Duct Tape: The Do-It-All Dynamo

| BlackHawk Team

“Get the duct tape.”

Duct tape: the sticky roll of salvation in your toolbox. When something breaks or there’s a hole to plug or a package to send, li’l ol’ duct tape is so often the go-to answer. Duct tape is strong, flexible, easy to tear by hand, sticks like crazy and its applications are unlimited. In a pinch for a temporary repair, duct tape can be a life saver.

You probably use duct tape without even really thinking about how versatile a product it is. In addition to sealing ductwork and effecting repairs, duct tape is used in construction, painting, manufacturing and much more.

Varieties of Duct Tape

Duct tape comes in many different varieties and sizes. You have your general purpose duct tape for household uses like mending a broomstick, sealing drafty windows and fixing the torn cover of a book. Or when it’s time to bind up that threadbare area rug on trash day. That’s just for starters.

Transparent duct tape is handy for sealing and packing, especially to protect address labels. Automotive-grade duct tape can be used under the hood on for minor body repairs. It is rugged enough to withstand cracking, drying and peeling from sunlight, extreme temperatures or moisture. Other heavy-duty duct tapes have similar properties. Waterproof duct tape is suitable as a masking tape.

At the premium end, high performance duct tape is used in heavy industry. It is strong enough to hold large polyethylene tarps in containment areas and can withstand outdoor conditions for up to one year. High performance tape stands up to paint overspray, sandblasting, shot peening and other rugged operations.

The structure of Duct Tape

Duct tape consists of two materials: the backing and the adhesive. Polyethylene, vinyl, polypropylene and synthetic blends are popular backs, while common adhesive materials include acrylic, rubber, cloth and vinyl. Both materials are compatible to ensure a sure bond between them and to allow the desired degree of tensile strength, adhesion and elongation. Some duct tapes can be stretched up to 20% before breaking.

You can make a fashion statement with duct tape, too. In addition to the familiar gray, silver, tan and clear, duct tape is available in nearly three dozen other colors — including rainbow — and popular patterns.

One last thought. Remember the movie Apollo 13? When the astronauts had to build a makeshift CO2 filter out of spare parts and socks in order to return to earth safely, what held that contraption together?

That’s right. Duct tape.

Check out the nearly 500 varieties of duct tape available from Blackhawk.