Flexible Solutions

PSA Talk: What to Know about Tape Carriers

Posted by Katie Sullivan

May 25, 2016 10:51 AM

Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) are defined as any transfer, single coated, or double coated bonding tapes that only require pressure in order to completely adhere and bond to a surface. One important component that single coated tapes and double coated tapes share is their requirement to have a tape carrier. Depending on the type of tape you're using, the carrier serves different purposes.

What is a Tape Carrier?

A tape carrier, also referred to as "web" or "backing", in terms of tape is a means of supporting and/or separating adhesive coatings.

While tape carriers are a necessary part of single coated tapes and double coated tapes, transfer tapes do not require a carrier because their unique material structure allows them to perform best without added support. In the tape industry, carriers are also referred to as a “web” or “backing” and are available in a variety of types with different benefits depending on your application and its needs.


Choosing an Adhesive Tape Carrier for My Application

Choosing the right carrier for your PSA depends on the required function for your application. Tape carriers support and often separate adhesive coatings in a PSA, so they play an important role in tape construction. For many single and double coated tapes, carriers may:

  • add thickness
  • provide movability
  • act as a stabilizer
  • provide cushioning
  • increase strength and stability.

Understanding the basic functions of a carrier can help you decide which material to use for your application. Carrier materials range from polyester (PET), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PE) to foam, paper, and tissue.

Tissue has great conformability as it is a flexible material that hugs around curvy, irregular surfaces, but doesn't offer the same dimensional stability as a film carrier material. If your application is in need of a sturdier foundation and cushioning, a foam carrier might be your best option.

One of the most common carriers used, especially in converted materials, is PET as it provides strength that is helpful for the die cutting process.

Related to double coated tapes, adhesive tape carriers act as a barrier between the two adhesives and allow for coating different adhesives on each side when necessary. Get more information on tape constructions by checking out our blog "Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tape Constructions - Die Cut Tapes".

Marian - Your Adhesive Tape Converter

Marian works with thousands of thin, flexible materials including tapes and adhesives, foams, films, foils, mesh and more. A Marian sales engineer will work with you to choose the perfect adhesive and carrier arrangement, along with any other components needed for your complex applications.

Contact us with any requests regarding the lamination and die cutting processes of your PSA. Marian is experienced in utilizing laser, waterjet, rotary, and other die cutting capabilities to create PSAs of various sizes, shapes, and thicknesses. 

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Topics: Pressure Sensitive Adhesive