKING: Bond produced by the contact between a pressure-sensitive tape adhesive and the tape backing, when one piece of tape is applied over another piece. Generally measured by a Peel Test.

ADHESION TO STEEL TEST: Used to determine the force required to remove pressure-sensitive tape from a steel panel.

ADHESIVE: The pressure-sensitive layer applied to a tape. There are a number of adhesive types. The most common is a combination of rubber and resin-either natural and/or synthetic rubbers are combined with resins to produce pressure-sensitivity. Other adhesives are: Acrylic adhesives, which are synthetic polymers that generally exhibit tack without the addition of resins: and Silicone Adhesives (Silicone gums and resins), which have the highest service temperature capability of the common pressure-sensitive adhesives as well as excellent aging and weathering characteristics.

ADHESIVE DEPOSIT: Adhesive that is pulled away from the tape and remains on the surface after the tape is removed.

ADHESIVE SPLITTING: Occurs when a part of the adhesive remains as a layer on the surface from which the tape was removed. See "Anchorage".

ADHESIVE TRANSFER: Adhesive deposited from its normal position on the tape to the surface to which the tape was in contact. Can occur, either during unwind or removal.

AGING: Controlled temperature and humidity conditioning to provide a guide to any deterioration of the finished product that may be attributed to aging.

AMBIENT TEMPERTAURE: Normal fluctuating temperatures in an environment where the conditions are not closely controlled-e.g. in a typical warehouse, boxcar, office building, etc.

ANCHORAGE: Refers to the degree of adhesion the adhesive has for the backing on which it is carried. Insufficient anchorage results in complete transfer of the adhesive to another surface when the tape is removed. This is distinct from splitting, where only a layer of adhesive is transferred. See "Adhesive Splitting".

ANTIOXIDANT: A chemical added to an adhesive that protects it from oxygen deterioration during aging, thus extending the usable life of the tape.

ASTM: The American Society for Testing and Materials-an independent body which establishes testing methods and standards.


BACKING: The primary component of tape upon which the adhesive is applied. It may be any continuous material, such as cloth, film, treated paper, metal foil, laminated materials, etc.

BACKSIDE: The side opposite that upon which the adhesive is coated.

BACKSIZE: (See "Release Coating"). A treatment sometimes applied to the backside of a tape as a coating which benefits the tape in one or more of the following ways:

a. Provides a controlled level of unwinding adhesion of the roll.

b. Increases moisture resistance or solvent resistance.

c. Give's special properties such as smoothness, gloss, printability, color.

Pick Off: Particles of the release coat that stick to the adhesive on unwind.

BAKE RESISTANCE: The resistance of a tape to degradation during the heat treatment of a painted part or electrical component to which tape has been applied.

BANBURY: A type of mixing machine to soften rubber used to produce pressure-sensitive adhesive. (Registered Trademark of Farrel Co. Division of USM Corp.)

BANDOL-RING: The taping of the leads of components for automatic sequencing equipment; also used with rivets, screws and small parts. The reels of taped components resemble bandoliers of aluminum for machine guns.

BEAMS: Large reels on which glass, rayon or other yarns are wound; used in the manufacture of strapping tapes.

BIAXIAL-ORIENTATION: This is done to increase the tensile strength of a film in both the machine (transverse) directions. The film is stretched and heat-set.

BI-DIRECTIONAL: A term applied to strapping tapes in which cross-directional yarns are incorporated to provide increased longitudinal tear resistance-which aids one-piece removal of the tape.

BLEEDING: Penetration of an undesirable substance through the tape onto the surface to which the tape is applied, or onto the tape backside.

BLEED THROUGH: See "Bleeding".

BLOCKING: The sticking together of layers of tape in a roll, to a degree preventing separation without damage, which can occur under pressure or in a storage.

BLOWN MASS COAT: A minute elevation on the surface of the mass coat, somewhat resembling a blister, caused by the manner in which the mass is applied or dried. Does not usually make the tape defective.

BOND: The adhesion produced by contact of a tape with a surface to which it has been applied. Commonly used to refer only to thermoplastic tapes.

BOND STRENGTH: The amount of force required to break the joined area of two pieces of material. Force could be applied through tension, compression, flexure, peel or shear methods.

BOXBOARD WETTING: The ability of a tape to adhere instantly to a box board surface with very little application pressure.

BUCKLING: See "Roll Deformation".

BUNDLE ROLL: The large master rolls of coated tape from which individual slit rolls are produced.

BURSTING STRENGTH: The strength of a tape in resisting forces applied evenly, perpendicular to the tape surface.

BUTADIENE: A chemical building block from which many types of synthetic rubber are made. See "Styrene Butadiene".

