what is foil tape used for FAQ + Tipss

What is Foil Tape Used For? [FAQ + Tips]

Foil adhesive tapes are exceptionally versatile and long-lasting solutions for harsh and severe applications. Unswerving adhesion, electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as chemical, UV radiation, and humidity resistance, make foil tapes an ideal option for extreme uses. In most cases, foil tapes are used mainly outdoors because these adhesive tapes can withstand various elements such as high temperatures for longer. But what exactly is foil tape, and what is it used for? Read on to find out.

What Is Foil Tape?

Foil tapes are explicitly engineered metal-foil backing adhesive tapes designed for sealing, grounding, shielding, and resistance applications. These tapes feature unique characteristics with considerable significance in metal finishing, automotive, aerospace, and appliances. Most foil tapes are considered ideal for electric and thermal conductive shielding and grouping to guarantee maximum adhesion.

Aluminum foil tape is among the most commonly used foil tape, dating back to 1888 when the first foil was introduced. However, commercial production began in 1913 in the U.S. and gained popularity because of its protective properties and attractive exterior in packaging and containers. Besides, aluminum foil tape remains the most extensively used foil tape in the building and construction industry.

What Materials Are Used in Foil Tape?

Table showing different tape materials

Since foil tapes are perfect for extreme operations and outdoor applications, they are available in various materials. Here are some key materials used in the manufacture of foil adhesive tapes.

Aluminum

Aluminum foil tapes are used in all sorts of applications because they are both versatile and durable. They also adhere well to many surfaces. Foil tapes are adhesive tapes that have a foil-backing. Common applications include covering seams on ducts, joints and metal. Other industries that rely heavily on foil tapes include metal finishing, automotive, aerospace, and appliances.  Aluminum tape is so durable that it is safe to use on airplanes and machinery. There are a number of tapes used in the electrical field, and foil is among them. They work well for electric and thermal conductive shielding and grouping. Foil tape is naturally very sticky, so it lasts for a long time when used to cover electrical wires. Additionally, foil tapes are reflective and conductive, so they reflect heat and are great to use with electrical projects.

Foil tapes are highly useful in construction and commercial spaces because they seal out dust and dirt and can handle wide temperature ranges. Foil tapes even seal out moisture, hence their use on batts of insulation to create a vapor barrier. Not all foil tapes are recyclable, but the aluminum foil tape made by Lamart is recyclable. 

Aluminum foil tape is very malleable and easy to work with, so consumers are able to create a highly customized project. ​​The uses are limitless, as it works well in extreme conditions such as high humidity and sweltering temperatures.

Copper

Copper tapes are available in two varieties: conductive and non-conductive adhesive tapes. Fully conductive tape is conductive on both sides, while non-conductive concentrates the conductivity on the outside only. Either way, copper foil tape is extremely resistant to weather and different types of chemical breakdown, so it can be used in environments like factories as well as outdoor piping. Many industries use copper foil tape for shielding communication and electrostatic cables to protect them from harmful chemicals and extreme weather conditions.

Some of Lamart’s copper foil varieties even offer electromagnetic and radio frequency shielding on microwave components, cables, antennas, motors, or cabinets. Still other models are helpful in circuit board repair. Furthermore, copper foil tape is resistant to corrosion. 

Some Copper tape offers many meaningful features:

  • A static drain. 
  • The tape can be soldered.
  • It is used in printed circuit board repair or prototypes.
  • It can be used as a connector where mechanical connectors are not practical.
  • It is easily cut for custom sizing.

Lead

Lead foil tapes are most effective at protecting cables and equipment from harmful radiation such as x-rays and electroplating. This foil is also applicable in wrapping applications in chemical mills against moisture. Lead foil is often placed in windows and doors, offering moisture barriers and protecting against chemical damage.

Lead Foil tape is highly conformable to both irregular and curved surfaces, lending itself to a wide variety of applications. Its aggressive acrylic PS adhesive is designed to offer excellent quick stick and ultimate adhesion. It is made with a Polycoated Paper Liner. Lamart’s lead foil tape products are flame resistant as well as hearty in harsh weather conditions and under strong UV rays.

Consumers appreciate that the easy to manage liner allows tape to be die cut into shapes for specific projects. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel foil tape is both strong and resistant to corrosion. Often used outdoors, stainless steel foil tapes offer significant resistance UV radiation, and temperature changes. Stainless steel foil conforms quickly to edges and uneven surfaces to guarantee long-lasting areas free from rust and wear.

