9th Tape College highlight: an introduction to PSA tape technology

Uwe MichelWhat is a PSA?
PSAs are permanent tacky substances that adhere spontaneously to the surface of most materials with only slight pressure. PSAs combine the viscous properties of honey and elastic properties of rubber, “so this means they can flow”...

Afera’s recent 9th edition of the Tape College boasted a lineup of over 19 expert presenters. “An introduction to pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape technology” was a top-rated presentation delivered by Uwe Michel, manager of application solution engineering at tesa SE. Mr. Michel aligned adhesive tape technology currently available with the demands of today and tomorrow’s industrial processes. In doing this, he provided a survey of the most important relationships between physical performance and application properties.

Seminar attendees, who were mostly adhesive tape business professionals fairly new to the market, learned very importantly why nearly all PSA tape companies invest significantly in understanding tape applications. “Just being a tape manufacturer and providing a PSA tape does not mean your customer is using the right product for the application,” Mr. Michel emphasised. He took his audience on a riveting journey through the detailed aspects of producing every category of adhesive, backing and release liner for tapes.

Which parameters influence the performance of a PSA tape?tesa
“My answer would be all of them,” Mr. Michel explained. Peel, creep and tack are the cornerstones of tape performance. These features, which are affected by the varying balance between adhesion and cohesion forces in tapes, are relevant for many application-related properties: Bonding surfaces differ in surface energy, roughness and contact areas. Operating conditions depend on factors such as temperature, shock, humidity, chemicals and UV light exposure. Tape processing includes the elements of handling, pressure and dwell time.

Uwe Michel“Everything has an influence on performance. I can choose the best tapes for the right substrate and have thought about the correct operating conditions, but if my handling is not optimal, the tapes will fail,” Mr. Michel concluded. Conversely, you can have the best handling in the world, but if the tapes do not fit the application, they will not perform as they should.

All attendees were provided with a comprehensive package of slide presentations and photos of the event, which is held every 2 years in April. Afera’s next technical event, the 9th Technical Seminar, will be held on 6-8 April 2020 at the same venue, the Brussels Marriott Hotel, Belgium.


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