BUTT SPLICE: A splice made by joining tape, end to end, without overlapping. The splice is made by using a thin tape to join the tapes to be spliced.


CALENDAR: A machine equipped with pressure rollers to make thin plastic webs, or to apply adhesive and coatings to substrates such as cloth.

CALENDAR COATER: A solventless type of coating machine used primarily for the application of adhesives to cloth and heavy substrates of tape.

CALIPER: A measurement of the thickness. Expressed in one-thousandths of a an inch (English units) of millimeters (Metric units).

CAMERON SLITTER: A type of machine used to cut film, papers and a wide variety of substrates.

CASTING ROLL: Operating part or the reverse roll coating head that "casts" or applies adhesives to backing.

CELLULOSE: The naturally occurring basic chemical building block which makes up paper fiber.

CHLOROPRENE: A chlorinated monomer used in the manufacture of Neoprene rubber.

COATED CLOTH: Fabric that is given a rubber or plastic back coating to increase moisture resistance and promote longer wear.

COATER: A machine composed of ovens, rollers, spreading devices, carriage bars, unwind stand and windup stand used in applying adhesive to the tape backing.

COATER HEAD: An assembly of rollers (metering, casting and back up roll) plus measuring and adjusting equipment, used to apply adhesive to the tape backing.

COATING: Application of a solution to various types of materials or backings such as paper, cloth, vinyl, cellulose film and metal foils. Accomplished by using reverse roll coating, air doctor, doctor roll and knife coating equipment. Via this process, raw backing is converted into pressure-sensitive tape.

COHESION STRENGTH: The internal strength of the adhesive and its ability to resist internal stresses that are, in turn, caused by external forces. For example, adhesive splitting upon tape removal indicates the force on the adhesive has exceeded the internal strength of the adhesive.

COLD FLOW: The extremely slow flow or minute movement of a semi-solid substance when subjected to a stress. Pressure-sensitivity implies cold flow. It accounts for increase of adhesion as application time or pressure increases. It also relates to oozing or exudation of adhesion from the edges of the roll and adhesive transfer. Some of the terms used in describing effects of cold flow follow:

Firm: Refers to the resistance of an adhesive to flow or distortion. It is the opposite of soft.

Mass Exudation: Refers to that condition where the sides of a roll become sticky due to mass exudation or flowing out from between the layers of tape.

Oozing: The same as mass exudation. The result is sticky or tacky sides when it occurs in a roll of tape.

Plasticity: A measure of resistance to flow or deformation used in describing the physical properties of semi-liquids and solids. The higher the plasticity, the higher the firmness.

COLOR: The visual color impression of a tape viewed from the backing side, irrespective of the color of its adhesive or other components.

COLOR STABILITY: Ability of the tape to retain its original color, especially when tape is exposed to light.

COMPRESSION SET: Permanent deformation of rubber or a plastic as a result of pressure.

CONDUCTIVITY, SURFACE: The ability of a tape to carry an electrical current along its surface. The opposite of "Insulation Resistance".

CONFORMABILITY: Ability of a tape to fit snugly or make total contact with the surface or an irregular-shaped object without creasing or folding.

CONTAMINANT: An impurity, usually in trace amount, which sometimes renders a product unfit for a specified use.

CORROSION: The electrolytic or chemical deterioration of a surface to which applied. See "Electrolytic Corrosion factor".

CREEP: Small, slow, dimensional changes caused by continuing stress. Examples are the slight retraction of tape edges after applying tape in a stretched condition, and loosening of heavy taped bundles due to slow stretching of the tape.

CREPE PAPER: Generally a kraft paper which has been treated (creped) to impart such desirable features as conformability and flexibility, with good tensile strength.

CROSS-LINK: A chemical bridge formed between molecular chains, increasing their strength and heat resistance. The curing of an adhesive to increase its temperature and shear resistance.

CURING: See "Heat Curing".

CURLING: Refers to a situation in which the free end of tape curls back upon itself when the roll is unwound.

CUT-THROUGH RESISTANCE: The ability of tape to withstand cutting by a wire lead or the sharp edge of a package or part.


DEAD STRETCH: Stretching and not recovering or striking back to former length. This is particularly important in crepe paper masking tapes, where it is not desirable to have the tape spring back or recover after stretching around a curve. The ability to stretch around a curve is achieved by creping the backing or by a specific impregnation.

DEFECT: A condition which fails to meet a tape's design requirements.

DELAMINATION: The tearing apart or splitting of a tape within the backing layer, in laminated tapes, the separation of the layers upon unwinding. In the case of paper tapes the de-lamination occurs within the paper, while in laminated tapes the de-lamination occurs at the laminated surface between the two layers.

DENSITY: The amount of material in a unit volume.

