Acrylic and rubber are two of the most common adhesives in the tape world. And even though each of them is capable in terms of performance, they are constructed differently and each have unique properties that make them successful in unique applications.
Acrylic adhesives are a type of synthetic, polymer-based adhesive that are known for their strong bonding properties and good weather resistance. They are often used in constructions and manufacturing applications where a strong, long-lasting bond is required. Some common applications for acrylic adhesives include bonding wood, metal, plastic, and other materials together, as well as for sealing and weatherproofing.
Rubber adhesives are made from natural or synthetic rubber and are known for their flexibility and high adhesive strength. They are often used in applications where the adhesive needs to be able to stretch or move with the materials being bonded, such as in automotive or aerospace applications. Some common applications for rubber adhesives include bonding rubber and rubber-like materials, as well as bonding materials that experience significant temperature changes.
Here are a few examples of common differences between acrylic and rubber adhesives:
- Clear color
- Fish eyes: When looking at the tape, you can see small pockets of air under the film, these are commonly referred to as fish eyes and can be indicative of an acrylic adhesive.
- Cold temperature performance: Acrylic adhesives tend to perform better in cold temperature or freezer environments.
- Second chance: When placing an acrylic adhesive, you can quickly remove and reposition your tape as acrylic adhesives grow stronger over time
- Smell: Water based acrylics have a soft chemical/water smell while solvent based acrylic adhesives have a strong chemical smell
- Amber or frosted color
- Quick stick: Contrary to acrylic, rubber adhesives are able to bond quickly to the substrate they’re being applied to, this makes them ideal for recycled cartons
- Smell: Rubber adhesives can smell just like their namesake, rubber, or tires
Next time you pick up a roll of tape, we hope you use some of these tips to identify the adhesive type!