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Reinforced Gummed Paper Tape & its Benefits over Packing Tape

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A roll of reinforced water activated paper tape next to a roll of self-adhesive tape

If you've ever had the task of sealing packages or boxes, you know that choosing the right tape is crucial. It needs to offer secure adhesion, durability, and be cost-effective. In recent years, there has been a growing buzz about reinforced water activated paper tape and its benefits over self-adhesive tapes. But what exactly is this tape all about? And why is it so popular with big e-commerce brands? Let's dive in and find out.

Table of Contents

Understanding the basics of reinforced water activated paper tape

Reinforced water activated paper tape, also known as gummed paper tape, is a packaging tape that provides superior strength and sealing capabilities. It consists of a paper backing reinforced with embedded fibers, offering excellent tear resistance and durability. Unlike self-adhesive tapes, which rely on a sticky backing, water activated tape is activated by water, creating a strong bond when it is applied to surfaces.

The science behind water activated paper tape

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The secret behind the effectiveness of water activated paper tape lies in its adhesive. When the tape is torn from the roll, the adhesive is activated by water and becomes sticky. This sticky adhesive bonds tightly with the surface, including corrugated shipping boxes. The adhesion is magnified by the fibers embedded in the paper backing, creating a powerful bond that is resistant to tears and tampering.

Key features of reinforced water activated paper tape

Beyond its unique adhesive properties, reinforced water activated paper tape offers several other key features that make it a superior choice for sealing packages. Firstly, its tear resistance is unparalleled, ensuring that your shipments stay secure even in the most demanding conditions. Additionally, this tape is easy to handle and apply, saving you time and effort. Lastly, it is made from natural and recyclable materials, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

Now, let's delve deeper into the fascinating world of reinforced water activated paper tape. Did you know that this type of tape has been used for decades in various industries? Its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century when it was primarily used in the packaging of fragile items such as glassware and porcelain.

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Over time, the tape's popularity grew as its benefits became more widely recognised. Its ability to provide a secure seal, even in challenging conditions, made it a favorite among manufacturers and shippers alike. Whether it's protecting delicate electronics during transit or ensuring the safe delivery of valuable artwork, reinforced water activated paper tape has proven its worth time and time again.

One of the reasons why this tape is so effective is its tear resistance. The embedded fibers in the paper backing add strength and durability, making it highly resistant to tearing. This is particularly important when packaging heavy items or when shipping goods over long distances. With reinforced water activated paper tape, you can have peace of mind knowing that your packages will arrive intact and undamaged.

Another advantage of using this type of tape is its ease of use. Unlike self-adhesive tapes that can be tricky to handle, water activated tape is simple and straightforward. All you need is a water dispenser or a sponge to activate the adhesive. Once moistened, the tape can be easily applied to the desired surface, forming a strong bond that will keep your packages securely sealed.

Furthermore, reinforced water activated paper tape is an environmentally friendly choice. Made from natural materials, such as paper and water-based adhesives, it is fully recyclable and biodegradable. In a world where sustainability is increasingly important, opting for eco-friendly packaging solutions can make a significant difference.

So, next time you're in need of a reliable and robust packaging tape, consider using reinforced water activated paper tape. Its superior strength, tear resistance, ease of use, and eco-friendly nature make it a top choice for sealing packages of all sizes. Whether you're a small business owner shipping products or an individual sending a gift, this tape will ensure that your packages arrive safely at their destination.

Delving into the world of self-adhesive tapes

Now that we understand the basics of water activated paper tape, let's take a moment to explore its counterpart: self-adhesive tapes. Self-adhesive tapes are coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive that sticks to surfaces without the need for water or additional activation. While they are widely used and readily available, they come with their own set of characteristics.

The making of self-adhesive tapes

Self-adhesive tapes are created by coating a backing material, such as plastic or paper, with an adhesive substance. This adhesive is formulated to adhere to surfaces when pressure is applied. While self-adhesive tapes provide instant adhesion, their long-term durability and strength may vary depending on the tape's quality.

When it comes to the manufacturing process, self-adhesive tapes undergo a series of precise steps to ensure their effectiveness. The backing material is carefully selected, taking into consideration factors such as flexibility, tensile strength, and resistance to tearing. The adhesive substance is then applied evenly onto the backing material, using specialised machinery that ensures a consistent and uniform coating.

Once the adhesive has been applied, the tape goes through a curing process, allowing the adhesive to set and reach its optimal bonding strength. This curing process may involve exposure to heat or ultraviolet light, depending on the type of adhesive used. After the curing process, the self-adhesive tapes are wound onto rolls, ready to be used for a variety of applications.

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Notable characteristics of self-adhesive tapes

Self-adhesive tapes offer convenience and ease of use, making them a popular choice. They come in various sizes and styles, catering to different packaging needs. However, their adhesion may be affected by temperature fluctuations, moisture, and time. Over extended periods, self-adhesive tapes can lose their sticking power, potentially compromising the integrity of your packages.

It is important to consider the environmental conditions in which self-adhesive tapes will be used. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can impact the adhesive's performance. High temperatures can cause the adhesive to soften, reducing its ability to stick effectively. On the other hand, low temperatures can make the adhesive brittle, leading to a weaker bond. Therefore, it is crucial to store and use self-adhesive tapes within the recommended temperature range to ensure optimal performance.

In addition to temperature, moisture can also affect the adhesive properties of self-adhesive tapes. Excessive moisture can weaken the adhesive, causing it to lose its grip on surfaces. It is essential to keep the tape and the surfaces to be bonded dry and free from moisture to maintain a strong and reliable bond.