DICER: A type of machine used to cut rubber compounds into fine particle size prior to making them into an adhesive.

DIELECTRIC STRENGTH: The voltage expressed in volts or in volts per mil that a tape will withstand without breaking down and passing current through it.

DIP IMPREGNATION: The process of saturating a web (usually paper) by immersing it in a latex or solution to unify and bond the fibers together.

DIRECT COATING: Application of a solution directly to the web to be coated by the engraved roll of a print roll coating unit.

DISPERSION: Fine particles distributed in a matrix of some other substance. An example: the dispersion of a color pigment in an oil, clay, etc.

DOCTOR BAR OR BLADE: A scraper mechanism that regulates the amount of adhesive on the spreader rolls of a coater.

DOCTOR ROLL: Roller mechanism used to regulate the adhesive applied to the spreader roll of Reverse Roll coater - it revolves at a different surface speed, or in an opposite direction, that results in a wiping action.

DOUBLE-FACE TAPE: An adhesive tape coated on both sides of its backing (which served as a carrier for the adhesive) and interlined with a released liner.


EDGE CURL: Usually refers to the pulling away and folding back of tape along the outer edge of a sharp curve in the applied tape. The edge on the outside of the lifts or folds back due to tension which is highest at this point.

ELASTIC MEMORY: The opposite effect of Dead Stretch. It is the ability of a tape after stretching to shrink to its original strength. This property is especially important for tapes such as vinyl. See "Dead Stretch".


ELECTROLYTIC CORROSION FACTOR: A measure of the corrosive effect of a tape on a bare copper conductor. It is expressed as a ratio with 1.0 indicating no corrosion under the test conditions, and ratios less than 1.0 signifying degrees of corrosion.

ELASTOMER: Any one of a family if materials, of either natural or synthetic origin, which possesses rubber-like characteristics.

ELONGATION: Degree of stretch, generally expressed as a percentage (increase in length as a percentage of original length). The term is frequently used also as a shorthand way of referring to "Elongation to Break".

ELONGATION TO BREAK: The length that a piece of tape will stretch in one direction before it breaks. Generally expressed in percentage of original length.

ENCAPSULATING: The process of embedding an electrical component in a casting of insulating material.

EPOXY: A class of resinous plastic materials which are frequently used for electrical insulation, in coatings, and in structural uses.

EXTENDER: A substance, generally having a low cost and little effect on the functional characteristics, added to an adhesive to reduce the cost.

EXTUDATION: See "Cold Flow".

EYE: A sample of coated backing from the center of the web at the unwind end of the coater, and used for In-Process testing purposes.


FACE SIDE: The unlimited side of a double-face tape.

FALL OFF: The complete pulling away and dropping off of tape from the surface to which it had been applied.

FEATHERING: An irregular paint line resulting from seepage of paint under a masking tape.

FEEL: See "Adhesion".

FIBER: A thread-like material that gives texture or substance, and can be spun and woven.

FILAMENTS: The threads of rayon, polyester or glass that are laminated to various backings to produce very strong tapes. Glass threads impart very high very high tensile strength with low impact resistance with somewhat lower tensile strength.

FILLER: A relatively inert substance added to an adhesive to improve its working properties, permanence, strength or appearance.

FINGER-STICK: See "adhesion".

FIRM: Refers to the resistance of an adhesive to flow.

FISHEYES: The appearance of the adhesive surface when observed on a roll of transparent tape. They are caused by the entrapment of air between the adhesive side and the backside of the previous layer on the roll, and is not indicative of poor tape. Generally found in new or very fresh tap. Diminishes during storage.

FLAGGING: Refers to the condition observed when the end of a piece of tape comes away from the object to which it was intended to adhere. The term is usually applied to plastic tapes if they spring up. See "Curling", "Dead Stretch", "Elastic Memory", "Lifting". This term is particularly applied to tape wound on its own backing.

FLAKING: The flaking or breaking off of paint from a masking tape backing during tape removal.

FLAME-RESISTANCE: A tape's ability to withstand flame exposure. Burning rate, self-extinguished on removal or the igniting flame, smoke density, toxicity of fumes, and melt dripping, are important factors in assessing flame-resistance.

FLAME RETARDANT: A material that resists burning.

FLASH POINT: The minimum temperature of a liquid at which its vapor will form a mixture which burns.

FLAT BACK PAPER: A rope fiber or kraft paper with a flat, smooth surface having low elongation. Generally rope paper has a higher tensile strength than kraft paper.

FLEXIBILITY: The ability of a tape to be freely bent or flexed during application. Opposite of "Stiffness".

FLEXURAL STRENGTH: The maximum stress or load that a material can withstand when bent before it breaks.

