What Are the Types of Heat Resistant Tape?

Jul. 08, 2024

Would you use office tape under the hood of your car? It sounds like a fire hazard. Many adhesives can't handle high temperatures, but fortunately, some tapes are specifically engineered to withstand the heat. Today, we will delve into heat-resistant tapes to explain how they work, why some fail, and explore various options available.


What Classifies a Tape as Heat Resistant?


The term "heat resistant" is relative. Most durable tapes can withstand operating temperatures of up to 250-300°F. However, for temperatures reaching 400°F or higher, you need to consider tapes made from specific materials designed for high-temperature applications.


Heat Resistant PI Tape

PI High Temperature Resistant Adhesive Tape

7 Types of Tape that Can Resist Heat


If you're searching for high-temperature materials, your first thought is likely, “Which of these heat-resistant tapes will work best for my project?”


Having worked with a range of materials, we've determined that silicone adhesives, Kapton film, foils, glass cloth, polyester tape, acrylic adhesives, and VHB tape are a few of the most popular materials for heat resistant bonding, gasketing, and other applications.


The following list will break down these different types of tape so you can make the best choice during your material selection process.


1. Silicone Adhesives


Silicone is almost exclusively considered when discussing heat-resistant tapes. Silicone adhesive bonds can typically withstand temperatures ranging from -60°F to 500°F (-51°C to 260°C), at least for short-term use. Many tapes can endure brief bursts of high heat without long-term degradation, a key factor to consider when reviewing technical datasheets. Silicone adhesives are commonly used in high-temperature aerospace, automotive, construction, and electrical applications.


2. Kapton (Polyimide) Tape


Kapton tape, also known as polyimide tape, is often used in aerospace applications due to its extreme heat resistance and insulating properties. Kapton can withstand temperatures from -103°F to 500°F (-75°C to 260°C) and has been known to function in temperatures as low as -320°F and as high as 752°F (-196°C to 400°C).


3. Foils


Foil adhesive tapes, such as aluminum, copper, and stainless steel, are used for EMI and RFI shielding, HVAC sealing and insulation, and packaging. The temperature performance range of these foils typically spans from -65°F to 600°F (-54°C to 316°C), though the exact temperature resistance will depend on the specific type of foil used.


4. Glass Cloth


Glass cloth or fiberglass cloth tapes are utilized for sound insulation, material reinforcement, and more. Like Kapton and foils, glass cloth offers extremely high-temperature resistance, capable of withstanding temperatures exceeding 500°F (260°C).


5. Polyester (PET) Film Tape


Polyester (PET) film tape is employed for electronic joining, high-temperature masking in powder coating applications, and splicing. These tapes can typically withstand environments ranging from -94°F to 400°F (-70°C to 204°C), and even higher temperatures with shorter bake cycles.


6. VHB Tape


VHB (“Very High Bonding”) Tape is primarily used to replace mechanical fasteners, reducing application weight or achieving secure long-term bonds. While not explicitly categorized as "heat-resistant," some VHB tapes can endure temperatures up to 450°F, though most fall below this threshold. Many VHB tapes perform well within -40°F to 200°F (-40°C to 93°C).


7. Acrylic Adhesives


Acrylic adhesive tapes are known for powerful bonding in automotive, medical, and various other industries, often used to replace mechanical fasteners like screws or rivets. While capable of withstanding temperatures up to around 400°F (204°C), most acrylic adhesive tapes operate below this limit. At the lower end, these tapes typically function within -20°F to -40°F (-28°C to -40°C), depending on the specific product.


What to Consider When Selecting Heat-Resistant Tape:


Tapes are only as reliable as their weakest link.


A tape comprises two main components: the adhesive and the carrier or backing. In some cases, there may be dual adhesives in products with differential double-coated materials.


If any component (adhesive, carrier, or backing) fails, the entire tape's performance is compromised. For instance, a foil backing rated for 600°F could fail at 300°F if paired with an adhesive only rated up to 300°F.


Another consideration is distinguishing between short-term (minutes to hours) and long-term (days to weeks) temperature resistance. The difference between short-term and long-term heat resistance listed on a product can be as much as 100°F. Using a tape with short-term resistance for a long-term application may initially hold up but could fail over time.

Heat Resistant PI Tape

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