Manufacturers of adhesive tapes and specialist converters

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Monday, 16 May 2022


Adhesives Films and Tapes – A short history

The first recorded indication of glues goes back 2000 BC with a description of a glue made from fish but the invention of the “adhesive tape” is often credited to Dr Horace Day and american surgeon who in 1845 coated rubber and pine resin mixed with solvents including turpentine on to cloth to make surgical strips !

Today adhesive tapes are used as part of daily life and in many of the products we use and move around in - the amount of adhesive tapes of all types in use world wide is estimated to be between 40-50 Billion sq m per year  - roughly the size of Switzerland..

Adhesive tapes and films  are available  fall into two main categories

Pressure sensitive – tacky to touch – great for labels and many packaging applications but have limited strength under stress and not generally for permanent/ structural bonding.

Dry film / Hot Melt Thermoplastic film adhesives ( TFA)  as implied in a film format at normal  temperatures – activated at elevated temperature ( typically 80 Deg +) softens and flows to allow adhesion then cools and hardens to a bond at room temp – Dry Film adhesives offer good handling and convenience with a flexible bond.

Thermoplastic Film adhesives  – have been around for many years – based on polymers they provide the ability to bond to various materials and at various temperatures but also remain flexible and lightweight and can have properties such as optical clarity – permeability or resistance to moisture, heat, etc. 

There is no need for mixing, curing, spreading as in other liquid adhesives, the amount applied is consistent across the bonding area and can be cut to specific shape and pre-tacked to one side before bonding to the other..

In recent years the advances in polymer technology combined with new manufacturing techniques has opened up wider precision bonding possibilities with higher performance on a wider range of materials.

The latest film adhesive products help create the physical integrity of many of the things we know and use today from mobile phones to cars, boats,  sports equipment, furniture  and so on.  

Auto and marine interiors often use thermoplastic films in their assembly – lightweight easy to cut and shape and providing a secure bond on often disparate materials.


Skis and sports equipment often use film adhesives

Some of the advantages of Film Adhesives include:

  • High performance precision bond can be achieved with precise thickness and bonding areas being possible
  • Films can be cut to exact shapes and profiles ( preformed) to match the bonding part and if required preapplied to one surface ( heat tacked) then activated as required against another.
  • Different ( disparate ) surfaces can be bonded via multilayer film structures where one side is formulated for one surface and the other for the other
  • Precise application with minimal flow can be achieved to eliminate unwanted flow and contamination. High viscosity films prevent flow into recesses and other non bonding areas.
  • Film Adhesives provide a constant and uniform bond thickness across the joined components and the resulting bond will remain flexible, durable and lightweight. 
  • High flexibility – film adhesives normally retain a high degree of flexibility after bonding – important in many applications which experience mechanical stress of bending, flex and torsion. The adhesive has the ability to withstand these stresses and can act as a stress absorber to ensure the integrity of the bond to a high level.
  • Stability – film adhesives normally have a high level of stability and ageing characteristics – applications and specific type vary but under most conditions film adhesives will provide years of stable bonding
  • Easy to handle – dry to the touch – wide storage parameters and a long shelf life.

Film adhesives are good for bonding frames cases and gaskets


  • Industrial applications – combinations of metal - fabric – glass – glass fibre – plastic – pvc – polycarbonate – ABS – PETG – PET
  • Electronic applications –  PCB base plate and heat sink bonding – electronic screen ( optically clear ) bonding layers – component “cover” tapes.
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Latrave Ltd

Trinity Centre

Park Farm North





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