What Is Aluminum Tape and What Is It Used For

What Is Aluminum Tape and What Is It Used For? 

Aluminum foil is a versatile material that offers protection and insulation in many ways throughout construction and manufacturing processes. Combine aluminum foil with adhesive and you get aluminum foil tape. This tape is malleable and durable, making it a long-lasting adhesive.

Although aluminum foil tape is the most common type of foil tape, these tapes can be made of other materials, such as lead, copper, and stainless steel. Foil tapes are extremely versatile adhesives that have many applications in both residential and commercial usages. Keep reading to learn more about aluminum tape and how it can fit into your needs.

What Is Aluminum Tape?

Aluminum tape is a durable tape that belongs to the large family of pressure sensitive(PSA) tapes. Made of aluminum foil and adhesives, it conforms to uneven surfaces and has a high resistance to moisture, vapour, and temperature fluctuations. Aluminum foil tape can be used under extreme temperatures, both hot and cold and is flame resistant, which adds to its flexibility of use.

What’s the difference between duct tape and aluminum tape?

There’s no denying that duct tape is a strong binding agent, but it doesn’t have the capability to stand up to the extreme temperatures of an HVAC system. Ironically, duct tape is of no use on ducts! Aluminum foil tape is designed to handle the temperatures and moisture inside ducts.

Types of Aluminum Foil Tape

  • Standard – the most common type of foil tape that is used in sealing pipes, stove waterproofing, or HVAC duct repair.
  • With lining paper – this is used for electromagnetic shielding, such as in computers or mobile phones.
  • Flame retardant – the base is aluminum foil with silicone release paper. It’s used in insulation and to block heat sources.
  • Glass fiber cloth – this tape is made of an aluminum foil tape reinforced with a fiberglass backing. Because of its reflective surface and high tensile strength, it is perfect to protect cables and other sensitive components against radiant heat.

Man applying aluminum tape on a duct

What Is Aluminum Tape Used For?

Tapes made of aluminum are used in many different applications. Below are just a few examples of their uses:

  • Construction – aluminum foil tape adheres to fiberglass and electrical cables to protect and secure things together.
  • Insulation – foil tape is used to coat electrical cables to protect them against harmful temperatures.
  • HVAC – aluminum tape seals ducts and protects the system against moisture.
  • Packaging – aluminum foil tape can seal up packages and protect shipped items that might face vulnerabilities, such as temperature changes or heavy precipitation.

6 Reasons to Choose Tape Made of Aluminum

Wondering why you should use aluminum tape instead of other adhesives? Here is a quick list of our six best reasons:

  1. It holds up over time. Unlike other pressure-sensitive tapes with a rubber adhesive, foil tapes have more cohesion and thermal stability. The foil tapes hold up better under UV light exposure or temperature fluctuations that damage other tapes.
  2. Less messy than mastic. Using tape is not messy. It’s easier to apply and doesn’t need any additional equipment. Aluminum and other foil tapes can seal holes in the furnace or AC without a lot of supplies. The metal foil won’t shrink or fail like duct tape.
  3. The adhesive is acrylic. Many tapes use a rubber adhesive, which breaks down under extreme temperatures and doesn’t age well. Rubber adhesives are vulnerable to UV light. An acrylic adhesive stands up more effectively to weather conditions. Combined with aluminum or other metals, the tape is flame-resistant as well.
  4. Rated for extreme temperatures. Foil tapes can be rated for temperatures from -30°C to 120°C, depending on your needs. It can withstand extreme cold and heat.
  5. Resistant to moisture and harsh chemicals. Foil tapes resist moisture, making them more appropriate for the marine industry and suitable for applications in which the tape could be wet. Foil tapes are also resistant to chemicals that can be corrosive to many other types of tape.
  6. Sustainable. Aluminum foil tape is recyclable and requires less energy to produce. It’s an eco-friendly adhesive.

Foil Tapes: A versatile Solution

Although used primarily in the HVAC industry, aluminum tapes are also used in many other industries such as aerospace, refrigeration and construction. Unmatched properties such as high adhesion, resistance to UV rays, moisture, mildew and temperature variations make it the tape of choice for many applications.

Using the right aluminum foil tape or any other tape that fits your business needs helps increase efficiency and reduces cost and waste. MPI Matco can develop a custom adhesive tape to meet the demands of your industry and how it will be used by you. We’ll take our experience and your requirements to find an adhesive solution that saves time and money and increases efficiency to optimize your operations. No matter your industry, feel free to contact one of our experts for more information on our tapes and structural adhesives.

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