Pressure-Sensitive Tape vs. Liquid Adhesive: Which Is Best For Gaskets?

Choosing the strongest and best adhesive every time would certainly simplify your design process, but it’s not always cost effective. When it comes to choosing between pressure-sensitive tape vs liquid adhesive, it comes down to the application, and how the adhesive needs to perform under the conditions.

What will the gasket be exposed to? You’ll be considering factors like temperature, solvents and climate conditions. Which industry standards would the product need to comply with? Once you’ve completed a likely use analysis on the product, you can get started on choosing an adhesive.

Pros and cons of spray and liquid adhesives

Spray adhesives are the go-to for many industries and applications because they provide a strong, lasting bond for an attractive materials cost. Other advantages:

  • Fast application, by spray, roll or brush for immediate assembly.
  • Great coverage, especially if you’re applying it to an irregularly shaped surface.

But when you consider other factors of using liquid adhesives, this route can end up raising your production and materials costs.

  • Liquid adhesives can be applied manually or by machine, meaning they come with operational and equipment costs.
  • Liquid adhesives need time for curing and drying, which means it can be minutes or even more than an hour before the item reaches full handling strength.
  • Liquid adhesives can add an extra step of cleanup, thanks to drips and spills.
  • Liquid adhesives can leave odors and fumes in a work space, which requires additional venting to ensure a safe and pleasant work environment.
  • When applied properly, liquid adhesives can provide a strong, lasting bond. However, they don’t always apply evenly, disrupting the bond and the performance of your product.

Why use pressure-sensitive tape in gasketing?

The big advantage of using pressure-sensitive tape for a gasket over liquid adhesive is efficiency. Pressure-sensitive tape saves time on the production floor while minimizing costs.

  • A converter partner applies the pressure-sensitive tape directly to the surface of the gasket material before cutting the custom shape. Once you’re ready to apply the gasket to the substrate, simply peel the protective backing and place it on the surface, while applying pressure for a brief time.
  • It’s versatile because an adhesive-backed gasket can be done manually or through automation.
  • Curing time is also a key advantage. While the adhesives need time to gain full bonding strength, most PSAs reach handling strength immediately after handling.
  • Consistency of coverage makes PSAs an attractive option. In the converting process, you’ll know the gasket has full, even coverage of adhesive. It eliminates the risks from gaps and bubbles.
  • Appearance: In addition to leaving no drips, pressure-sensitive tape create a seamless bond between the gasket and material. If you’re looking to update your design, making your product lighter and more streamlined and attractive, PSAs can provide a solution across many industries.

To learn more, read The upside of using adhesive transfer tape in gasket bonding.

Working with a converter partner to create a custom cut, adhesive-backed gasket can improve your production processes. Bottom line, PSAs are more versatile, faster curing and they improve the appearance of your design. But are PSAs strong enough to do the job? PSAs are used across many industries, including demanding ones such as aerospace, automotive and industrial, so there’s a wide availability of highly engineered adhesives that come in PSA form that stand up to the toughest conditions.

For a deeper dive, read A quick guide to gasket adhesive tapes.

As you make the selection, working with a converter partner can help you select the best tape for your gasket that can achieve the protection and performance you’re looking for.

SRP is proud to be part of the 3M Preferred Converter network. Being a Preferred Converter means we get priority access to the best materials in the industry at the best pricing. We pass these benefits on to our customers.

Learn more about our custom gasket and converter capabilities. Contact SRP and request a quote.