How Does Water-Activated Tape Work?

2 Ink Custom Printed Paper Tape

Water-activated tape an eco-friendly paper tape, or kraft tape, with an adhesive that is activated by – you guessed it: water. This water-activated feature sets paper tape apart from traditional self-stick pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes, such as PVC or polypropylene. This article will break down how water-activated tape works, starting with a detailed description and the best uses for this specialized tape.

What is water-activated tape? 

Water-activated tape is an eco-friendly and recyclable packaging solution made from paper. It’s most known for its high-strength, pilfer-deterrent fiberglass threads and permanent bond that requires you to rip open the tape rather than peel it off, as you would for traditional self-stick varieties. Once water activates the adhesive, water-activated tape bonds instantly to new or recycled cardboard or corrugate – even if they’re dusty or dirty. Many companies love that water-activated tape can securely close boxes in a single strip instead of many.

Custom printed paper tape on cardboard boxes

Water-activated tape is best used for sealing packages with:

  • New or recycled cardboard or corrugate 
  • Soft, loose goods rather than hard goods 
  • Heavy or overfilled cartons
  • Sensitive goods that require added security
  • Food products and pharmaceuticals that require odor-free and hygienic packaging

Next, let’s dive deeper into how water-activated tape works, so you’ll know what to expect from this high-strength packaging solution.

How does water-activated tape work?

Water-activated tape comes in a roll, just like any other tape. However, the adhesive will not activate until it comes into contact with water. To make water-activated tape work, you’ll need a tape dispenser – but not just any ordinary tape dispenser. Water-activated tape requires a specialized desktop machine that uses a brush to automatically moisten the adhesive side as you pull it from the roll.

Here’s how to activate and dispense water-activated tape:

  1. Fill the tape dispenser’s water reservoir with fresh, clean water.
  2. Load the water-activated tape into the dispenser, looping it so that the adhesive side is faced down.
  3. Feed the tape through the dispenser’s guide plates, preparing it for water activation.
  4. Set the dispenser’s lever to your desired length, up to 30 inches per pull.
  5. When you pull the lever, the brush inside the water reservoir will moisten and activate the tape’s adhesive.
  6. With the adhesive is activated, apply the water-activated tape to your package and gently smooth it to secure it into place.

How is water-activated tape different than self-stick adhesive tapes?

Water-activated tape is different than its self-stick counterparts in three primary ways: 

  1. It uses water to activate the adhesive instead of having a self-stick adhesive
  2. It requires a specialized dispenser to moisten and activate the adhesive and cut the tape 
  3. It is reinforced with fiberglass threads for strength, which must be cut open instead of peeled off

Now that you know how water-activated tape works, continue reading to discover some of the advantages of using this unique packaging solution.

What are the advantages of using water-activated tape?

If you’re considering water-activated tape, consider some of its many benefits:

  • Eco-friendly and recyclable
  • Reinforced with fiberglass threads for package strength and security 
  • Bonds easily to new or recycled cardboard, including dusty surfaces
  • Securely closes boxes with a single strip
  • Odorless and hygienic
  • Durable in many environmental conditions
  • Resists package pilfering and tampering 
  • The printable surface allows you to customize the design to align with your brand 

Our water-activated tape is available in tan or white and allows you to print up to three colors. We offer both 240 grade and Heavy Duty 260 grade strengths. How can we help you customize this tape for the ultimate packaging solution? Browse our easy-to-use online catalog or contact our sales and design professionals to design unique and affordable water-activated tape that highlights your brand while going easy on your budget.

What Type of Tape Should I Use?

Tape comparison PVC, Paper, Poly

Most of us know that different tapes have different jobs. You wouldn’t use Scotch tape for home repairs, nor would you break out a roll of duct tape to wrap presents.

The same is true in the world of custom packing tape. PVC tape, polypropylene tape, paper or flatback tape: they’re all highly-effective tapes, but there are some situations where one might work better than the others. Let’s take a closer look at the features of these different tapes. Continue reading “What Type of Tape Should I Use?”

What is Unique About Freezer Tape?

Hi-Tack Freezer Tape

Even though it might look like traditional packing tape at first glance, freezer tape has a rare superpower. What gives it such a distinct edge? The answer lies in its unique ability to stick – and stay stuck – even when it’s freezing cold.

This article will explain more about this uniqueness by distinguishing between traditional and freezer tape in cold temperatures, discussing ideal freezer tape conditions and benefits, and finishing with customization options to make this tape even more unique.

