Duct tape, also known as Duck Tape is a cloth-backed pressure-sensitive tape which is often coated with polyethylene. Duct tapes main feature is its strong adhesive capacity and its resistance. The construction of different duct tapes varies in the type of backings and adhesives that are used. Our Duct Tapes Guide offers a more complete overview of the different types available on the market.
Types of Duct Tape
- Gaffer Tape: This is non-reflective and, unlike normal duct tape, can be torn by hand and easily removed without leaving a sticky residue. Gaffer tape is commonly used in the TV and film industries due to its non-reflective properties to temporarily tape cables to the floor or light fixtures to posts. Gaffer tape can also be used in the home for securing cables to a carpet, concrete or wood.
- General Purpose Duct Tape: This has a low fabric count, a thin outer polyethylene film and low weight adhesive. This tape is ideal for odd jobs where longevity is not an issue.
- Industrial Grade Duct Tape: This is made from a stronger fabric with a tougher outer layer and thicker adhesive. This duct tape is for more heavy-duty use and is ideal for holding down carpets at exhibitions.
- Professional Grade Duct Tape: These have a stronger backing material than the industrial duct tape for added strength, durability and adhesion. These tapes are often used by contractors and construction workers.
Features of Duct Tape
Duct tape consists of an outer layer of plastic film, usually polyethylene or LDPE (low-density polyethylene) that provides waterproofing and weather resistance. Some tapes have a vinyl outer coating which is resistant to abrasions. Tapes are also available that are made from transparent materials that make them less visible when applied.
The different types of duct tape vary according to the fabric fibres that are used. These fabric fibres can be cotton, nylon, fibreglass, rayon or polyester. The most common widths for duct tape are 48 mm and 51 mm
What is Duct Tape Used for?
Originally the silver-grey coloured duct tape was used to seal joints in heating or air conditioning ducts to make them airtight but it now has multiple uses, including holding things together or onto a surface. They're available in a range of materials with different properties and colours enabling them to be used for many tasks - making it an essential item for any DIY tool kit.