Technical terms

Your useful guide through the world of adhesive tapes

Below we have collected and explained in more detail some technical terms that are more frequently used in connection with our product range. We would be pleased if one or the other explanation helps you, but we are also personally available for technical questions.

You are not only interested in technical terms, but also need information about specific adhesive tapes? Then feel free to visit our Adhesive Tape ABC.

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  • Abrasion resistance

    Abrasion resistance is the measure of the abrasion resistance of adhesive tapes. There is a classification from class A (low) to class E (maximum).

  • Adhesion

    Adhesion is also called adhesive force, among other things. In technical terms, adhesion refers to the forces that are responsible for holding different bodies together. Adhesion is therefore even able to make water drops adhere to a glass pane. The mode of action of our adhesives is also based on adhesion. Of course, the mode of action of adhesion also depends on the substances in question.

  • Adhesive strength

    Adhesive force is the force required to remove an adhesive tape that has been bonded to a surface. Comparative values are obtained by standardized laboratory tests. For this purpose, a 25mm wide adhesive tape is glued to a polished steel plate and peeled off at an angle of 180°. The force required for this is measured in kiloponds (kp) and newtons (N).

  • Aging resistance

    All adhesive tapes age. They are therefore subjected to various aging tests to check the chemical-physical change in their properties. These changes do not necessarily reduce the usability of the adhesive tape. Some adhesives even exhibit higher cohesion values only after aging. Generally, no changes should be measurable within the first six months. One speaks of good aging resistance if no negative effects are measurable even after twelve months. Many adhesive tapes are still fully serviceable after ten years.

  • Ball test

    The ball test is used to determine stickiness. To do this, a steel ball is rolled from an inclined plane onto the adhesive side. The stickier the adhesive, the shorter the distance the ball travels.

  • Bonding agent

    Adhesion promoters, also called primers, are used to deepen the adhesion properties of surfaces. In addition, adhesion promoters support aging resistance and prevent moisture infiltration, such as when bonding glass. We at cardinal TAPES apply adhesion promoter as a primer before adhesive coating. Product inquiry for adhesion promoter.

  • Breakdown voltage

    The breakdown voltage describes the voltage required to allow current to flow through an insulator. It is measured in volts and plays a major role especially in electrical insulating tapes.

  • Calender

    Calender is a system of heavy, usually heated rolls arranged above or behind each other. They are used to smooth the surfaces of various substrates and enable adhesives to be rolled out to a desired layer thickness. Calenders are used, for example, to produce strapping tape, a film with the highest tear strength.

  • Cohesion

    Within adhesive bonding technology, cohesion describes the force that causes the adhesive to hold together. In addition, the force of cohesion is responsible for the toughness and flow behavior of a solidified adhesive. At low cohesion, adhesive tapes leave residues on the previously bonded surface when they are removed. In adhesive bonding technology, the cohesive force of an adhesive is expressed by means of characteristic values such as elongation at break, temperature resistance or Shore hardness.

  • Cold welding

    Cold weld describes the unique property of butyl adhesive to adhere to itself, as well as virtually any other surface, immediately and non-removably. Good adhesion is possible even on slightly soiled and damp surfaces. Only on siliconized surfaces is cold welding not possible.

  • Composite material

    A composite material results from indissoluble joining of different carriers. Composite material refers to a material that consists of at least two joined materials, the materials have different material properties and thus complement each other optimally. The combination of the individual properties then results in an optimally suitable overall beam.

  • Corrosion

    Corrosion describes the reaction of a metallic material with its environment, resulting in a change and impairment of the material’s function. This process begins on the surface and eventually leads to the complete destruction of solid materials by the action of gases, acids and alkalis.

  • Density

    Density describes the amount of material in relation to a unit volume (see “volume weight”). The specification is made in the weight of one cubic meter (= volume weight). For adhesive tapes, only the density of foam carriers is important.

  • Dispersion

    Dispersion is the fine distribution of very small solids in water. In the adhesive tape sector, acrylic and acrylate adhesive dispersions are of particular importance. The addition of emulsifiers stabilizes the dispersion.

  • Electrolytic corrosion factor

    Adhesive tapes can have a corrosive effect on other materials. The electrolytic corrosion factor describes the possible degree of this corrosion. Factor 1 means no corrosion at all. The stronger the corrosion, the smaller the corrosion factor.

