Why it Didn’t Stick: Adhesive Tape Troubleshooting

Why it Didn’t Stick: Adhesive Tape Troubleshooting

Human beings have been using adhesive products for an endless variety of purposes for literally thousands of years. There has been such an incredible amount of research carried out into new-generation adhesives and adhesive products that today’s market really is the most extensive and impressive that has ever been. There is an adhesive product for absolutely every purpose imaginable and overall quality standards have never been higher. Nevertheless, there will always be those instances where for whatever the reason, those using adhesive tapes find that they simply do not seem to be sticking.

Among medical adhesive tape convertors, adhesive manufacturers, 3M tape converters and so on, the most common complaint received when it comes to adhesive tapes is that they wouldn’t stick to the required surface. And when an adhesive doesn’t stick to the required surface, it is of course rendered redundant.  The thing is though, in literally 99.9% of instances it has absolutely nothing to do with the adhesive tape itself. Or at least, it has nothing to do with the properties of the tape at the time it was manufactured and supplied. There are various things that can affect whether or not an adhesive tape sticks as well as it should – or sticks at all, for that matter. So if you find yourself in a situation where a custom adhesive tape just doesn’t seem to be doing the job, you might want to ask yourself the following questions before going any further:

  1. Have you previously used the same tape to carry out the same job? If so, did it work before? If the answer is yes, exactly what may be different this time that could have affected its properties? Are the conditions the same as they were before? Have you used it in a different way? Has the formula changed?
  2. Is this the first time you have used this particular adhesive tape to carry out this specific job? If the answer is yes, it could very well be that the tape is not suited to the materials you are looking to bond, or the environmental conditions.
  3. Are you absolutely sure that the surfaces to be bonded were immaculately clean at the time? It’s important to remember that cleaning surfaces prior to the application of any adhesive also means removing them of surface dust and ensuring that they are completely dry. If there is even the slightest trace of moisture, grease, dirt or dust of any kind, it could ever highly detrimental effect on the ability of the adhesive to create the necessary bond.
  4. Could it be that your own hands have contaminated the adhesive or the surfaces? It’s one thing to ensure that the surfaces themselves are meticulously cleaned, but you may still cause problems for the adhesive if your hands are dirty, greasy or wet at the time the tape is applied. Even something as simple as recently using hand cream can have a detrimental impact on adhesive tapes.
  5. Have you taken into account the ambient temperature at the time? While there are of course exceptions, the vast majority of standard adhesive tapes will not provide a fast, secure and reliable bond if the surface or the tape itself is cold at the time. And of course, excessively high temperatures may also have an impact on the tape you use.
  6. Is the texture of the surface to be bonded appropriate for the adhesive tape? Exactly what kinds of surfaces any adhesive tape is suitable for will be determined by its unique properties. While there are some adhesive tapes that are highly effective with rough and uneven surfaces, others are effectively useless unless the surfaces are perfectly smooth and flat. If this is something you haven’t taken into account, it could be the explanation you are looking for.
  7. Has the roll been exposed to moisture at any time? Try to remember that just because you haven’t submerged the roll of tape in water doesn’t necessarily mean that excessive moisture by way of humidity cannot have damaged its adhesive properties. If the tape hasn’t been stored in a cool and dry place, this could be where the problem lies.
  8. Did you purchase the adhesive tape from a reputable manufacturer? Last but not least, it’s worth remembering that the differences in quality from one tape manufacturer to the next really are night and day. Which in turn means that if you cut corners on costs in the first place, you cannot realistically expect the tape your purchase to be the best available for the job.