Happy Holidays from Elasto Proxy! In our last article of the year, we’ll wrap-up our two-part series about gasket taping. As you may recall, Part 1 compared heat-activated taping systems (HATS) to pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs). This week, we’ll help you with tape selection and gasket installation. You’ll find some important information about surface preparation, too.

Adhesive Tape Selection   

Selecting the right gasket tape involves asking and answering a series of questions.

  • What is the gasket material?
  • What is the substrate material?
  • Do you need temporary or permanent fastening?
  • Do you need a static or dynamic seal?
  • What is the application environment?

The gasket material and the substrate material are especially important. For example, silicone gaskets and silicone substrates require PSAs that are silicone-based. You can’t use a PSA that’s made from another rubber, nor can you use a HATS tape. Gaskets that are made of other compounds have different requirements. For example, you may need to attach a neoprene gasket with a neoprene-based PSA.

You’ll also need to consider whether you need temporary or permanent fastening and static or dynamic sealing. HATS tapes provide permanent fastening. PSA tapes provide temporary fastening. Static sealing is what the windows in a high-rise office building need since there’s no relative motion between mating surfaces. In the building’s entrance, however, the door seals near dynamic sealing for opening and closing.

Consider the demands of the application environment as well.

  • What is the range of service temperatures?
  • Is the environment hot and humid or cold and dry?
  • Will the adhesive need to withstand rain, snow, or incidental contact with water?
  • Will the adhesive be exposed to chemical cleaning agents, or to soap and water instead?

As part of the tape selection process, contact Elasto Proxy if you have questions.

Surface Preparation and Gasket Installation

Selecting the right adhesive tape isn’t all you’ll need to think about with gasket attachment. Before installing taped gaskets, remember to wipe down the surface with isopropyl alcohol. Don’t let dust, dirt, or other contaminants interfere with tape adhesion. There can’t be any wet paint on the substrate, and some gasket tapes won’t adhere to a powder-coated surface.

Sometimes, installers cut a taped gasket that’s too short. Stretching the gasket and the tape isn’t the solution. Over time, both will contract and may even pull away from the substrate. Creating a radius instead of a 90-degree splice may not be right for your application either. You may be able to fit a square peg into a round hole once in a while, but with inconsistent results overall.

Remember to use a roller with PSA tapes, too. This helps to ensure strong, consistent bonds across the adhesive tape’s surface. If your gasket application requires a HATS tape instead, you’ll need up to 24 hours for curing. If you attach a gasket with HATS and immediately pull on the profile, you’ll find that the bond isn’t at full-strength.

See You Next Year!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this two-part series about gasket taping and thank you for support throughout the year. Please note that Elasto Proxy will close for the holidays at the end of the work day on Friday, December 21, 2018 and will re-open on Monday, January 7, 2019. During the first week of January, we’ll be closed for inventory so that we’re ready for the new year.

Happy Holidays from Elasto Proxy! We’ll see you in 2019!

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