Application tape should be stored in a cool and dry place at all times, otherwise you may affect the quality of the material and its performance. Dimples on the surface of your application tape are particularly troublesome and these can occur if the tape is not maintained properly. In most cases, dimples and bubbles in application tape will not mean it is completely useless; however it is aesthetically unappealing and more difficult to work with.
Dimples and air pockets can create wrinkles and bubbles when laminating the tape on to vinyl graphics. This can then cause similar wrinkles and bubbles in the applied graphics; making your sign look messy and unprofessional.
What Causes Dimples?
Moisture in the air is perhaps the biggest contributing factor towards dimples in application tape; especially in hot and humid conditions. The dried sheet absorbs water easily, causing it to expand and create tunnels and wrinkles in the adhesive material. It’s a case of the material equalising itself in order to match the surrounding environment. There are of course a number of things manufacturers and customers can do to help prevent this from happening.
One of the main issues contributing to wrinkles in application tape lies in the manufacturing process. After the paper has been primed and layered with adhesive, it is then dried in a number of special ovens. It is extremely important that this process is maintained and controlled accurately to avoid over-drying the paper. Over-drying the paper means it will absorb even the slightest amount of moisture, in what would otherwise be considered a relatively dry environment.
If the paper is not over-dried and is manufactured to retain at least a little moisture, then the tape is less likely to absorb any moisture from the air. It is for this reason that some manufacturers re-moisturise their sheets after they have been oven dried.
Customers and Distributors
As mentioned before, storing application tape in a cool and dry environment will help to ensure it remains in the highest of quality. Another handy tip is to keep the tape within its box until it is required. Many distributors will discard the boxes and store their rolls of tape on shelves to save a bit of space. Exposing the paper to the air and humidity in this way will promote the absorption of moisture and cause dimples to appear. If boxes are a hindrance, sleeves of plastic may be a better option to protect your tape from moisture as this will take up no extra space.
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