Combine the versatility of aluminum and the weather-resistant sealing power of pressure sensitive adhesive and you have an extremely versatile product. So much, in fact, that aluminum foil tape is used in the aerospace industry, thanks to its moisture and chemical resistance, thermal conductivity, flame resistance, heat and light reflectance, and weatherability. However, not all foil tapes are created equal, especially when it comes to performing in varied conditions.
Here are the five reasons ECHOtape’s aluminum foil tape may just be the right tool for the task at hand.
1. UL 723 rated and meets International Building Code standards
UL 723 is a test to measure the surface burning properties of building materials. In particular it looks at the rate of flame spread and the density of smoke developed. In order to meet the International Building Code’s definition of fire-resistant, a composite material must have a flame spread rating no greater than 50. ECHOTape’s All Purpose Aluminum Foil Tape has a flame spread rating of 0 and smoked developed rating of 0. This is worth noting because not all cloth-backed duct tapes or foil tapes are UL 723 rated.
2. Extreme cold and heat temperature versatility
Our foil tape works in temperatures ranging from 248°F to -22°F and can be applied in temperatures ranging from 14°F to 104°F. Most tapes do not perform well in cold temperatures. Severe cold hardens the adhesive and diminishes sticking power of the tape. If you are applying the tape under cold conditions, it may not stick at all. Conversely, excessive heat can melt the adhesive on some tapes, rendering it useless.
3. Made with an acrylic adhesive
Why does this matter? Most duct tapes are made with rubber adhesive—either natural or synthetic. This makes them ineffective at actual duct work because the high heat temperatures delaminate the adhesive from its backing. Some synthetic rubber adhesives offer a greater range of temperature functionality but they also have lower mechanical strength, have poor aging resistance, and do not fare well under UV light.
On the other hand, acrylic tapes are known for their superior durability when sealing duct work. They have the extreme temperature versatility mentioned above and also continue to perform well after extended exposure to UV light and have high aging resistance. Since acrylic adhesives are polar in nature they bond well to polar surfaces, such as metal, by creating a magnetic-like attraction that is stronger than what can be produced with a rubber adhesive.
4. A great alternative to mastic
Aluminum foil tape is a wonderful tool to use in place of mastic. It’s not messy (the biggest drawback of mastic) and uses less equipment (no need for old clothes, eye protection, gloves, paint brushes, drop clothes, etc.) It doesn’t need additional fasteners such as sheet metal screws, scrap metal, and dry wall mesh to seal large areas and it can be used to seal holes in a furnace or air handler.
5. Able to hold up over time
In construction, pressure sensitive tapes are often used in areas that are concealed (like housewraps or foil faced insulation). Which means they cannot be easily repaired or replaced. When you choose a tape for a job you want to know that it’s going to hold up for more than a few years.
Due to its acrylic adhesive technology, ECHOtape’s line of aluminum foil tape offers better cohesion, adhesion, and thermal stability than a tape with a rubber adhesive. To put it another way, foil tape is designed to hold up to temperature fluctuations, exposure to UV light and other solvents that would normally impact and breakdown the adhesive effectiveness of other types of tape.
For more information about tape visit The Complete Technical Guide to Adhesive Tape. To learn more about ECHOtape and how we help customers find the right tape for their job, you can read about us here or contact us with any questions you may have.