Adhesive tape needs adhesive to stick. For adhesive tapes, what is known as pressure-sensitive adhesives are used. A pressure sensitive adhesive is a permanently tacky substance that adheres to a given surface when light pressure is applied. It does not require a chemical reaction to develop adhesion forces. Adhesive is ideal for bonding materials together when it meets two requirements: on the one hand, it must guarantee that the adhesive tape and the surface remain bonded together as long and as strong as desired ("adhesion"). On the other, the inner strength of the adhesive itself must be as strong as it is necessary for the intended purpose ("cohesion").
Since these two requirements are different each time adhesive tape is used, it is necessary to mix the right combination of rubber or acrylates from over 1,000 resins and 100 elastomers to create the perfect adhesive for the intended purpose. And it may have to be optimized by using a primer that increases the holding power of the adhesive to the backing. In addition, many different backing materials give adhesive tape additional individual properties. Such backings can be paper or films (plastics, synthetics), but also cotton fabric or metallic backings.
The right and finely balanced mix of all these components – adhesives, backings, primers, etc. - is critical for creating the one adhesive tape tailored to the specific demands of an application.