Based in Yadkinville, N.C., Diversified Foam Inc. has been in the foam fabrication business for over 31 years. Serving a variety of industries—from aerospace, electronics, industrial packaging and automotive to appliance, military, gasketing and transportation—Diversified Foam stays competitive by using a range of products, including double-sided tape, when die-cutting custom polyethylene (PE) inserts and gaskets.

When it comes to tape, Brett Matthews, vice president of Operations, says the company has high expectations for performance. “We need strong initial tack, as well as permanent, long-term adhesion,” said Matthews, who has been with the company for 16 years and is responsible for the company’s daily operation.

But the low-density foams the company primarily works with presented a challenge. “It’s hard for tape to stick to low-density foams,” he said. “They have low surface energy and less surface area because of a larger cut cell structure.”

Double-sided tapes were used on a weekly basis, but tape lifting was becoming a problem—so much so that the company would even use a second adhesive, which was often a spray, to get the adhesion it needed.

“We had to prime our low-density PE foam with contact adhesive before applying the double--sided tape,” said Matthews. This added step increased costs related to both material and labor, as well as time and money wasted on reworks and reruns.

“We had lost entire orders that couldn’t be reworked because the bond failed,” he said. “The only option was to rerun the orders from all-new materials.”


Quick Stick, No Lifting

Ready to address tape lifting concerns, Matthews said the company recently tested DP 401 PET double-coated film tape from Shurtape. “Shurtape approached us during the development of DP 401 to partner in conducting product trials,” said Matthews, who was familiar with Shurtape-branded products from packaging and painters’ tapes used in the past.

DP 401 is a clear, double-coated tape designed for PE foam fabrication and lamination processes. Engineered with a unique rubber-based adhesive that offers excellent adhesion to PE foam and other foam materials, DP 401 creates an immediate bond that prevents lifting. The tape’s high initial tack also makes it a great solution for lamination processes that do not use heat.

“We had high expectations for DP 401,” Matthews said. “We needed a double-sided tape that offered a good bond to low-density PE foam—something that would eliminate the need to prime the material. And our expectations are being exceeded. The bond will tear the foam before the tape can be removed.”

The width of the tape is another benefit, according to Matthews. “PE foam is extruded in 48-in. widths, which is the same as DP 401. Larger rolls, either 54 or 60 in. wide, create a bad yield and added waste.”

He says the switch to DP 401 has been positive, from both a sales and waste perspective. “We’ve increased sales for these products and reduced our labor costs from not having to prime our materials before the tape can be applied,” he said. “Plus, we are seeing reductions in loss of materials from product failures and waste from yield issues.”

Shurtape DP 401 is recommended for packaging applications that require cushioning, protection or stabilization of contents, and can also be used with die-cuts, gaskets, POP merchandising, and shelf displays.

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