Duct tape generally comes in either black or silver shades, but a few tape suppliers produce a variety of colors, including clear. It is thinner than foam tape and wider and glossier than masking tape, mostly because the waterproof and easy rip adhesive was originally produced for industrial applications.
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Applications of Duct Tape
Duct tape is used to keep cracking side mirrors on cars and for repair body work in motor sports. The product is also employed as a temporary bandage and an art supply for urban artists. Some teenagers even receive scholarships from the name brand Duct Tape company by wearing duct tape clothes they fashion themselves to school dances. Duct tape is a cultural phenomenon that has surpassed its original role as a simple industrial adhesive.
Manufacturing Process of Duct Tape
Duct tape is produced in very large quantities on a set of rollers. It is composed of three layers. The first is a resilient plastic called polyethylene, followed by a middle layer of fabric mesh, and then a rubber-based adhesive on the bottom. The adhesive is composed of rubber, resin, and calcium carbonate. It is made in a heated mixer. Tackifying agents, viscosity modifiers, and antioxidants are added to the rubber compound.
The adhesive and fabric are then combined using coating equipment. The fabric is put on a roller mill, which consists of 2 hollow rollers made of stainless steel that rotates at a set speed. The adhesive is heated up and fed into a small space between the 2 rollers, which forms a thin, even sheet across the surface of the rollers.
The cloth is then fed into the coating machine and runs against the roller with the adhesive, coating one side of it. After the coating process, the tape is then unspooled, where the large rolls are unwound, cut into smaller sizes, and then respooled onto smaller cardboard cores in a process referred to as slitting. The tape is then packaged (usually shrink-wrapped) and ready for sale.