What Everyone Must Know About PSA Tapes

What Everyone Must Know About PSA Tapes

I remember my first experience searching for a packing tape and throughout I'm constantly having to look up terms. Why did it all need to be so complicated? I just wanted a tape for my package, plain and simple.

When researching tape you'll frequently see the abbreviation "PSA", this stands for Pressure-sensitive adhesive. This simply means the material requires a downward pressure along the length of the surface for it to bond.

You may think next, don't all tapes need pressure to bond? Generally, but for other tapes their main requirement to bond may be water, solvent or heat. If specifically pressure isn't required to activate the adhesive component, it isn't labeled as a PSA tape. An example would be water-activated (WAT) paper packing tapes, they require water to activate the adhesive allowing it to bond to the package, not pressure. If you have a WAT without applying water and just press down on it, it will not adhere to the package, hence not a PSA tape. 

PSA tapes are fantastic for quickly securing a package and are my first recommendation for most shippers. For 3 reasons:

  1. Ready to use: The tape's adhesive is ready to use, no prep needed. Just pick it up and apply it to your package, simple as that!
  2. Reduce risk of package failure: PSA tape eliminates a complicated process that if done incorrectly will cause the tape not to perform to the advertised standards. Meaning your package will likely open during the shipping process.
  3. Hand held tape dispensers: Hand held tape dispensers save an enormous amount of time during the packing process and are comfortable on the body to minimize fatigue or repetitive injuries.

As you are searching to the perfect packing tape that balances strength, value, and are visually stunning, look for these words to find a PSA tape:

  • PSA - Pressure-sensitive adhesive
  • Self-adhesive
  • Self-stick adhesive
  • Adhesive tape

If the product just says "Tape" and none of the above it's likely a PSA, because it doesn't specifically mention that it requires water/solvent/heat. Happy tape shopping!

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