  • Elongation at break

    Material parameter that specifies the elongation in relation to the initial length (in %) of a material until breakage. In elastomers also referred to as elongation at break.

  • Fiber fleece

    Nonwoven consists of natural or synthetic fibers, which are glued or pressed only in the longitudinal direction (e.g. for handkerchiefs). The clear advantages of fiber fleece are its water resistance and tear strength.

  • Flat crepe

    Flat crepe is the name given to adhesive tape with a paper backing. As a rule, this is painted or impregnated on one side of the surface. Flat crepe can be stretched by up to 15 percent of its original length and unrolls silently. Flat crepe is also known as painter’s tape or painter’s adhesive tape, among other things, because it is ideal for masking wallpaper work and can be used ideally for color edges and interior areas.

  • High crepe

    Crepe tape with a heavily sized, usually unvarnished paper backing. High crepe can be extended by at least 40 percent of its original length, so the highly compressed high crepe tape is excellent for masking curves and curves with it. Our strongly creped and highly elastic adhesive tapes adhere even to difficult substrates such as coarsely plastered walls. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Initial adhesion

    Depending on the adhesive, the maximum adhesive strength depends on the time after processing. Solvent, rubber and silicone adhesives, for example, have a high initial tack. Other adhesives, especially those based on acrylic and butyl, reach their highest cohesion values only after hours or days after bonding.

  • Insulation

    Partial or complete shielding of an object against electrical current as well as external influences such as moisture, heat, cold, sound and dust. As the name suggests, we distribute our insulating tapes for insulating applications. If you have any further questions about our insulating tapes, we will be happy to help you. Simply contact us by phone or use our contact form.

  • Insulation classes

    Adhesive tapes in the electrical sector are divided into different temperature ranges (=heat classes) according to their continuous heat resistance:

    Class Y = continuous temperature range up to 95 °C,
    Class E = continuous temperature range up to 120 °C,
    Class B = continuous temperature range up to 130 °C,
    Class F = continuous temperature range up to 155 °C,
    Class H = continuous temperature range up to 180 °C

  • Kilopond (kp)

    1 kilopond is the unit of force with which a mass of 1 kg acts on its point of suspension. Today, the kilopond is an obsolete and non-SI compliant (International System of Units) unit of force. According to legal regulations, the unit kilopond is no longer permitted and is replaced by the newton.

  • Mµ (µ)

    The 12th letter of the Greek alphabet. As a prefix, µ means one millionth, for example 1µm = 1 millionth of a meter = 1 thousandth of a millimeter.

  • Networking

    Crosslinking is used to influence adhesion and cohesion as well as various chemical and thermal properties of an adhesive. Crosslinking is based on chemical changes to crosslink molecular chains, resulting in the three-dimensional structure of a substance.

  • Newton (N)

    1 Newton is the force that accelerates a mass of 1 kg at one meter per s². Newton belongs to an international system of units, which explains the unit of measurement for the physical quantity of force. Since the newton (N) is merely a derived unit, it can also be replaced by common base units such as kilogram (kg), meter (m) or also second (s).

  • Opaque

    The opposite of transparency is opacity, which in physics is a measure of the opacity of materials and layers. Thus, opaque refers to the opacity of our tapes and is especially important for UV-resistant tapes. Our paper tapes get higher opacity by adding fillers or higher wood content. If you have any further questions regarding the opacity of our adhesive tapes, we will be happy to advise you personally.

  • Peeling resistance

    Resistance of an adhesive bond to linearly acting peeling forces that generate high stress peaks in the adhesive layer, dimension N/mm or N/cm.

  • Polyimide

    Polyimides are high-performance plastics. PI films are extremely resistant to temperature, chemicals and radiation. They are light brown in color and have good insulating properties, which is why they are used primarily in the electrical engineering field as solder covers in manufacturing or as temperature-resistant insulation for electronic devices.