Stainless steel foil adheres reliably to many substrates. It is a reliable and effective tape due to its non-corrosive and non-magnetic properties. It is also very wear-resistant, so you can rest assured your purchase will withstand heavy use. Lamart’s stainless steel tape is coated on one side with a heavy duty acrylic adhesive. This tape is supplied on a release liner and is made with a Polycoated Kraft interliner. 

Stainless steel foil provides a solution for marine, food processing and nuclear applications requiring a non-magnetic and non-corrosive tape.

Lamart’s stainless steel foil tapes are very reliable for use in:

  • Paper mills
  • Marine applications
  • Shipyards
  • Food processing
  • Other extreme applications

What Is Foil Tape Used For?

Foil tape is a product of multiple applications, generally because of its versatility and robust gripping features. Aluminum foil tapes are among the most commonly used adhesive tapes and are incredibly durable and resistant to various elements such as heat, moisture, and cracking. That said, here are some standard foil tape uses:

Electrical Cables and Appliances

Foil tape incorporates a sturdy and reliable polymer coating that makes this adhesive tape ideal for coating, wrapping, insulation, and sealing electrical appliances. It is also used on communication cables, as the tape has exceptional weather resistance properties. Electrical cables and components coated with foil tape tend to have reduced environmental influences, especially when it comes to extreme weather conditions.

Packing Sensitive Products

Aluminum foil is an ideal adhesive tape that helps prevent moisture intrusion into packed products, keeping them fresh while preserving their original state. Because the foil is heat, vermin, and moisture resistant, it ensures contents remain safe and secure while in transit for longer distances.

Construction

Most construction projects rely on foil tape to reinforce fiberglass, as well as the insulation of thermal mineral wood. With robust adhesive irrespective of surface, foil tape helps fix various roof problems and metal gutters. Besides, the tape is durable and corrosion-free, making it ideal for construction operations.

Heating and Cooling Systems

HVAC systems with ductwork rely on ducts to supply and channel air to different rooms in residential and commercial settings. Foil tape is used to seal and insulate HVAC ducts to ensure the system does not lose heat during winter or become ineffective in summer. The foil tape is also ideal for repairing heating, cooling, and ventilation systems due to its thermal conductive and cold weather resistance properties, besides its high tack acrylic bonding agent.

Marine

Foil tape is probably the only adhesive tape resistant to moisture, making it ideal for insulating, wrapping, and patching marine equipment. For instance, tape can be used to repair boats to offer well-waterproofed surfaces without being affected by water. Its exceptional moisture-resistant characteristics make aluminum foil an idyllic tape used in coating ferry cargo to prevent water intrusion.

Aerospace

As foil tape has high resistance to harsh and toxic chemicals, it is ideal for masking windows, seams, and wheels on aircraft before applying a paint strip. Again, the same properties allow the tape to anodize and electroplate in different places, which helps prevent chemical effects on exposed surfaces.

What Are the Benefits of Using Foil Tape?

Table showing the benefits of foil tape

Foil tape offers numerous benefits for critical industries to facilitate various operations. Here are five key benefits of using foil tape over other adhesive materials:

  • Extreme thermal resistance: Foil tape incorporates metal that offers extreme temperature versatility to ensure it withstands cold and blistering temperatures for better insulation, shielding, and wrapping.
  • Moisture and humidity resistance: Foil tapes can be used in marine or high humidity environments as these tapes are moisture and humidity-resistant.
  • Recyclable: Regardless of what the foil tape is used for, it is recyclable and consumes low energy for its initial production. This makes it among the most sustainable adhesive tapes in the industry.
  • Tolerant to toxic chemicals: Although foil tape is toxic, especially when it burns, it is highly resistant to chemicals. Thus, adhesive tape is ideal for insulating, wrapping, or coating surfaces against toxic elements and other extreme conditions such as corrosive chemicals, fuel, and saltwater.
  • Versatile and durable: Foil tape is manufactured using high-quality material combined with metal to present exceptional thermal, cohesion, and adhesion properties.

Bottom Line

Since foil tape has several qualities and is available in different materials, this adhesive tape offers more benefits to various industries. The uses are limitless, as it primarily works best in extreme conditions such as high humidity and sweltering temperatures. Learning various uses of foil tape and what to expect from these tapes is thus crucial.

At Lamart Corporation, we understand the value of acquiring suitable foil adhesive tape for your project and ensuring superior, reliable, and durable adhesion. This is why we are dedicated to delivering high-quality and reliable adhesion solutions to our clients. For more information, view our products or contact us today!

Craig Hirsh

chirsh@lamartcorp.com
Craig is a third-generation owner of Lamart Corporation with over ten years of experience developing custom-designed products to meet customer specifications and expectations.