FLUTING: See "Roll Deformation".

FOAM: Material formed by creating bubbles in a base material, such as natural or synthetic rubbers.

FOIL: A very thin flexible metal, such as aluminum or copper foil.

FREON: A family of fluorinated/chlorinated hydrocarbons used as aerosol propellants, cleaning agents and refrigerants.


GAPPING: Same as "Roll Opening" listed under "Roll Deformation".

GAUGE: See "Caliper".

GEARING: See "Roll Deformation".

GHOSTING: A haze-like deposit of an adhesive component left by a tape after its removal.

GLOSS: FINISH: A highly reflective or lustrous tape backing.

GOVERNMENT SPECIFICATION: A Government document that spells out the requirements for a particular tape or group of tapes. It will normally detail the physical properties, performance, performance characteristics, general composition, sampling requirements and packing.

GRAVURE COATER: (also known as Print Coater.) This coater applies a specific amount of coating by etched or gravure rolls to a substrate. It is used for Back-sizing, Priming, Saturating solutions.


HAND: The relative suppleness of a textile, film or tape.

HEAT CURING: The application of heat to a tape to bring about a chemical reaction forming cross-links, thereby increasing the cohesive strength of the adhesive and its resistance to high temperature and to attack by solvents.

HEAT RESISTANCE: See "Bake Resistance".

HIGHLIGHTING: A phenomenon where the surface covered by a tape shows a visual contrast with the surrounding area after removal of a tape, even though there is no staining, ghosting, imprinting or mass transfer. Sometimes caused by a change in surface gloss, sometimes by a difference in thickness of the finish under the tape, and sometimes by the protection from fading or yellowing furnished by the tape while it was applied.

HIGH-SPEED UNWIND ADHESION: The force required to unwind a roll of tape at relatively fast speeds, usually over 50 feet per minute (fpm).

HOLD: See "Adhesion".

HOLD TO BOXBOARD: The ability of tape when applied to box board to resist slippage when subjected to a shear stress by means of a specified weight.

HOLD TO CHROME: The ability of tape to resist slippage when applied to a chrome-plated bar and subjected to a shear stress by means of a specified weight. Usually hung at 20 or 0 degrees angle with a 400 gram weight.

HOLDING POWER: The ability of a tape to resist slippage under shear stress. Holding power is measured by applying a standard area of tape to a vertical test panel and suspending a standard weight on the free end of the tape, i.e., holds to chrome, holds to box board, etc.

HOMOGENIZER: A machine used to disperse or dissolve materials under high speed and high shear.

HYDROCARBON: A molecule consisting only of carbon and hydrogen. Many hydrocarbons are used as solvents, and originate from petroleum.

HYDROLYSIS: A chemical reaction with water, resulting in decomposition.

HYGROSCOPIC: Capable of readily absorbing and retaining moisture.


IMPACT RESISTANCE: The resistance of a tape to breaking under a shock load, as in bundling application.

IMPACT STRENGTH: Refers to the strength of a length of tape when a sudden dynamic force is applied to the tape itself. Differs from tensile in that tensile strength is measured at a slower rate with direct force at 180 degrees. Glass fibers or strands have high tensile, low elongation and low Impact Strength. Polyester threads or fibers have higher elongation, but somewhat lower tensile strength and, thus, high Impact Strength as compared to glass.

IMPREGNATION: Refers to the treatment of a backing (especially paper) in which individual fibers are unified and bonded together to improve physical and chemical characteristics of the backing. Impregnates prevent de-lamination, increase moisture and solvent resistance, improve tear and tensile properties. All paper tapes are usually impregnated.

IMPRINTING: Refers to an actual mechanical impression of a tape pattern into the surface of the material to which the tape has been applied. Generally results from the finish being too soft at the time the tape was applied.

INHIBITOR: A substance which slows down chemical reaction. Inhibitors are sometimes used in certain types of adhesives to prolong storage or working life.

INORGANIC: Refers to chemical substances not based on carbon (carbonates, carbon oxides and carbides are exceptions, being considered inorganic). Examples are minerals, water and air. See "Organic".

INSULATION: Any material that inhibits the flow of electrical current.

INSULATION RESISTANCE: The ability of a tape to resist flow of current along its surface under specific conditions.



KAPTON FILM: See "Polyimide Film".

KETONE: An oxygen containing solvent, often found in lacquer finishes.

KNIFE: See "Sitter Knife".

KODACEL FILM: A cellulose acetate transparent film.

KRAFT PAPER: A paper made from sulphate wood pulp.

KRATON: A family of synthetic rubber polymers based on Styrene and Butadiene or Styrene and Isoprene.


LABEL STOCK: Pressure-sensitive tape, which is suitable for printing and die-cutting, for use as labels. It is frequently furnished in roil form with a release inter-liner.

