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 it 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.