Tips, tape, bonding

Tape Talk: Why Isn't My Tape Sticking?

Claudia Ramirez· April 23, 2021

Packaging companies, industrial manufacturers and automakers use single- and double-sided tapes for many daily operations. Whether your business is working with rough woodgrains, smooth plastics, glass or another material, it is important that your tape products hold.


Adhesive tape that won't stick interrupts production and results in downtime. If you are having trouble creating a successful bond, one of the factors below may be the reason for your situation:



1) Environmental Temperatures Are Too Low


Similar to glues, tapes are engineered for use in specific temperature ranges. Always read up on a product's temperature rating before integrating that solution into an assembly line. 


Conditions that are near freezing can cause adhesives to harden to the point where they refuse to stick. Additionally, your business may require bonding tapes rated for extreme temperatures if substrates travel through a heat chamber.

2) Tape Degradation


Adhesive tapes do have a shelf life. Tapes that have sat awhile may lose their ability to stick to challenging surfaces like PVC. Keep an eye on your adhesive tape inventory to prevent products from sitting years at a time.


Perform a test to see if the tape variety you have is right for your application and setting. If a brand-new order of tape won't stick, it's time to call the manufacturer.

3) Wrong Tape for the Substrate of Texture

A primary reason why tape doesn't stick is because the product is unsuitable for the project. Adhesive tapes are manufactured with specific requirements in mind that influence what substrates they will stick to.


The majority of adhesive tape solutions available on the market will detail what materials the tape is compatible with. Thicker tapes are necessary for substrates and surfaces that have a rough texture. Whether your business works with automotive parts or is responsible for printing, it's best to read up on tape solutions appropriate for your industry before ordering.


4) Improper Installation


Be sure to read any manufacturer instructions that come with pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes. If you miss a step that is important for the bonding process, the tape won't stick. Apply downward force when necessary, and refrain from stretching tapes prior to placement for desirable results.


How to Make Tape Stick Better


Following a few simple procedures will ensure adhesive tapes bond correctly. All tape solutions are unique, so the guidelines below will help your production team stay efficient:


Clean the surface: Adhesives stick to substrates and surfaces when they are free of dust and debris. Wipe surfaces clean and make sure no liquids or residues are left behind.

Wash your hands: Oils from the skin can interfere with a tape's ability to bond. Wash your hands before working, and avoid using moisturizers before handling tape.

Store tape correctly: Try to keep adhesive tape away from overhead lighting and damp conditions. You can prolong the life of adhesive tapes by placing rolls in a controlled environment.
Manage temperatures: Setting indoor temperatures anywhere from 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for short- and long-term storage.

Avoid stretching tape before use: Some tapes retract after placement. Cut pieces that cover the area without needing to be pulled for additional reach.

Choose the right tape: Consider the texture of a surface before applying. There is no one-size-fits-all tape solution, so do your research to select a thickness that will work for your applications.


Schedule a Consultation With tesa to Discover Adhesive Tapes for Your Facility


The team at tesa designs industry-leading self-adhesive products for our clients in more than 100 different countries. We've engineered over 7,000 products to date, and we strive to bring companies affordable tape solutions following environmentally friendly production methods. Find a tesa location close to you to schedule a consultation regarding our products today.