LAMINATED: A laminated tape is one whose backing is composed of two or more different materials laminated or glued together by an adhesive. For instance, a film with threads laminated to it or a film and a paper laminated. Strapping tape is a common example of a laminated tape.

LAP SPLICE: A splice made by overlapping the ends.

LATEX: A water dispersion of a rubber. Used to saturate paper backing; may also be used as a primer.

LATHE CUTTER: A machine used to cut tape by rotating a large tape roll and slicing individual rolls to the desired width with a rotating or fixed knife.

LIFTING: Refers to that condition in which tape releases or comes away from, on its own accord, the surface to which it has been applied. See "Flagging", see "Edge Curling".

LINER: A web or sheet affixed to the adhesive for protection during handling and storage. It is removed and discharged before application. Most frequently found on double face tapes and label stocks.
LOG ROLL: A roll on which a predetermined length of tape is wound in wide widths instead of in narrow roll sizes.


MANDREL: A part of the slitting machine assembly on which cores are fitted and on which the individual rolls of tape are wound.

MASS: Mass is the adhesive substance which gives a pressure-sensitive tape its adhesive properties. It is the adhesive.

  • Exudation: See "Cold Flow".
  • Pick-Off: See "Back size".
  • Weight: The amount of dry adhesive that is left on the substrate of backing. Amount is controlled on coaters by AccuRay or hand samples weighed on torsion balances. Generally described in terms of ounces per square yard.

MAT: A web of fibers.

MATTE FINISH: A dull, non-reflective, irregular surface of a tape backing.

MEK (METHYL ETHYL KETONE): An oxygenated solvent which will dissolve certain types of vinyl resins and nitrile rubbers.

MELINEX FILM: See "Polyester".

METALLIZED POLYSTER (or OTHER FILM): A polyester film upon which a thin layer of metal has been deposited.

METERING ROLL: Operating part of the reverse roll coating head that serves to create a nip or aperture which then regulates the amount of adhesive to be applied by the casting roll.

METHYLYENE CHLORIDE: A strong cleaning solvent often used in the capacitor industry.

MIGRATION: The slow movement of an ingredient from one part of a tape into another part, or between a tape and the surface to which the tape has been applied. Some plastic films and foams, for example, contain plasticizers which migrate into the adhesive and soften it. See "Plasticizer Migration".

MODULUS: A measurement that defines the stress/strain characteristics of a material; usually expressed as the force in pounds per square inch required to cause a certain elongation. Also used to refer to the slope of the stress-strain curve.

MOISTURE RESISTANCE: The resistance of a tape to the passage or the absorption of moisture, or to the harmful affects of moisture.

MOISTURE VAPOR TRANSMISSION RATE: See "Water Vapor Transmission Rate".

MOLECULAR WEIGHT: A measure of the size of an organic molecule polymer.

MONOMER: The basic building block from which a polymer chain is made. Many monomer molecules are chemically joined together to make up the polymer.

MYLAR FILM: See "Polyester".


NATSYN: A synthetic rubber based on polyisoprene, with properties similar to natural rubber. Used in the manufacture of adhesives.

NATURAL RUBBER: Rubber which is derived from the latex of rubber trees. It imparts tack and high temperature properties to pressure sensitive adhesives.

NEOPRENE: A chlorinated synthetic rubber with excellent solvent resistance. See "Chloroprene".

NIP OPENING: The opening between casting and metering rolls. This opening controls the amount of adhesive applied to a substrate.

NOMEX: A synthetic non-woven composed of high-temperature nylon fibers.

NON-WOVENS: Backings produced by the random interlocking of fibers, either natural or synthetic. Paper is an example of a non-woven made from a natural fiber.

NYLON: A polyamide plastic material that is strong and resilient. Nylon yarn has good strength and elongation properties.


OFF-CORE: A condition wherein the tape itself forms a flat-sided roll, but the core projects from one face due to misalignment at the start of winding.

OHM: The unit of measurement of electrical resistance.

OFFSETTING: Occurs when some or all of the ink of a printed tape transfers to the adhesive.

ORGANIC: Refers to chemical substances based on carbon, other than the simple compounds of carbon and oxygen or elemental metals. Usually contains hydrogen as well, and often oxygen, nitrogen sulfur or halogens. Plastics, solvents, rubber and paper are examples of organic compounds. See "Inorganic".

OVEN: The dryer, which is basically a tunnel enclosure, through which the backing is passed to be dried.

OOZING: See "Cold Flow".

OXIDATION: The reaction of oxygen with any substance. Oxidation of pressure-sensitive adhesives causes them first to soften, then to become hard and non-tacky.

