Flexible Solutions

PSA Talk: What to Know about Carriers

Posted by Katie Sullivan

May 25, 2016 10:51:14 AM

PSA’s (or pressure sensitive adhesives) are defined as any transfer, single coated, or double coated bonding tapes that require pressure in order to completely adhere to a surface. One very important component that single and double coated tapes share is their requirement to have a carrier. A carrier is a means of supporting and/or separating adhesive coatings. Transfer tapes, however, do not require a carrier because its unique material structure allows it to perform its best without that extra support.  In the tape industry, carriers are also referred to as a “web” or “backing.”


As previously stated, carriers support and often separates adhesive coatings in a PSA. Choosing the right carrier for your PSA depends on the type of function you need for your unique application. For many single and double coated tapes, carriers may add thickness, provide movability, act as a stabilizer, provide cushioning, and increase strength and stability. In regards to only double coated tapes, carriers act as a barrier between adhesives and allows for coating different adhesives on each side, if necessary.

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. If your application is in need of a more sturdy 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 which is helpful for the die cutting process.

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

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Topics: Pressure Sensitive Adhesive