Best Place To Buy Duct Tape
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Best Place To Buy Duct Tape
In writing this guide, we dug deep into the fascinating world of duct tape. We spoke with representatives from four major duct tape manufacturers, including Polymer Group, Shurtape (manufacturers of Duck brand), Scotch, Berry Plastics (manufacturers of Nashua and Polyken), and Tesa. We also corresponded with Tim Nyberg, one of The Duct Tape Guys, a performance art duo devoted to all things duct tape and co-author of The Duct Tape Book.
Duct tape is for everyone. Duct tape is the essential fill-in-the-cracks patching, sealing, and hanging item. Currently at my own house, I have duct tape in the following places: holding together the blown-out corner of a board game box, covering the exposed end of an exterior electrical conduit, wrapped around an opened bag of tile grout, covering the crack at the bottom of a plastic storage bin, patching a tarp, covering the split in the finger of a torn work glove, wrapped around an old floppy-soled work book, creating some padding on the handle of a 5-gallon bucket, and reinforcing the bottoms of a few reused cardboard boxes.
Through our research, and backed up by our firsthand testing, we found that a good general use duct tape should be around 11 milli-inches (mil) thick, use a natural rubber-based adhesive, and be made using a co-extrusion process.
We really thumped on these tapes in order to decide on the best. We did this through a battery of structured and unstructured tests that measured adhesive strength, material strength, heat resistance, flexibility, and conformability. We then tested the long-term durability of the tapes by abandoning four sample boards in a south-facing New England field for seven months.
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Sometimes a classic can be improved upon. While Duck Tape-brand Classic duct tape fell short in our testing, the heavier-gauge Duck Tape MAX proved to be a powerful yet affordable alternative to Gorilla Tape.
Our tests verified that claim. It was a full 30% stronger in our adhesion tests than the next best competitor. Only the Fiber Fix beat it (but since that's not really duct tape we're putting it in a separate category). Powersteel was very close to Gorilla Tape in our scoring, but proved to be harder to tear off from the roll. It also didn't last as long as Gorilla in our garden hose leak test.
IPG's tape proved to be average in most respects, which is of course, perfectly suitable for most uses. But it's not the strongest, the easiest to work with, or the most weather resistant. And it failed the leaky garden hose test in less than a minute. It's a fine product, but you don't have to spend much more to get something substantially better.
For this is the second iteration of this guide, we retested the six different brands of duct tape featured in our first guide. Doing this was important as, this time out, we added two new brands of tape into the mix.
Duct tape is great for small jobs like securing your bumper to your car until you can get it into the shop for repair or holding pieces of wood together until you sort out a more permanent solution with glue or nails. Musicians use it on stage to keep cables from becoming a trip hazard. If you need a quick, temporary fix, in most situations, reaching for a roll of duct tape is the way to go.
You should never use duct tape on your own skin or clothing: it is stronger than both, so you might end up tearing your skin or your clothes when you remove it. And that, believe me, is even less fun than it sounds.
Duct tape (also called duck tape, from the cotton duck cloth it was originally made of) is cloth- or scrim-backed pressure-sensitive tape, often coated with polyethylene. There are a variety of constructions using different backings and adhesives, and the term 'duct tape' has been genericized to refer to different cloth tapes with differing purposes. A variation is heat-resistant foil tape useful for sealing heating and cooling ducts, produced because the adhesive on standard duct tape fails and the synthetic fabric reinforcement mesh deteriorates when used on heating ducts.
Duct tape is generally silvery gray in color, but also available in other colors and printed designs, from whimsical yellow ducks, college logos to practical camouflage patterns. It is often confused with gaffer tape (which is designed to be non-reflective and cleanly removed, unlike duct tape).
The first material called "duck tape" was long strips of plain non-adhesive cotton duck cloth used in making shoes stronger, for decoration on clothing, and for wrapping steel cables or electrical conductors to protect them from corrosion or wear. For instance, in 1902, steel cables supporting the Manhattan Bridge were first covered in linseed oil then wrapped in duck tape before being laid in place. In the 1910s, certain boots and shoes used canvas duck fabric for the upper or for the insole, and duck tape was sometimes sewn in for reinforcement. In 1936, the US-based Insulated Power Cables Engineers Association specified a wrapping of duck tape as one of many methods used to protect rubber-insulated power cables. In 1942, Gimbel's department store offered venetian blinds that were held together with vertical strips of duck tape.