OZONE DETERIORATION: The breakdown of a rubber or an adhesive by the action of the minute amounts of ozone in the atmosphere.


OFF-CORE: A condition wherein the tape itself forms a flat-sided roll, but the core projects from one face due to misalignment at the start of winding.

OHM: The unit of measurement of electrical resistance.

OFFSETTING: Occurs when some or all of the ink of a printed tape transfers to the adhesive.

ORGANIC: Refers to chemical substances based on carbon, other than the simple compounds of carbon and oxygen or elemental metals. Usually contains hydrogen as well, and often oxygen, nitrogen sulfur or halogens. Plastics, solvents, rubber and paper are examples of organic compounds. See "Inorganic".

OVEN: The dryer, which is basically a tunnel enclosure, through which the backing is passed to be dried.

OOZING: See "Cold Flow".

OXIDATION: The reaction of oxygen with any substance. Oxidation of pressure-sensitive adhesives causes them first to soften, then to become hard and non-tacky.

OZONE DETERIORATION: The breakdown of a rubber or an adhesive by the action of the minute amounts of ozone in the atmosphere.


QUICK-STICK: See "Adhesion".


RAZOR BLADE SLITTER: A slitting machine that slices the tape backing with razor blades. This imparts a very smooth, and therefore strong, edge that is difficult to tear by hand. Film tapes are often slit by this method.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY: The amount of moisture present in the atmosphere as a percentage of the maximum quantity of moisture that the air can hold at that temperature.

REINFORCE: A material, such as glass yarn, laminated to a tape backing to provide additional tensile strength and tear resistance.

RELEASE COATING: Release Coating and Backsize are sometimes used interchangeably. The term Release Coating usually refers to a very thin coating which is applied to the backside of a film or other impervious tape backing and which allows the tape to be unwound at a controlled level.

RELEASE LINER: A backing coated on one or both sides with a controlled amount of release agent. It is frequently used with label stocks or double-face tapes.

RESIN: A material, usually a polymer, which imparts tackiness and pressure-sensitive adhesion to a rubber/resin adhesive.

RESISTIVITY: The specific resistance of a material. The electrical resistance offered by a section of material of standard dimensions.

REVERSE ROLL COATER: The most adaptable web coating method; capable of coating a variety of flexible substrates with a wide range of adhesive and solutions.

REWIND MACHINE: A unit or units which rewind sub-standard individual rolls of finished tape and salvage good portions, making usable and salable rolls.

REWOUND: Refers to a roll of tape that has been enrolled to remove defects.

ROLL DEFORMATION: This is a general term to describe any physical departure from the shape and proportions of a perfect roll of tape, i.e. differences in diameter, openings between layers in the roll and displacement of layers axially with relation to each other.

Note examples defined below:

  • Buckling: That type or Roll Deformation wherein bumps appear along the circumference of the roll.
  • Fluting: A term sometimes used to indicate "Gearing" or "Smoking".
  • Gearing: That type of Roll Deformation wherein a regular succession of humps appears along the circumference of the roll. The regularity of the spacing from hump to hump gives the appearance of a gear.
  • Roll Opening: (Also called Gapping) That type of Roll Deformation wherein any two layers become separated from each other so as to create an opening.
  • Spoking: That type of Roll Deformation which results in the appearance of lines radiating from the center of a roll to the circumference. Its resemblance to a spoked wheel is marked.
    Telescoping: That type of Roll Deformation wherein successive layers of tape slide across each other in the same axial direction. The movement is similar to the lengthening of a telescope.

ROLL HARDNESS: A value which reflects proper winding of individual rolls of tape. The value is measured by an instrument which measures the relative hardness of wind.

ROPE PAPER: A paper formerly composed of reclaimed rope fibers. The decreasing used of hemp rope has created a shortage of used rope, and virgin hemp fiber is being used.

RUBBER: A long chain polymer, synthetic or natural, that has the properties of elasticity, resilience, and recovery.


SATURATE: To incorporate materials into the backing for greater internal strength and resistance to various deleterious environments. The backing of paper tapes, for instance, may actually contain as much as 50% by weight of a rubber based impregnate.

SATURATOR: Equipment used to saturate tape backings with solutions for internal strength.

SHEAR CUTTER: A machine that slits tapes with rotating knives which duplicate a scissor action. A strong edge results, and tough, thick materials such as metal foil tape can be cut by this technique.

SHEAR STRENGTH: The resistance of a tape to slipping, or if its adhesive to internal splitting, when a load is applied along the plane of the tape.

SILASTIC: A family of silicone rubber polymers used as adhesives or coatings on cloth for high temperature products.

