A Comprehensive Guide to Packaging Tapes

Packaging tape is a versatile and indispensable tool used in various industries to securely seal and package items for transportation or storage.

With a wide array of options available, it can be challenging to determine the most suitable type of packaging tape for your specific needs.

In our latest blog post, we will explore the various types of packaging tape, highlighting their unique characteristics and applications.

Types of Tape

Adhesive Tape Products

Before beginning, it is important to outline the different types of adhesives used across packaging tape products. Although there is a multitude of packaging tape variations, the adhesives used tend to mainly be from one of the following:

  • Acrylic available in both water and/ or solvent-based acrylic adhesives, acrylic packaging tape is a widely used type of packaging tape known for its versatile properties and reliable performance.
  • Solvent – offers strong adhesion, versatility, resistance to extreme conditions, durability, and the ability to bond quickly. Its reliable performance makes it a popular choice for a wide range of packaging applications, providing secure and tamper-evident sealing to protect goods during transportation or storage.
  • Hot Meltalso known as hot-melt adhesive tape, is a type of packaging tape that is widely used for its unique properties and reliable sealing capabilities.
  • Water-Activateda starch-based adhesive that is used on gummed paper. Water is required to activate it, then it solidifies when it dries.

Having discussed the diverse adhesives employed in packaging tapes, the following section of our blog will present a comprehensive overview of various packaging tapes that utilise these adhesives.

Clear Packaging Tape

Clear packaging tape, also known as transparent tape, is the most common and widely used type of packaging tape. It is made of a transparent polypropylene film, coated with acrylic adhesive. Clear tape offers excellent clarity, making it ideal for sealing packages that require visibility of the contents. It provides a strong bond and is suitable for sealing lightweight to medium-weight boxes.

Brown Packaging Tape

Brown packaging tape, often referred to as parcel tape, packing tape, or buff tape, is a durable and robust option for sealing cartons and packages. It is made of a polypropylene film with a solvent-based acrylic adhesive. Brown tape is known for its high tackiness and resistance to moisture, making it suitable for securing heavier packages or those exposed to various weather conditions.

Masking Tape

Masking tape is a versatile adhesive tape that finds application in various industries, including painting and carpentry. While not specifically designed for packaging, masking tape can be used in temporary or light-duty packaging applications. It is made of a thin and crepe paper backing, coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Masking tape offers easy removal without leaving residue, making it useful for labeling or temporary closures.

Freezer Grade Tape

Freezer Grade Tape is specially designed to meet the unique requirements of cold storage and freezer environments. This tape is engineered to maintain its adhesive strength and integrity even in extremely low temperatures, ensuring secure and reliable sealing in freezing conditions. With its strong adhesive properties, it adheres firmly to a variety of surfaces, including plastic, metal, and cardboard, providing a tight and durable seal that withstands freezing temperatures without cracking or peeling.

Our Freezer Grade Tape is resistant to moisture, frost, and condensation, making it an ideal choice for sealing packages, cartons, and containers in cold storage facilities, walk-in freezers, and refrigerated transportation. Its easy-to-use design allows for quick and efficient application, ensuring that your items remain protected and well-preserved in freezing conditions.

PET Tape

PET tape, also known as polyester tape, is constructed from durable polyester film, making it resistant to tearing and abrasion. This tape offers exceptional tensile strength and adhesion, ensuring a secure and long-lasting bond on a variety of surfaces. Its strong adhesive properties allow it to adhere to cardboard, plastics, metals, and other common packaging materials with ease.

Our PET tape is ideal for demanding applications where strength and durability are crucial. It provides excellent resistance to moisture, chemicals, and temperature fluctuations, ensuring that your packages remain sealed and protected even in challenging environments. Whether you are sealing heavy-duty boxes, securing pallets, or bundling items together, our PET tape is up to the task.

Water-Activated Tape

Water-activated packaging tape, also known as gummed tape or paper tape, is a specialized type of packaging tape that offers exceptional sealing and security for a wide range of packages. Unlike traditional adhesive-based tapes, water-activated tape requires water to activate its adhesive properties.

Made from reinforced paper or fiberglass, this tape becomes adhesive when moistened, creating a strong and permanent bond with the packaging surface. The wetting process activates the starch-based adhesive, allowing the tape to effectively adhere to a variety of materials, including cardboard, corrugated boxes, and recycled paper.

Water-activated tape provides tamper-evident sealing, as any attempt to remove or tamper with the tape leaves behind visible evidence of tampering. Its strength, durability, and eco-friendly characteristics make it an excellent choice for securing packages during transit or storage while minimizing environmental impact.

Printed Packaging Tape

Printed packaging tape offers an opportunity for branding and customized packaging solutions. It can be customised with a company logo, message, or warning signs, enhancing the overall presentation and security of the package. Printed tape is available in various materials, including polypropylene, PVC, or paper, depending on the specific requirements.

Streamline your taping process – the efficiency of tape dispensers

In addition to the various types of packaging tape, dispensers also play a key role in an efficient packaging process.

The final section of our blog provides an overview of the various types of dispensers that are available.

Hand Dispensers

Hand Dispensers are a great user-friendly tool. Hand dispensers save time as they never lose their end, are incredibly versatile, and are designed to suit most self-adhesive tapes.

Manual Dispensers

Known for their reliability and user-friendliness, manual tape dispensers are essential tools in any packaging process. We offer the popular Better Pack BP333 Manual Water Activated Tape Dispenser, which is recognised as the world’s best-selling, budget-friendly, and easy-to-use dispenser operated by a manual lever. This versatile tool features fifteen manually adjustable tape lengths, catering to a wide range of light to medium usage requirements.

Automatic Dispensers

We offer top-of-the-line Automatic Tape Dispensers from industry leaders like Better Packages.

One such dispenser we stock is the Better Pack BP500 Electronic Water Activated Tape Dispenser. With its high capacity and sturdy construction, this dispenser is an excellent choice for low-volume users. Its adaptable design allows for dispensing pre-moistened lengths of both plain and reinforced gummed paper tape at a remarkable speed of 1.14 meters per second. By combining speed and a user-friendly interface, this dispenser significantly enhances your packaging processes’ efficiency while reducing the risk of employee injuries.

We also stock the Better Pack BP555 Electronic Water Activated Tape Dispenser, a machine that is ideal for high-capacity operations. The dispensers inbuilt 1.3-litre reservoir and wetting system ensures that adhesive is evenly dispersed across the whole tape width, contributing to a more efficient packaging process. The machine is equipped to dispense pre-set lengths, which can be adjusted to repeat a pre-set length, reducing the number of necessary changeovers.

How Hub Packaging can help

Selecting the right type of packaging tape is crucial for ensuring the safety and security of your packages during transit or storage. Understanding the different types of packaging tape available allows you to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Whether you require a transparent seal, heavy-duty reinforcement, temporary closures, or customised branding, there is a packaging tape that suits your requirements. By considering factors such as strength, adhesive properties, visibility, and customization options, you can choose the ideal tape for your packaging needs and ensure the safe delivery of your items.

To find out more information about how Hub Packaging can assist you with any tape-related need, get in touch today, our technical team can provide information regarding the products mentioned, and will reply to any queries you may have:

Email: sales@hub-packaging.com

Sales (NI): +44 (0) 28 4175 4977

Sales (ROI):  +353 (1) 866 0136

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