In 1923, tape pioneer Richard Gurley Drew at 3M invented masking tape, a paper-based tape with a mildly sticky adhesive intended to be temporarily used and removed rather than left in place permanently. In 1925 this became the Scotch brand masking tape. In 1930, Drew developed a transparent cellophane-based tape, dubbed Scotch Tape. This tape was widely used beginning in the Great Depression to repair household items. Neither of these inventions was based on cloth tape.
The ultimate wide-scale adoption of duck tape, today generally referred to as duct tape, came from Vesta Stoudt. Stoudt was worried that problems with ammunition box seals could cost soldiers precious time in battle, so she wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 with the idea to seal the boxes with a fabric tape which she had tested. The letter was forwarded to the War Production Board, which put Johnson & Johnson on the job. The Revolite division of Johnson & Johnson had made medical adhesive tapes from duck cloth from 1927 and a team headed by Revolite's Johnny Denoye and Johnson & Johnson's Bill Gross developed the new adhesive tape, designed to be ripped by hand, not cut with scissors.
In 1971, Jack Kahl bought the Anderson firm and renamed it Manco. In 1975, Kahl rebranded the duct tape made by his company. Because the previously used generic term "duck tape" had fallen out of use,[failed verification] he was able to trademark the brand "Duck Tape" and market his product complete with a yellow cartoon duck logo. Manco chose the term "Duck", the tape's original name, as "a play on the fact that people often refer to duct tape as 'duck tape'", and as a marketing differentiation to stand out against other sellers of duct tape. In 1979, the Duck Tape marketing plan involved sending out greeting cards with the duck branding, four times a year, to 32,000 hardware managers. This mass of communication combined with colorful, convenient packaging helped Duck Tape become popular. From a near-zero customer base Manco eventually controlled 40% of the duct tape market in the US. Acquired by Henkel in 1998, Duck Tape was sold to Shurtape Technologies in 2009.Shurtape went on to introduce a premium version called "T-Rex Tape." "Ultimate Duck", which had been Henkel's top-of-the-line variety, is still sold in the United Kingdom. Ultimate Duck, T-Rex Tape, and the competing Gorilla Tape all advertise "three-layer technology".
After profiting from Scotch Tape in the 1930s, 3M had produced military materiel during World War II, and by 1946 had developed the first practical vinyl electrical tape. By 1977, the company was selling a heat-resistant duct tape for heating ducts. In the late 1990s, 3M's tape division had an annual turnover of $300 million, and was the US industry leader. In 2004, 3M released a semi-transparent duct tape, with a clear polyethylene film and white fiberglass mesh.
Modern duct tape is made variously from cotton, polyester, nylon, rayon or fiberglass mesh fabric to provide strength. The fabric, a very thin gauze called "scrim", is laminated to a backing of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The color of the LDPE is provided by various pigments; the usual gray color comes from powdered aluminum mixed into the LDPE. Two tape widths are common: 1.9 in (48 mm) and 2 in (51 mm). Other widths are also offered. The largest commercial rolls of duct tape were made in 2005 for Henkel, with 3.78 inches (9.6 cm) width, a roll diameter of 64 inches (160 cm) and weighing 650 pounds (290 kg).
The product now commonly called duct tape has largely been displaced in HVAC uses with specialized foil tapes designed for sealing heating and ventilation ducts (sometimes referred to erroneously as "duct tapes").
Common duct tape carries no safety certifications such as UL or Proposition 65, which means the tape may burn violently, producing toxic smoke; it may cause ingestion and contact toxicity; it can have irregular mechanical strength; and its adhesive may have low life expectancy. Its use in ducts has been prohibited by the state of California and by building codes in many other places.
Research was conducted in 1998 on standard duct tape at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, which concluded that under challenging but realistic conditions duct tape becomes brittle, fails, and may even fall off completely.
NASA engineers and astronauts have used duct tape in their work, including in some emergency situations. One such usage occurred in 1970 when Woodfill was working in Mission Control, when the square carbon dioxide filters from Apollo 13's failed command module had to be modified to fit round receptacles in the lunar module, which was being used as a lifeboat after an explosion en route to the moon. A workaround used duct tape and other items on board Apollo 13, with the ground crew relaying instructions to the flight crew. The lunar module's CO2 scrubbers started working again, saving the lives of the three astronauts on board. 59ce067264