Traditional tape vs. freezer tape in freezing temperatures

To demonstrate the uniqueness of freezer tape, let’s compare what happens to traditional packaging tape and freezer tape when conditions dip below the freezing mark. 

Taping Boxes in Warehouse

In cold temperatures, traditional packaging tape:

  • Hardens
  • Loses tackiness
  • Falls off surfaces
  • Becomes dry and brittle 

In cold temperatures, freezer tape

  • Forms a strong bond 
  • Maintains tackiness
  • Remains adhered to surfaces

The clear differences in how these two tapes perform in cold temperatures are central to the uniqueness of freezer tape. It is the only reliable solution for cold-chain and other low-temperature applications.

How cold can freezer tape handle?

Now we know that freezer tape performs better than traditional packaging tapes in cold conditions. But how cold is cold? In a nutshell, freezer tape can withstand extremely low temperatures. However, there are different minimum temperature thresholds for applying the tape versus storing tape-wrapped goods. 

These minimum temperatures are as follows:

  • Application temperature – You can apply freezer tape in any environment with an ambient temperature of as low as 20°F without concern over whether it will hold up.
  • Storage or service temperature – After freezer tape has been applied to a package, you can store any tape-wrapped goods with confidence in temperatures as low as -15°F.

If you’re planning to apply tape or store tape-wrapped goods in freezing temperatures, choose freezer tape instead of traditional packaging tape for the best results.

Benefits of choosing freezer tape

Freezer tape has a unique formulation that allows it to adhere to surfaces and maintain its stickiness, or tackiness, when exposed to frigid temperatures. These properties are beneficial for many cold-chain and other low-temperature applications because:

  • Frozen goods stay fresh
  • Packages remain secure and protected
  • Storage and handling instructions stay put 
  • Inventory steers clear of damage and loss
Hi-Tack Freezer Tape

There are many benefits to using freezer tape in low-temperature environments instead of traditional packaging tape, all delivering peace of mind that it will hold up to the conditions and keep your goods secure.

Custom printed freezer tape can increase the uniqueness quotient even more. Whether imprinted with your logo, essential storage and handling instructions – or both – you can put your brand and the integrity of your goods front and center. 

Every roll of our custom printed freezer tape comes in a standard 1.9 mil thickness with the following customization options:

  • Width: 2 or 3 inch
  • Length: 55, 110, or 1,000 yards
  • Color: white or clear
  • Ink colors: print up to 3 inks

In this article, we’ve covered several ways that freezer tape is unique. From its distinct ability to stick and remain stuck in below-freezing temperatures to the flexible customization options for added uniqueness, our hi-tack freezer tape opens a world of opportunities for cold-chain and other low-temperature applications. 

Beyond freezer tape, we also offer custom printed polypropylenePVCpaperflat back, and filament tapes to affordably meet your packaging needs without having to invest in expensive printed boxes. To learn more about freezer tape and our other offerings, contact our sales and design professionals to design a unique and affordable packaging solution for your brand and budget.


What is Filament Tape?

Filament tape is a utility-grade packing tape designed for heavy-duty strapping applications. It’s named after the embedded fiberglass ‘filaments’ that add strength and integrity. Filament tape is considered a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape marked by its sticky, or tacky, backing that adheres to a surface with light pressure, as opposed to a heat-sensitive or water-activated tape that requires heat or water for activation. 

In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the fundamentals of filament tape, starting with a brief history and finishing with the best ways to maximize its utility and boost your brand exposure.

A brief history of filament tape

The complete history of filament tape is not well documented, but we have a few clues about its origins. It all started in 1846 when a surgeon named Dr. Horace Day first developed PSA tapes. While several advancements to the form and function of adhesives surfaced after this discovery, including two milestones by German inventors, filament tape didn’t emerge until a century after Dr. Day’s initial breakthrough. 

Experts believe that a Johnson and Johnson scientist named Cyrus W. Bemmels invented filament tape in 1946, presumably to provide a utility-grade PSA solution for heavy-duty applications. Today, filament tape is a thriving packaging tape for specialty applications that depend on durability and strength. 

How is filament tape different than traditional packing tape?

Thanks to the embedded fiberglass filaments, filament tape is not your run-of-the-mill adhesive packing tape. It’s much stronger and forms a longer-lasting bond. When you think of filament tape, the following are a few features and benefits to keep in mind:

  • Utility grade for heavy-duty applications
  • High tensile strength
  • Stronger than traditional adhesive tapes
  • Split- and crack-resistant backing for integrity
  • Synthetic rubber adhesive for a long-lasting bond
  • Resists moisture and solvents

While traditional and more commonly used packing tapes like polypropylene and PVC have their place, filament tape is the leading choice when you need long-lasting and heavy-duty durability.

