Personalized Tape Designs Spark Innovation & Efficiencyadmin
Personalized Tape Designs Spark Innovation & Efficiency
Industrial tapes come in seemingly infinite permutations, all differing in adhesive type, backing materials, dimensions, physical properties and intended applications. Given the number of tapes on the market today, it’s not unreasonable to think that an off-the-shelf tape is suitable for a manufacturing or product assembly job.
However, using a general or multi-purpose tape robs end users of the advantages gained by a customized tape solution and likely creates a poor end product or impairs the process in which it is employed. The engineers and technicians involved in day-to-day operations might perceive that the general tape or joining methods currently used are inadequate, but they have neither the time to innovate a new type of tape nor the ability to bring the design to life.
Tape customization requires a seasoned, established partnership to optimize tape technologies. With more than 50 years’ experience, Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions provides experience in helping manufacturers and suppliers bring novel tapes to life.
Entrusting Tape Design to the Experts
Innovating a custom tape for an application is not a complicated task, but it does require intimate knowledge of material relationships and application conditions. It also takes a strong understanding of available manufacturing methods. Design begins with a complete review of the application by experienced engineers. This provides insight on what components and materials will be adhered and the exact needs of that bond. Some materials need to be permanently fixed under duress; others have a temporary bond and require a residue-free adhesive. Ultimately, this review provides insight into the types of adhesives that are acceptable.
Also under consideration is the tape’s backing material, determined by the necessary strength of tape required as well as any specialty properties, such as requirements for electrical conductivity and thermal or chemical resistance, among others. Backing materials are an important variable in the tape development equation, as this determines the tape’s performance and success. Common performance attributes that need to be accounted for in tape design include:
- Dielectric insulation
- Extreme temperature resistance
- Climate and weather resistance
- EMI and RFI shielding
- ESD resistance
- Thermal insulation and conductance
- Shock and vibration daping
- Chemical resistance
- High or low coefficient of friction
- Abrasion resistance
- High or low tensile or cut strength
Another aspect the product development engineering team reviews is how the tape integrates into current manufacturing equipment and processes. Throughput is key to success, so the tape must be easy to work with for production personnel and machines alike. This might mean that a tape is precut to a dimension or shape and a special release liner is developed so there are no processing delays from measurements, unpeeling or entanglements.
At the end of the development process, customers should have a tape that has the perfect tack, meets all of the required performance specifications and is easily integrated into existing workflows. This also equates to a more profitable enterprise, as product quality and throughput is improved, leading to greater efficiency and reliability.
A Partnership in Innovative Materials
Unquestionably, Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions is the leading provider of customized tape solutions. With extensive experience in the aerospace and defense, electronics, energy, general industry and automotive segments, we know how to solve challenging tape designs in demanding conditions.
Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions has dedicated engineering teams around the globe to help improve products and processes with innovative tape designs. Proactive communication with the customer ensures that expectations are met and new issues or challenges are addressed. Often, a single individual serves as the liaison to the customer, providing a single source of expert communication between engineers.
Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions uses a streamlined version of the Stage-Gate Process commonly used in R&D, allowing subject matter experts from different parts of the business to collaborate to find the best solutions using a “Co-Development Toolbox.” Using a project management tool called “PACE” (Prototyping and Co-Development Effort), we work swiftly and carefully from the start and throughout each project to understand the application, the CTQs and to get feedback from the customer. We can rapidly develop and test tape designs via pilot lines and in-house testing and simulation. Our on-site support allows customers to try tape designs and provide feedback in the field before committing to a final solution. As a materials converter, Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions can provide tapes in many sizes and formats, ensuring the material is optimal for any process or volume.
Custom Tapes Make a Difference
To illustrate the value that Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions can bring to your design challenge, we offer a few examples of collaboration that led to product innovation.
- A polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) adhesive tape was redesigned to have a higher tensile strength and lower elongation for a cable bundling application. The customer was able to meet a newly released aircraft specification and submit a bid on new business.
- An acrylic tape was specially designed for clean release from automobile exterior paint systems. The customer uses the tape to affix protective covers to automobiles during transit from the factory and no longer needs to correct paint discoloration when the covers are removed.
- A silicone rubber sponge was laminated to PTFE film, adhesive coated and die cut for an electric vehicle battery application. The combination of the specified thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in one product allowed the battery designer to decrease the number of components in the battery and reduce assembly time and cost.
- A polyimide tape was designed for the unique requirements of a rimless tire. A supplier to the high-end tire market was able to offer a new, top-tier product to broaden their portfolio.
A custom tape solution can pay for itself many times over thanks to the process and product improvements it can provide. Saint-Gobain‘s tape development engineers will work with partners to design an economical but highly effective tape product.
Even with endless permutations of industrial tapes available, only Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions can deliver a custom-made tape with optimal adhesive, the perfect backing materials, seamless process integration and superb performance.
Learn how we can help solve tape and materials’ engineering challenges. Contact Us.