Surface protection is meant to offer protection to critical surfaces from marring, penetration by the sun’s UV rays, scratching, and pollution or dirt.
In most cases, this is normally achieved through the application of a protective film in the form of adhesive tape. Adhesive tapes are mostly preferred because of their strength and enviable durability.
However, there are plenty of tapes to choose from which you could effectively use for surface protection. But this is no indication that every tape you pick up will get the job done.
To help you find the right tape for the right application, what we have below is a brief look at some of the factors you ought to consider when shopping for tapes for surface protection:
#1: The Kind of Surface to be Protected
Choosing the right surface protection film or fabric tape will help you avoid the problems that arise from choosing the wrong film or tape. The first step to doing this is to understand the surface that requires protection.
There are various surfaces that you may wish to protect, and each may require a different type of protection. Some of the common surfaces you might find yourself dealing with include glass, plastic, stone, granite, and painted surfaces.
Also, each of these surfaces may exhibit different textures, and this may also have a say in the nature of the surface protection you choose.
The protective films you will find in the market today may be appropriate for some surfaces, yet may not be ideal for application on other surfaces.
Your ultimate choice should be a film that is specifically designed to adhere to the surface you intend to use it on. Or else, you may not be assured of a strong bond, and your attempted surface protection may be an exercise in futility.
#2: Understand Your Reasons for the Application
The blanket reason for surface protection is to protect the surfaces from abrasion, marring, UV rays, scratches, pollution, and dirt.
However, there may be very specific reasons why one would want to protect surfaces. While you are shopping for surface protection, it is vital that you understand specifically why you need the protection.
For example, if you are merely protecting the surfaces against dirt, the solutions you go for will be different compared to when you are protecting against scratches or UV rays. The same variations also come to play when you need protection against extreme temperatures, pressures, or humidity levels.
Once you understand your specific reasons for the use of tape, it will be easier for you to choose accordingly, and end up with tape that will give you the greatest satisfaction as far as surface protection is concerned.
#3: Know the Properties to Look for in the Protection Film
Understanding the reasons for the application of the film will help you understand the kinds of properties to look for in the tapes. It is these properties that will determine whether the tape does the job you had intended it to do or if you’ll soon get back to the market to shop for a new protection film.
For most of the general applications, some of the film’s features you need to look at include the tape’s tolerance to pressure and temperature, and you should also check on the quality of the adhesive used. It is not necessary that the film should have the best possible adhesive properties, since it may be for temporary application, and this may cause some problems when it comes time for removal.
#4: Indoor or Outdoor Applications
Whether or not the film will be used for indoor or outdoor applications will also have a huge bearing on the choice you make. This is primarily because of the differences in the exposure to the elements that both indoor and outdoor applications come with.
For outdoor applications, for instance, the protection film should have very good anti-UV protection qualities to avoid degradation as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. It should also be a waterproof tape.
If you use the wrong kind of protective film under such conditions, the film may only turn yellow, and may also become brittle and stiff, peeling off just after a short duration. Also, the length of time for the required protection under outdoor conditions will also have a significant impact on the choice of tape you make.
#5: The Length of Time That the Protection Will be Needed
Another question you should ask yourself when considering surface protection is the length of time that the film will be required to adhere to the surface.
If you are considering a long-term project, then you should go for adhesives or surface protection tapes that have stronger bonds that will adhere for a longer time period.
If, however, you need the protection on a temporary basis, or just for a short duration, then you don’t have to go for protection films with very strong adhesive properties. As noted earlier, such may become problematic when it comes to their removal.
#6: Effects of Storage or Transportation on the Film
This should mainly be a concern if you were intending to transport or store the items onto which the protection film has been applied.
For example, you need to figure out the potential effects of transportation and the conditions under which the transportation will be done on the tape, and this may sometimes necessitate that you go for custom shipping tapes.
If you intend to store the item onto which the film has been applied, you also need to consider the storage conditions and the duration of storage. The protection film you choose should be able to withstand any conditions that might exist in storage or transit.
#7: The Surface Treatment
The treatment given to the surface prior to the application of the tape should also be a major factor of concern when choosing the right tape. The primary reason for this is the potential chemical reactions that might be experienced when the tape and the already-existing treatment on the surface come in contact.
If the surface is painted or already has coating, be careful to choose a tape that is likely to not react with the treatment material.