Developed for applications such as seaming, splicing and protecting products during assembly, transportation or actual use, these specialty adhesive tapes are manufactured by applying acrylic-, polyurethane-, rubber- and silicone-based adhesive systems. Photo courtesy of Tyco Adhesives, PATCO Division, Bristol, R.I.;
Shipments in the United States of pressure sensitive tapes are projected to increase 2.8 percent annually through 2006 to 6.1 billion square meters, which will require 1.2 billion pounds of raw materials. In value terms, shipments will advance 4.1 percent yearly to $5.7 billion, coming off a weak 2001 base and spurred by economic recovery and a rebound in key end markets such as motor vehicles.

Advances will be driven by material enhancements that will continue to enable tapes to widen their scope of use by supplanting alternative joining and bonding systems in industrial assembly, packaging and other applications. Value gains will also be supported by a shift in the product mix toward higher-performance, value-added technical tapes for industrial applications. Further expansion for tapes will be restrained by maturity in significant applications. These and other trends are presented in Pressure Sensitive Tapes, a study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Strongest Prospects

Among tape types, the strongest prospects exist for various technical and specialty tapes, including double-coated, adhesive-transfer and certain plastic-film-backed products. Double-coated tapes, which have supplanted single-coated tapes and other bonding methods in many applications, are used disproportionately in growth industries such as electronics and telecommunications. Performance advantages and new-product development will also support above-average growth for adhesive-transfer tapes, particularly in products where a tape backing cannot remain and greater conformability is required.

Tapes fabricated from higher-end plastic films such as polyester, PTFE, nylon and polyimide will continue to supplant cloth, rubber and paper tapes as well as commodity film-backed tapes based on their durability and high-temperature resistance along with usage in fast-growing niche applications, such as electronics and industrial assembly.

Raw Material Consumption to Benefit

Raw material consumption will benefit from a shift in the product mix toward heavier, higher-performance products such as double-coated structural-bonding tapes, which are significantly more adhesive intensive than commodity self-wound tapes. However, the down-gauging of backing materials and increased usage of lighter-weight hot melt adhesives will offset the effects of heavier, higher-performance material growth. Environmentally friendly waterborne adhesives will continue to capture market share from solventborne adhesives, although the latter will retain a significant share of adhesives used in tapes due to their relatively low cost and higher performance characteristics in demanding applications.

For more information:

Pressure Sensitive Tapes (published August 2002, 266 pages) is available for $3,900 from The Freedonia Group Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440-684 9600, fax 440-646-0484 or Information may also be obtained through