  • Polypropylene

    Polypropylene is a so-called thermoplastic, a plastic that is deformable within a certain temperature range. PP films are mainly used as packaging tapes. They are resistant to alkalis, acids and solvents, but very UV-sensitive

  • Polyurethane, PU, PUR

    Polyurethanes are certain plastics or synthetic resins which play a major role, especially as PU foam. Depending on the production, the properties can vary greatly between permanently elastic soft foam (e.g. kitchen sponges) and hard assembly foam. PU foam can serve as a carrier for mirror film, for example. In addition, highly stretch and tear resistant PU films are produced

  • Processing temperature

    The processing temperature describes the optimum temperature at which bonding should take place. As a rule, this optimum is close to the room temperature between 10°C and 30°C. Of course, the processing temperature depends on the particular adhesive tape and you should consult a specialist in advance about the correct temperature. We will be happy to help you with any technical questions you may have about adhesive bonding technology.

  • Resetting capacity

    Resilience describes the property of a flexible material to return to its original dimensions after expansion. The resilience is particularly important for PP film substrates and sealants.

  • Rolling force

    The unwinding force of an adhesive tape describes the force required to pull an adhesive tape off the roll. It should be noted that the so-called unwinding force depends on the coated adhesive as well as the backing material. The unit of measurement for the rolling force to look for is N (Newton). For more information on the unwinding force of our adhesive tapes and to what extent they can be unwound by hand or are more suitable for adhesive tape machines, please use our product inquiry.

  • Separating layer

    The release liner lies between the individual layers of adhesive tape and prevents these individual layers from sticking together unintentionally. Single- or double-sided siliconized papers or films are often used for this purpose. When siliconized materials cannot be used, embossed films are usually used, where the contact area is small and therefore the tape can be easily removed

  • Shelf life

    Shelf life describes the time between the manufacture of an adhesive or adhesive tape until the material can be processed under certain storage conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity).

  • Siliconize

    Silicone compounds are non-metallic and are dissolved in solvents or dispersions. In this state, they are applied to papers or films and then crosslinked. Siliconized surfaces are so smooth that no common adhesive can adhere to them. Special silicone adhesives are needed. Especially in the area of double-sided adhesive tapes, siliconized papers are of great importance.

  • Splice

    Splice means as much as glue or patch. The term is mainly used in the foil, paper and cardboard industry for the continuous making of paper and foil webs. You still have questions about splicing? Contact us by phone and we will advise you.

  • Stickiness

    Tack is a measure of the flowability of a pressure-sensitive adhesive and describes the adhesion at minimum pressure. A material that feels sticky usually has no internal strength, i.e. no cohesion. However, for uneven, rough and dusty surfaces, a very sticky material is often required. Stickiness is measured, for example, by the ball test.

  • Telescoping

    Telescoping means the lateral funnel-shaped displacement of an adhesive material beyond the roll core. This deformation often occurs due to the internal pressure of the tape, which can be a result of incorrect storage and transport conditions, as well as too tight winding. As a rule, this does not affect the adhesive properties.

  • Temperature range

    The temperature range indicates the temperatures at which a bond will still hold. Frequently, the tackiness of an adhesive also increases with rising temperatures, whereas the adhesive strength decreases. With falling temperatures, the tackiness decreases accordingly. However, the adhesive strength only increases in the range of medium temperatures around approx. 20-25°C, which is why adhesive tapes stored in cool conditions often first have to be warmed up to room temperature before processing (see “Processing temperature”).

  • Tensile strength

    The tear strength indicates the force required for an adhesive tape to tear. The value is related to the strip width and thus given in newtons per cm (N/cm). To determine the tensile strength, a tensile testing machine is used in which the two ends of an adhesive tape are clamped and pulled in opposite directions.

  • Thermosetting

    With thermosetting adhesives, the hardness and tack of an adhesive increase when exposed to heat. Such materials are used, for example, in electrical engineering in the manufacture of capacitors.

  • Tightness

    Tightness describes the properties of a material to resist external influences. In the case of adhesive tapes, impermeability to chemicals (e.g. alkalis, acids or solvents), moisture and gases plays a particularly important role.

  • UV radiation

    UV rays are part of sunlight and trigger numerous chemical reactions. In extreme cases, the molecular adhesive structure can be destroyed within a few minutes, which is why it is essential to store UV-sensitive adhesives in the dark. Hot melt adhesives and rubber adhesives are particularly susceptible. Butyl and acrylic adhesives, on the other hand, are very resistant to UV rays. In the latter, UV radiation can even be used specifically to increase chemical stability through crosslinking.

  • Volume weight

    The density is given in kg/m³ and describes the material weight per cubic meter (see “Density”).