Duct Tape is a fabric based, adhesive material mainly used for sealing joints in sheet metal ductwork. This cloth tape, an indispensable item in tool kits, has polyethylene resin coatings on one side and a rubber based sticking material on the other side. Duct tape is nickname ‘the ultimate material’ because of its high holding power and versatility.
Duct tape originated in 1942, during World War II. Permacel, a former division of Johnson and Johnson Company, invented the tape as a waterproof material to seal ammunition cases. The tape, initially made from cotton duck, was also used to repair various military equipment including guns, aircrafts, and jeeps. After the war, the color of the tape changed from its original olive green to silver and the material was found very useful in the housing industry. As a result, the demand of this adhesive material increased great deal and it was made available to the public under the name duct tape.
Before the final product is made available, duct tape undergoes a serious of processes, which include adhesive compounding, adhesive application, coating, respooling and slitting, and packaging. Once the manufacturing processes are over, the duct tape is checked for quality as per the directions of the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Duct tape is available in a variety of colors, of which the most common are silver and black. This malleable and soft material usually has a width of 1.88 inches. Duct tape comes in various grades, which differ in the tensile strengths. The application varies as the grade varies. Commercial grade tapes are classified into utility, general purpose, and premium grades. There are specialty grades, which include nuclear tape for reactors and a ‘200-mile-an-hour’ tape for racecars.