What Makes Adhesive Tape Faster Than a Ferrari? A closer look at tack.

What Makes Adhesive Tape Faster Than a Ferrari? A closer look at tack.

Cohesion and adhesion have been encountered by everyone who has gone a little to the root of gluing and taping. Tack, by contrast, is somewhat more mysterious – although it is no less important for adhesive tape.


Tags: tack, stickiness

Tack is a property that gives special abilities to pressure-sensitive, constantly sticky adhesive on adhesive tape. Besides adhesion (adhesive sticking on a surface) and cohesion (inner bond of adhesion), the tack is basically the third required force that lends strength to an adhesive. It acts with minimal pressure and minimal contact time. Some kinds of adhesive tape are so quick in terms of contact time and pressure that they can easily compete with the fastest land animal on earth - the Cheetah.

High tack glue/adhesive: What's behind this?

The Rolling Ball Test: To measure the tack a metal ball is rolled over the sticky side of a tape. The shorter the distance the ball covers, the higher the tack.

All it takes is a short touch with minimal pressure in order to combine two components with each other. There is high tack when an especially solid bond is produced between the adhesive and the surface with minimal pressure and an extremely short contact time.

Since there are many areas in which high tack is especially important, there are some adhesives with especially high tack for this – such as some natural rubber compositions as well as particularly tackified acrylic adhesives.

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Tack for splicing

Tack is very important in industrial paper production or printing industry for example (splicing). Since the paper there runs through the machines from enormous rolls – with up to 1,900 metres per minute. If a roll is finished, the beginning of the next roll must be connected to the end of the finished roll as the operation runs. That is, rolls must be changed on the fly, which only succeeds with extremely high tack. The end of the old roll connects to the beginning of the new one. The bond must be produced immediately. Today, one single special adhesive tape is enough to change the rolls in a running process. And that requires its full performance at an adjusted 115 km/h, at which the rolls rotate. This is as fast as the fastest land animal, the cheetah, can run.

The balance between tack, cohesion, and adhesion determinates the application field