Last month, we explained the unique construction of co-extruded duct tapes. Today, we are going to discuss the traditional method of duct tape construction: lamination.

Duct tapes have been made using the process of lamination for decades, and the process is still the most common method for manufacturing duct tape today. Lamination involves the continuous combination of film, cloth and adhesive in layers that are bonded together on top of each other to produce the finished product. The multi-step process consists of constructing the backing, cloth carrier, and adhesive separately and then laminating the layers together in a high-pressure step.

Laminated duct tapes are flexible and conformable to a variety of surfaces, delivering better performance for uneven or curved surfaces. They are also readily available in multiple color, printed, and metalized options. You will find that most duct tapes that have colorful patterned backings – from words to film characters to animal prints – are made by lamination.

The downside to lamination is its failure point: delamination. When subjected to repeated stress or weather elements such as moisture, heat, and UV rays, the layers of a laminated duct tape can pull away from each other, causing the tape to flag or fall apart. Laminated duct tapes also tend to age more rapidly over time than co-extruded tapes, which can result in fading, flagging, and delamination.

laminated duct tape layers

How do you recognize a laminated duct tape just by sight and touch? Laminated tapes are typically thicker due to the existing layers and have a wavy appearance to the backing because of the texture and weave of the cloth carrier.

Choosing a duct tape for a specific application is made easier with the knowledge that not all tapes are created equal. Co-extruded duct tapes are great for critical applications and for use in more rugged or harsh environments, as they are constructed with a greater ability to resist moisture and withstand direct sunlight. However, laminated duct tapes are still great for general purpose and temporary use when strong adhesion is needed. They are sometimes even a better choice when taping to an uneven surface, as certain laminated duct tapes conform better to rough surfaces than co-extruded duct tapes in specific applications.

When it comes to choosing the right duct tape for your next job, consider the usage, application surface, environment, project duration, and any other special requirements that you need your tape to have in order to get the job done right.

Looking for a high-quality laminated duct tape that is built for performance? Visit Shurtape.com to learn more.