Have a question? Please view our Frequently Asked Questions from the subjects below. If you can't find the answer to your question, please Contact Us.
1. What liners and cores do you offer with your tapes?
Most products are available with standard liners or self-wound without a liner. Die cuttable liners even for small lots are available. Some of the liners currently used include paper (crepe or smooth), polyester, blue polyethylene, or yellow dimple liner. Saint-Gobain also has a wide range of cores from 1 inch cardboard or plastic to 3 and 6 inch cardboard and plastic. Often, custom cores or customer branded cores are requested and used.
2. What is the advantage of rewind slitting over lathe slitting?
Rewind slitting can be used to make rolls with much larger outside diameter. The edge quality is perfect which can be valuable for nick-sensitive products such as polyimide tapes. Rewind slit rolls can also be less prone to telescoping- particularly narrow slit rolls. In general, lathe slitting is less expensive and is used for roll lengths less than 72 yards.
3. Why use a plastic core instead of a cardboard core?
Cardboard cores have a seam that can sometimes be visible on the surface of a roll of tape. They also shrink in low humidity or cold weather and will grow in diameter in warm weather or high humidity. This shrinking and swelling can cause defects in a roll of tape such as gapping or telescoping.
4. Do you have printable tapes?
Many markets desire tapes that are printable on the non-adhesive side. Self-wound tapes often have a release coating that makes printing difficult. Release coatings are available that are printable with CHR tapes or they can be produced without a backside release and supplied with a liner.
5. Extruded PTFE tapes are expensive. Why use these instead of skived PTFE tapes?
Extruded PTFE tapes have higher strength and better wear characteristics. They may cost more, but will last significantly longer in a wear or masking application.
1. What are the trends in the Composite Fabrication market?
As with other manufacturing markets, much of the composite fabrication is moving away from the U.S. and Europe. Within Aerospace, composite fabrication has become increasingly competitive and many composite houses avoid the Aerospace market to focus on custom manufacturing which allows a higher margin although on lower volume applications. Examples of alternative markets include Medical and Consumer Goods. Saint-Gobain products are usable in all mold release applications including lower temperature ones, but those with a high temperature autoclave will be the most demanding applications where Saint-Gobain products particularly excel.
2. Why do Composite Fabrication houses need non-silicone products?
Even low levels of silicone residue can cause a spot where the liquid filler does not wet out against the mold. Silicone contamination can cause “craters” or dimples in the surface finish of the product or reduce the strength of the products by seeding cracks within the part. Rubber or acrylic adhesive is generally preferred for applications where silicone cannot be used.
3. When do you use a film vs a fabric reinforced tape?
Fabric reinforcement gives greater strength to the tape allowing the tape to be pushed back into place if spots of the mold stick when it is being pulled out. Sometimes, the matte finish is desired on the finished product and a fabric gives the part a textured appearance. Film tapes can be used to stretch into recessed areas and can be easier to use with a contoured part. Film tapes can also be more difficult to handle by hand on large parts because their lack of stiffness which helps the product conform to unusual shapes will also allow the tape to fold over onto itself and stretch.
4. Do you have more chemical resistant grades?
Some of the solvents used in making molds can be very aggressive even with PTFE materials. Chemlam materials are best in these applications due to the lack of cracks and pinholes which can allow a solvent to penetrate the PTFE coating on the fiberglass. The Chemlam products will last longer than dip coated products of similar thickness. They also have a matte finish which may not be desirable. SG15-06R will perform most similar to Chemlam where a smooth finish is needed.
An RoHS certification letter can be provided on request by contacting Customer Service. Many of the historical testing data have already been done and are available free of charge. Additional testing can be performed which will sometimes require a fee. Some of the restricted materials that we have tested for and certified our products not to contain include the following:
1. What is the difference between the blue liner and the yellow dimple liner?
The blue liner has a silicone release coating that is used with acrylic and rubber adhesives. If the blue liner is used with silicone adhesives, the silicone release bond to the silicone adhesive and the blue liner cannot be removed. The yellow dimple liner is the most common liner used with silicone adhesives while the blue liner is usually used with an acrylic adhesive.
2. What is zone tape?
Zone tape is a PTFE fiberglass substrate coated with adhesive that has an uncoated zone down the center. This is usually used in hot wire sealing equipment where it is not desirable to have the hot wire in contact with the adhesive.
3. Do you have products that are rated for higher temperature?
PTFE can take up to 600F. Any of the PTFE based tapes can take short-term exposure even higher than 600F- the amount of time that the tape is exposed to the temperature is very important. Higher temperature silicone adhesives are available that can sustain performance in excess of 600F. Most of the tapes will survive short term exposure to higher temperatures than their rating. It is best to try the tape in application to see the upper limit of performance since temperature performance is very dependent on the conditions of use.
1. Can the thermal spray process be changed to improve the performance of the masking tape?
With high temperature settings in plasma spray, an air knife can be used to cool the part and the masking tape to allow longer life during the thermals spray process. Media type, gun distance from the target, number of tape layers, and velocity of the spray media can all affect the performance of a masking tape. Process settings are important consideration when using thermal spray masking tapes and choosing the right tape for the right application.
2. Why are tapes used instead of hard masks in thermal spray?
Hard masks are reusable, but require more time and labor to apply. They may also be more expensive to make initially as well as have a longer cycle time to be replaced. Thermal spray masking tapes are much easier and faster to produce and generally give unbroken thermal spray coating lines on the finished product as well as a better breakaway with less bridging.