Over time, self-adhesive tapes may experience a phenomenon known as "creep," where the adhesive slowly deforms and loses its initial bond strength. This can occur due to the continuous stress applied to the tape or the natural aging of the adhesive. To mitigate the effects of creep, it is advisable to use tapes with higher adhesive strength or consider additional reinforcement methods, such as overlapping or using multiple layers of tape.

Despite these considerations, self-adhesive tapes remain a versatile and widely used solution for various applications. From packaging and sealing to arts and crafts, their convenience and ease of use make them a go-to choice for many. By understanding their characteristics and taking appropriate precautions, you can ensure that self-adhesive tapes serve their purpose effectively and reliably.

Comparing reinforced water activated paper tape and self-adhesive tapes

Now that we have a solid understanding of both reinforced water activated paper tape and self-adhesive tapes, let's compare these two options side by side to help you make an informed decision.

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Performance comparison: water activated paper tape vs self-adhesive tapes

When it comes to performance, reinforced water activated paper tape shines. Its unique adhesive properties and embedded fibers provide exceptional bonding strength and tear resistance. It outperforms self-adhesive tapes in demanding shipping and handling conditions, ensuring your packages arrive intact.

Reinforced water activated paper tape is specifically designed to withstand the rigors of transportation. The embedded fibers add an extra layer of strength, making it ideal for securing heavy packages or items that require extra protection. This tape is commonly used in industries such as e-commerce, logistics, and manufacturing, where the safe delivery of goods is of utmost importance.

Additionally, the water activated adhesive of this tape creates a strong bond with the carton surface, preventing any tampering or unauthorised access to the package. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses that deal with valuable or sensitive items.

Cost-effectiveness: a comparative analysis

Considering the cost-effectiveness, water activated paper tape proves to be an economical choice in the long run. While the upfront cost may be slightly higher than self-adhesive tapes, the superior durability and strength of water activated paper tape mean fewer tape strips are needed to secure a package. This translates into cost savings over time for businesses that frequently ship high volumes of packages.

Furthermore, the adhesive properties of water activated paper tape ensure that it remains securely in place, even in extreme temperature conditions. This eliminates the need for additional tape layers or reinforcements, reducing material costs and saving valuable time during the packaging process.

Another cost-saving advantage of water activated paper tape is its eco-friendliness. Made from renewable resources such as kraft paper and starch-based adhesives, this tape is fully recyclable and biodegradable. By choosing water activated paper tape, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

It is worth noting that self-adhesive tapes may offer convenience in terms of ease of use, as they require no water or additional equipment for application. However, when considering the long-term benefits and cost savings, reinforced water activated paper tape emerges as the superior choice for businesses that prioritise performance, durability, and sustainability.

The environmental impact of both types of tapes

As awareness around environmental sustainability grows, it's essential to evaluate the impact packaging materials have on our planet. Let's examine how both reinforced water activated paper tape and self-adhesive tapes fare in terms of eco-friendliness.

Water Activated Tape (Tegrabond) and tape dispensers

Assessing the eco-friendliness of water activated paper tape

Reinforced water activated paper tape is an eco-conscious choice. It is made from renewable and biodegradable materials, such as paper and natural adhesive. The paper backing is typically sourced from sustainable forests, ensuring that the tape has a minimal carbon footprint. Additionally, water activated paper tape is recyclable and compostable, reducing its impact on landfills.

Evaluating the environmental footprint of self-adhesive tapes

On the other hand, self-adhesive tapes have a more significant environmental impact. Most self-adhesive tapes are made from plastic materials that take hundreds of years to decompose. The production of these tapes also contributes to carbon emissions and the depletion of non-renewable resources. While some self-adhesive tapes are recyclable, many end up in landfills, further exacerbating environmental concerns.

The benefits of using reinforced water activated paper tape

After examining the various aspects of reinforced water activated paper tape, it's clear that it offers numerous benefits over self-adhesive tapes. Let's explore these advantages in detail.

Superior sealing capabilities of water activated paper tape

With its strong adhesive and tear-resistant backing, water activated paper tape provides a secure seal that prevents pilferage and damage during transit. Its bond with corrugated shipping boxes is exceptional, ensuring that your packages remain intact throughout the delivery process. This is especially beneficial for businesses that prioritise customer satisfaction and strive to deliver products in pristine condition.

The durability and strength advantage

Reinforced water activated paper tape is specifically designed to withstand the rigors of shipping and handling. Its tear resistance and durability make it highly suitable for heavy items and challenging environments. Whether your packages are subjected to vibration, temperature changes, or rough handling, this tape will maintain its integrity and keep your shipments secure.

The environmental benefits of choosing water activated paper tape

Beyond its performance advantages, water activated paper tape is an environmentally friendly choice. By opting for this tape, you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. Additionally, water activated paper tape can easily be customised with your logos and branded marketing messages, creating a professional and visually appealing package that leaves a lasting impression.

It is worth noting that water activated paper tape's effectiveness in bonding to corrugated shipping boxes has been recognised by leading e-commerce giant Amazon. Their extensive use of this tape demonstrates the trust they place in its sealing capabilities. If it's good enough for Amazon, it's certainly worth considering for your own packaging needs.

In conclusion, reinforced water activated paper tape offers a range of benefits over self-adhesive tapes. Its outstanding adhesive properties, durability, and cost-effectiveness make it an ideal choice for businesses that value secure and eco-friendly packaging. By choosing water activated paper tape, you not only ensure the integrity of your packages but also contribute to a greener future.

Shop our full range of water activated tape, dispensers and more here.

This article was written by...

Nathan Calvert

Nathan is Head of Digital at The Packaging Club. He has worked in the packaging sector for over 15 years across food, consumer electronics, FMCG ecommerce and more, both directly in-house or as a freelance consultant.

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