What are the best uses for filament tape?

Tape Dispenser

Filament tape is most often used to close corrugated boxes, but heavy-duty applications are where it truly shines. Heavy load? Weak box construction? Filament tape is the wisest choice. The inherent high tensile strength is especially useful for:

To apply filament tape, you will need a handheld dispenser specifically for strapping or filament tape. The dispenser will be fit with a blade meant to slice the filaments in the tape. 

Is custom printed filament tape worth it?

In this article so far, we’ve highlighted the practical advantages of heavy-duty filament tape. Still, there’s more to the story if you want to fully leverage the power of this tape. When custom printed with your company’s logo or design, filament tape expands beyond its utilitarian value to provide a host of other benefits.

As we covered in our article on using custom packing tape to create an unforgettable unboxing experience, all types of printed tape can make significant strides in advancing your branding and marketing campaigns by:

  • Enhancing brand exposure and awareness
  • Increasing customer loyalty
  • Earning a competitive edge
  • Landing more business 

And because custom printed filament tape can help secure the heaviest of shipments, it becomes both a useful and cost-effective packaging solution as well as a savvy marketing tool.

Filament tape is just one of the many types of top-selling custom packaging tapes you can order from us. We’re also your affordable source for custom printed polypropylenePVCpaperflat back, and hi-tack freezer tapes that help tell your brand story. Which packaging solution will you choose? Reach out to our sales and design professionals for help selecting and designing custom printed tape you’ll be proud to show off.

5 Ways to Use Custom Branded Packing Tape as a Marketing Tool

custom branded packing tape

In the era of online shopping, eCommerce merchants are increasingly embracing the marketing possibilities hiding right under their nose: the physical package. Rather than shipping goods to customers in unremarkable plain packages, many companies are seizing the opportunity to make a splash with custom branded packing tape.

A more affordable and equally impactful alternative to printed boxes, custom branded packing tape is rising to claim a top spot in the online sales-marketing spectrum.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Use Custom Branded Packing Tape as a Marketing Tool”

Custom Packaging Tape: Top Sellers

Custom Packaging Tape

Custom packaging tape isn’t one-size-fits-all. It comes with the freedom to choose the type that suits your unique application, budget, and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a custom packaging tape that’s economical, environmentally friendly, ultra-secure, or suitable for a particular application, discover our top sellers below to help guide your decision.

Continue reading “Custom Packaging Tape: Top Sellers”

Product Roundup: 6 Most Popular Types of Custom Printed Packing Tapes

Custom Packing Tapes

If you’re shopping for custom printed tape, you’ve no doubt encountered a dizzying array of choices. How will you know which one is best for you? We suggest looking closely at those that have performed well for companies just like yours.

In this post, we’ve rounded up six popular types of custom packing tapes to help you determine the best solution for your application, preferences, and budget.

  1. Polypropylene
  2. PVC
  3. Paper
  4. Filament
  5. Hi-tack freezer
  6. Flatback

Continue reading to learn more details of these popular types of custom packing tapes, including why companies love them and ideal applications.

Continue reading “Product Roundup: 6 Most Popular Types of Custom Printed Packing Tapes”

First-Time Buyers’ Guide for Custom Packing Tape

custom packing tape

Custom packing tape is one of the most economical ways to boost customer loyalty, increase brand visibility, and add security and handling instructions to your packages. It can even make for an unforgettable unboxing experience to connect and engage with your audience in this age of online ordering and home deliveries.

Continue reading “First-Time Buyers’ Guide for Custom Packing Tape”

Create an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience with Custom Packing Tape

custom packing tape

Traditionally, consumers flooded shops and supply stores to purchase goods. Many retailers and store owners would go to great lengths to engage walk-in traffic, establish an emotional connection, and cultivate a branded shopping experience to earn customer loyalty.

From investing in persuasive sales associates to implementing sophisticated merchandising strategies, many retailers became experts at wooing patrons into falling in love with their brand.

Today, so much has changed. Even before COVID-19 lockdowns, consumers were already shifting to digital purchases and home delivery. The pandemic further physically distanced sellers from their customers, leading even fewer to step foot inside a brick-and-mortar store.

With a significant drop in personal interactions, how can companies ensure their audience remains connected to their brand? Create an unforgettable unboxing experience with custom packing tape!

Continue reading “Create an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience with Custom Packing Tape”