Tapes have been used in the manufacturing industries since the early 20th century when they were first produced. Today, they come in different shapes, sizes and forms. They are essential for the packaging of goods and appliances. Using the right tape can go a long way to secure the package, preventing leakage and spoilage. If you need to package devices or products, your tape choice must be well informed.
When choosing the right tape for securing goods, Hot Melt Tape and Acrylic Tape are the typical choices. In appearance, they look similar, but they are different in a lot of ways. Before deciding on the perfect tape type for packaging your goods and products, many factors are involved.
Hot Melt Tape got its name from the adhesive it is made of. This adhesive is known as hot melt adhesive or hot glue. Similarly, Acrylic Tape is so-called because of its adhesive. This adhesive is known as acrylic adhesive. As a manufacturer, it is important to know the peculiar differences between these two tapes. This is because each may be suitable under certain conditions. On the economic side of things, the two tapes fall within the same price range.
Hot Melt Tapes are better used for mass production since they are the most convenient to use on a machine, without too much wastage. In addition, they are better suited for bulky packages. This is a result of their high flexibility and tensile strength. On the other hand, Acrylic Tapes are more suitable for long-term storage conditions. The reason is, they have more resistance to oxidation and harsh environmental conditions.
You will learn more of this as you read on. In this article, we address all the critical factors that manufacturers take into consideration before using any tape. So, hang in there, and read patiently.
Characteristics of Hot Melt Tapes and Acrylic Tapes?
Before delving deep into the nitty-gritty of these two tapes, it is essential to know what they are since they can easily be mistaken for each other.
Hot Melt Tape
Below are the qualities of Hot Melt Tapes.
- They are graded as thermoplastic adhesive because of their strong adhesive ability. A Hot Melt Tape can stick hard as soon as it gets to the surface of a package.
- Hot Melt Tapes are sold in clear, tan, and colored rolls. The color in which they come does not affect their sheer strength.
- They have an excellent tensile but yet flexible quality.
- Their impressive unwinding abilities make them suitable for sealing various kinds of packages.
- When a Hot Melt Tape is used on a box package, it gives it an overall professional and neat look.
- The adhesion of this tape is not reduced even when the box is overstuffed. It is commonly used for sealing bulky products like recyclable items that are enormous in quantity.
- Hot Melt Tapes perform poorly under extreme weather conditions. They tend to lose their bonding power when the temperature gets too hot or cold.
- They become yellowish due to oxidation over time.
- Acrylic Tapes have been known to have better tensile strength when applied manually, as against when applied with a taping machine.
- Acrylic Tapes come in clear, tan, and colored rolls, and when used, they give the package a neat and professional look.
- Acrylic Tapes retain their adhesion even when subjected to extreme weather conditions. Thus, whether under intense heat or cold, they do not lose their bonding power. No wonder they are mainly used for storing products that are stored in the refrigerator.
- Humidity is a factor that manufacturers never have to worry about when they use Acrylic Tapes. This is so because they are neither affected by high or low humidity.
- They are resistant to oxidation which usually makes some other types of tapes appear yellowish after a while.
How To Choose Hot Melt Tape And Acrylic Tape?
Price is a critical factor every manufacturer considers. Every material that constitutes any part of production often affects the product cost. On average, the cost of An Acrylic Tape and A Hot Melt tape is around the same price range. However, they come in different grades—premium and economy, with different prices, of course.
The condition of use is also an important consideration that informs the choice of any manufacturer. If the tape is to be used for packaging an item to be shipped out and taken through long distances, the perfect choice would be a Hot Melt Tape. A Hot Melt Tape can stick fast and firmly to a carton. So, even if the items in the box are so much and might spill out, a Hot Melt Tape would secure the box, leaving the package neat. However, if the package is exposed to extreme weather conditions, it is advisable not to use Hot Melt Tape.
On the other hand, Acrylic Tape is best used when the items to be packaged would spend a long time in a warehouse. It is essential to know that many tapes depreciate with time and extreme exposure, but this does not apply to Acrylic Tapes. Acrylic Tapes can survive extreme temperatures and humidity. Their ability to withstand harsh conditions makes them the best choice for packages stored in a very cool place like a refrigerator.
If a buyer overlooks the price and usage of the tape, the next thing to consider when deciding between these two tapes is the adhesion quality. Both tapes have impressive adhesion ability to a reasonable extent. But, when it comes to the superiority in adhesion abilities, it is safe to say that Hot Melt Tapes have more outstanding adhesion than Acrylic Tapes. As earlier stated, Hot Melt Tape’s adhesive is a thermoplastic adhesive, which means it can stick fast and hard. The ability to adhere to surfaces makes the Hot Melt Tape a good choice when dealing with bulky and overstuffed packages.
Without good tensile strength and flexibility, tapes are sure to wane off when exposed to stress. Shipping of goods does not only put pressure on the manufacturer and shippers; it also stresses the package. During shipping, the package might move from one position to another, which can cause tearing of the tape used to hold the box. If the tensile strength of Hot Melt Tape is placed side by side with that of Acrylic Tape, the Hot Melt Tape wins. It also has greater flexibility than Acrylic Tape. The tensile strength and flexibility of a tape determine how resistant it will be to wear and tear.
Some manufacturers have to worry about the unwinding ability of the tape they use, especially if it is being applied manually. Some tapes roughen up when unwound. Roughening up the tape can affect the appearance of the finished product.
If the method of application is to be done by a machine, some tapes are more tricky to work with than others. Hot Melt Tapes have a more remarkable unwinding ability than Acrylic Tapes; because of this, they are easier to use on a taping machine.
Technology plays an important role in the production process. For mass production, manufacturers love to automate the processes.
This also applies to the packaging and by extension, taping. Since production is usually done in bulk, it means the tapes have to be applied by machines. With machines, taping is faster and easier. Although, the Acrylic and Hot Melt Tapes can both be applied by hands or devices. However, Hot Melt Tapes are used more when the application is made with a machine because of their excellent unwinding ability.
Before any package gets to the final destination, it will typically be exposed to different environmental conditions.
Both tapes can withstand high and low temperate and humid conditions when used for sealing packages. However, when it comes to extreme temperature and humidity, only Acrylic Tapes can withstand such conditions. This is why it is used for boxes to be stored in a warehouse or refrigerator over a long period.
Acrylic Tapes and Hot Melt Tapes come in similar colors, so it might be hard to differentiate between them. They may come in transparent, colored, or tan rolls. Most tapes are prone to oxidation which makes them appear yellowish with time. Between Hot melt and Acrylic Tapes, only Acrylic Tapes can withstand oxidation. Thus, Acrylic Tapes retain their color, no matter how long they are used on a package.
Generally, the overall outlook of a package when it arrives at its destination is very key. Since both types look alike, they can make the package look neat and presentable at the end. However, if shipping takes a long time, the Hot Melt Tape might turn yellow due to oxidation. This makes Acrylic Tape a better choice for such products.
The choice between Hot Melt and Acrylic Tape is that of a manufacturer to make. However, the choice should be made based on the conditions that the package will be exposed to. Both Tape types have their pros and cons. They are excellent when used at the appropriate time and can be a headache when misused. If you are a manufacturer and you are confused about which tape to use, this article is your perfect guide.