SILICONE RUBBER: Synthetic polymers with rubber-like properties based on organic silicone compounds that are resistant to degradation at very high temperatures and maintain good flexibility at low temperatures.

SIZING: The process of applying a solution to a web or yarn surface in order to fill pores or otherwise treat the surface to improve the handling or functional characteristics of the material.

SHELF LIFE: The useful life of a tape in storage.

SHRINKAGE: The loss of dimension of a tape when exposed to heat os some other environmental condition.

SLITTER: A machine used to cut wide-width (bundle) rolls of tape into individual rolls with a given length and a given width.

SLITTER KNIFE: A circular steel wheel, sharpened to a specified angle and radius, used on slitting machines to cut coated backings into rolls of predetermined size.

SLIVERING: Refers primarily to masking tape and occurs when the tape tears when being removed from a surface.

SOLVENT: In pressure-sensitive tape technology it is the liquid in which the various adhesive ingredients are dissolved to facilitate their application to a substrate. It is commonly organic in composition, e.g., toluene.

SOLVENT DISPERSION: A mixture in which the adhesive components in finely-divided from are suspended in a solvent as opposed to being dissolved.

SPIRALING: See "Pigtailing".

SPLICE: A point at which two separate lengths of tape are joined together.

SPLITTING: Refers to delamination of the tape layers, or the lengthwise rupture of the tape backing.

SNAP TEST: Describes a mode of testing. Whereas most testing requires conditioning prior to testing, a "snap test" would be a test taken without proper condition, that is to say, it is an immediate test.

SOLIDS: The percentage by weight of the non-volatile matter in an adhesive or another solution.

SOLUBILITY: The degree to which a tape or a component of the tape will dissolve in any specific solvent.

SOLUTIONS: Homogenous liquid mixtures, most often involving a solid material dissolved in a solvent.


SPECIFIC GRAVITY: The ratio of the weight of any volume of material compared to the weight of an equal volume of water.

SPECIFICATION: Refers to the set of instructions used to manufacture a tape and/or a set of requirements against which a tape is tested and measured.

SPLICE TABLE: An attachment on a machine used to facilitate splicing.

SPOKING: See "Roll Deformation".

SPOOLED TABLE: Tape wound spirally on a wide core in layers, permitting unusually-long lengths to be packaged in a continuous length.

SPOOLING: The process of winding Spooled Tape, much lie fishing line is wound on a reel.

STABILIZER: A chemical added to prolong the life of a material, such as stabilizer in a PVC film that resists the deteriorating effect of ultraviolet light

STAINING: The discoloration of a surface to which a tape has been applied-e.g., an appliance or automotive finish.

STAIN RESISTANCE: A tape's freedom from discoloring surfaces to which it is applied.

STIFFNESS: The bending resistance of a tape (the opposite of "Flexibility"). Low stiffness is one important factor determining the conformability of a tape.

STORAGE LIFE: See "Shelf Life".

STREAKS: Distortions in the adhesive coat, or other coatings, represented by lines, marks, or scrapes having a different color, shade, texture or absence of coating that is readily distinguished from the normal uniform appearance. Streaks generally occur in the machine direction.

STRESS RELAXATION: The treatment of a tape to remove stresses introduced in processing-e.g., heat treatment of vinyl plastic tape.

STRIKE THROUGH: A condition resulting when the application of a coating solution to one side of a web forces the solution through the web, thus partially depositing the coating on the reverse side.

STRINGINESS: A condition of the mass in which it feels very soft and mushy, and on close examination, relatively long legs or strings of mass can be pulled out of the mass.

SYRENE BUTADIENE: A synthetic rubber made from styrene and butadiene monomers (SBR). Used in adhesives and saturants.

SOLVENT RESISTANCE: The resistance of a tape backing or adhesive to dissolving in an organic solvent- particularly those found in paints, insulating varnishes, and cleaning solutions.

SUBSTRATE: The primary component of tape upon which the adhesive is applied. It may be any continuous material such as cloth, film, treated paper, metal foil, laminated materials, etc.

SLY-OFF: A family of silicone release coatings.


TAB: A device for easy starting of a slit roll.

TACK: See "Adhesion".

TACKIFIER: A resin or something material added to an adhesive to impart tack.

TEAR STRENGTH: (TEAR RESISTANCE) The ability of a tape to withstand tearing forces. Edge tear strength, refers to the force required to start a tear at an unnicked or virgin edge of a notched edge. Tear propagation resistance refers to continuation of a tear which has been started by cutting or nicking the edge. Cross tear and a machine direction tear refer to strength measured with a tear line running across the width and lengthwise of the tape respectively.

TEDLAR FILM: See "Polyvinylfluoride".

TELESCOPING: See "Roll Deformation".

