old oak tree foliage in morning light with sunlight

Innovation grows on trees


Natural rubber is in party balloons, car tires, surgical gloves – and innovative adhesive tapes.

The hevea brasiliensis tree is a flowering plant that can grow up to forty meters tall. Beneath its thin bark is a milky substance called latex that can be collected without harming the tree’s growth. That natural substance is used to create rubber with a unique chemical structure that makes it an outstanding component for innovative and more sustainable adhesive tapes.

Latex milk is directly gained from the rubber tree
Latex milk for making natural rubber is collected from the hevea brasiliensis tree.

tesa has developed a patented technology to produce adhesive tapes that take advantage of the unique properties of this bio-based material. Our innovative Natural Rubber Extrusion technology, also known as tesa® NRE, is used to make a growing range of glues and tapes worldwide. These products benefit from the long polymer chains in natural rubber, because the length and mobility of those chains enables high levels of flexibility. Adhesives that include natural rubber also have excellent inner solidity because the polymer chains are entangled rather than neatly connected.

Strong and flexible

Natural rubber is not sticky. That is why we mix it with resin to create adhesives for masking tapes, packaging tapes, cloth tapes and more. Our innovators use diverse types of natural rubber to achieve a variety of performance features. These tapes offer outstanding peel adhesion on a wide range of surfaces, so they stay stuck even when a force is applied to pull them away. However, tapes with natural rubber are easy to remove and leave no traces of adhesive behind. That is a big benefit for masking tape, for example.

Tapes with natural rubber also stick in place quickly with minimal pressure, which is valuable for high-speed processes like sealing packages in factory production lines. And adhesive formulas that feature natural rubber make it possible to reposition the tape because they remain more mobile and flexible than alternative formulas that make glue rigid and brittle.

Innovative and sustainable

The tesa® NRE coating process makes a lot of tapes – and it makes a significant contribution to reducing our climate impact too. NRE uses less energy than conventional processes because there is no need to use heat for drying solvents.

It’s also possible to combine other bio-based or recycled materials with our NRE process. This helps decrease the amount of material we use that is derived from virgin fossil sources like oil. By 2023, tesa aims for 70 percent of its raw materials to be bio-based. This includes natural rubber, resins, monomers and polylactic acid.

Committed and science-driven

Including natural rubber in our adhesive tapes is just one element of our deep commitment to improving our customers’ operations, products and lives in a sustainable way. As a science-driven company, we place a sharp focus on developing innovative technologies that pave the way for a more sustainable future. Bio-based materials like natural rubber offer exciting potential to shrink our environmental footprint. And they are flexible, fast, and easy to remove too.