Flexible Solutions

Bio-Based Tapes and Foams: Greener Component Manufacturing

Posted by Lynn Zeheralis

January 3, 2024 11:39 AM

As interest from consumers to purchase products that are sustainably sourced and manufactured grows, companies around the globe are modifying their practices to include measures and policies to reduce their carbon footprint.

As a result, bio-based tapes and foams are emerging as more sustainable alternatives to traditional petroleum-based products in industrial manufacturing. As these new subsets of materials draw more attention, some of our key supplier partners like Shihua®, tesa®, and Saint-Gobain have expanded their product lines to include bio-based materials.

What Are Bio-Based Materials?

Bio-Based Tapes and FoamsIn general, the ingredients of bio-based materials include renewable resources such a plant-based fibers and natural adhesives. The manufacturing of these bio-based chemistries does not produce the toxic pollutants associated with the production of petroleum-based foams and tapes.

While their makeups differ, bio-based tape and foam alternatives are often times available in similar constructions and offer many of the same functionalities and characteristics as their synthetic counterparts. With that said, there can be differences related to performance so it’s important to be aware to make an informed decision.

Bio-based tapes and foams are being used in packaging, consumer electronics, and medical applications and are gaining acceptance in the automotive and EV industries which both have many applications requiring foams and adhesives.

While Marian doesn't produce the materials we convert to custom parts for our customers, we partner with key material suppliers who are leaders in the development of greener alternatives. Take a look at some of the bio-based material offerings from our supplier partners below.

Shihua® Bio-Based Tapes and Adhesives

Shihua, a Chinese manufacturer of adhesives and tapes, highly focuses on sustainability in their everyday business practices. Along with many other eco-friendly initiatives, Shihua offers a number of bio-based tape options including: Shihua-logo

  • Double-coated tape
  • Single-coated tape
  • Adhesive transfer tape
  • Anti-repulsion tape
  • Conductive tape

These materials are used for long-term bonding, surface protection, and more and are ideal for consumer electronics and other applications where durability and a clean appearance are imperative.

Shihua bio-based tapes are available in a wide range of thicknesses and also use liners and carriers made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials.

Shihua Bio-Based Tapes-2

tesa® Bio-Based Tapes and Adhesives

Marian has maintained a successful partnership with tesa® for many years and holds the title of Platinum Converter Partner, their highest level of partnership. We regularly convert tesa® materials for our customers’ applications and have excellent material access, technical support, and material training with our preferred status.

tesa® is dedicated to reducing emissions and improving sustainability in their materials and packaging. Along with the bio-based tapes below, they also have other sustainable materials in their product catalogue.

tesa 6887
  • tesa® 6887x is a bio-based transparent film tape available in three thicknesses that offers excellent bonding strength and is ideal for use in electronic device assembly. According to tesa®, this product line offers similar or better performance to their popular line of 49xx products.
  • tesa® 60400 is a bio-based packaging tape with a polylactide acid backing material that’s made from 100% renewable resources. 

Saint-Gobain Bio-Based Foam

Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions has been developing high-performance tapes and foams used across a number of industries for more than 60 years. They’ve put a number of sustainability measures in place to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 including beginning to introduce bio-based materials. Saint Gobain Logo 2

  • Norseal® AGP200 is a bio-based polyurethane foam that has excellent sealing capabilities and is designed to meet the strict requirements of the automotive market.

Marian Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability has long been a focus for the Marian family of companies, but our efforts are not just limited to converting bio-based tapes and foams. Some of our other sustainability initiatives include:

  • Certifications – Many Marian locations, both in the USA and international, are registered to the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems. Marian Suzhou is also certified to Zero Waste to Landfill.
  • Solar Panels – We’ve also installed solar panels at a handful of our locations worldwide. These panels produce thousands of kilowatt hours of power per month and reduce our consumption of coal generated electricity.
  • Material Recycling Program – More than 20 tons of waste is repurposed to finished goods each month.

We’re dedicated to helping our customers meet their sustainability initiatives. Contact us for more information on the bio-based tapes and foams we can convert for your applications.

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Topics: Pressure Sensitive Adhesive, Foams, Material selection, PSA, Sustainable Materials