TENSILE STRENGTH: The maximum longitudinal tension force that can be withstood by a material of standard dimensions without breaking. For pressure-sensitive tapes or other thin products it is usually expressed as force per unit width (pounds per inch). As a basic property of a material, it is expressed as force per unit cross-sectional area (pounds per square inch).

  • Dry Tensile: The strength of paper tape after it has been conditioned at a specific humidity for a designated period of time.
  • Wet Tensile: The strength of paper tape which measures the ability of tape to function satisfactorily when exposed to moisture.
  • Longitudinal Tensile Strength: Measured parallel to the length of the tape.
  • Cross-Direction (of Transverse) Tensile Strength: Measured at rights angles to the length of the tape.

TENSIOMETER: An instrument for measuring tension of film tape substrates. When used in connection with a feedback controller, it regulates and maintains the tension on coaters and in ovens.

THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY: The measure of the relative ability of tape or other other material to conduct heat. The rate at which heat is transmitted depends on the thermal conductivity, and also the thickness, area and temperature difference.

THERMAL ENDURANCE: The time that a tape will last at an elevated temperature before it deteriorates and becomes unusable.

THERMAL EXPANSION: The increase in dimension which occurs when the temperature of a material is increased.

THERMOPLASTIC: Refers to a material which will soften when heated and harden on cooling, repeatedly. Normal pressure sensitive adhesives are thermoplastic in character. See also "Heat Curing" and "Thermosetting".

THERMOSETTING: A term applied to elastomeric or plastic materials which change chemically at high temperatures to a harder, less plastic or elastic form. Heat curing and thermosetting are interchangeable terms. Heat cured pressure-sensitive adhesives maintain some rubbery characteristics after cure.

THREAD LAY DOWN: The pattern of the threads in a reinforced (filament) tape.

3-D MIXER: A high-speed, high-shear mixer used to put adhesive ingredients into solution.

TOLERANCE: The limits of variability that are allowed around a standard test value. Expressed as ±.

TOLUENE: A strong aromatic hydrocarbon solvent widely used in the adhesive industry.

TRANSFER: Normally refers to mass transfer, but sometimes said of any tape component which moves from its proper place to some other position during either unwind or removal.

TRANSLUCENT: Partially transparent. Translucent tape allows some light to diffuse and pass through its backing.

TRANSPARENT: Capable of transmitting light without diffusion. A tape is rated as transparent if 10-point type can be easily read when tape is applied directly over it.

TUBING: See "Pigtailing."

TWISTING: See "Pigtailing".


ULTRAVIOLET RESISTANCE: The resistance of a tape to degradation by ultraviolet light, such as that found in sunlight.

UNWIND: The act of removing or unwinding tape from a roll. The characteristics of unwind are influenced by the adhesion of the tape of its own backing. See "Backsize".

UNWIND ADHESION: The force required to remove tape a roll.

UPVC: Unplasticized Polyvinylchloride - a rigid film used in packaging applications, and as a transparent tape is stationery uses.


VINYL: See "Polyvinylchloride/PVC".

VISCOSITY: The resistance of a fluid to flow. A measurement of this property provides useful information with respect to the coatability of a material.

VOID: An area on the mass side of the tape which has no mass on it.

VOLATILITY: Common terminology referring to the residual solvent content in various coated materials or raw materials.

VULCANIZATION: See "Heat Curing".


WALL MIXER: A slow drum mixer usually consisting of a single shaft with one or several paddles. Used primarily to mix small batches or to remix material in drums that have become stiff, separated, or gelled.

WATER VAPOR TRANSMISSION RATE: A test by which the weight of water vapor transmission through a tape is measured in grams per hundred square inches per 24 hours. It is a measure of the moisture barrier properties of a tape.

WATER ABSORPTION: The degree to which a tape will soak up and hold water.

WATER PENETRATION: The measure of a tape's ability to prevent the passage of water through the tape itself.

WEB: A term synonymous with backing or substrate.

WETTING: The ability of an adhesive to flow and come into intimate contact with the surfaces to which it is applied.

WIND-UP: The equipment located at the exit end of the coater which winds the coated tape onto a bundle roll.

WOVEN: A textile fabric formed by interlacing cross yarns (fill) with continuous machine direction yarns (warp). A "Non-woven", on the other hand, is a fabric-like material made from fibers that are laid down randomly in a process similar to paper making, and the fibers are bonded together with a binder and/or heat and pressure.

WRINKLES: Distortions in backing materials represented by creases, folds and other minor ridges or corrugated type defects which interrupt the continuous, smooth nature of the web. Wrinkles may be encountered running in any direction on the web.



YIELD STRENGTH: The force which when applied to tape will cause it to stretch, such that it will not return to its original dimension when the stress is removed.