Why metal tape?

Old 11-13-15, 12:06 PM
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Why metal tape?

This seems like a silly questions, but I'm wondering why metal tape is used when there is "Duct" tape... Why is that? If Duct tape wasn't invented for ducts, why call it that?
Old 11-13-15, 12:09 PM
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Duct tape adhesive will let go with time while the foil tape will remain adhered.
Old 11-13-15, 01:38 PM
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Joe, I've always credited their marketing guy that came up with that name. It's a good name and it has sold a ton of products, but we have learned to leave ducts off of their long list of uses. Actually it isn't just ducts as I've seen boxes taped up where after a long time the adhesive has just dried up.

Old 11-13-15, 01:50 PM
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The foil tape sticks to everything too. Great stuff.
Old 11-13-15, 05:32 PM
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Old 11-13-15, 05:40 PM
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So what came first gaffer tape or duct tape? If gaffer's tape I'd say it was just a gaffer tape maker renaming his product to make more money.
Old 11-13-15, 06:44 PM
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I knew for some time that cloth based tape should not be used on duct work but not much more.

These folks put it all into perspective.
It seems someone spun the original name which was Duck Tape into a name that caused the product to be misused.
Old 11-13-15, 07:18 PM
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In the olden days round ductwork was just connected with a crimped end inserted into a non-crimped end. No tape or screws were used. As leaking ductwork became more and more critical different methods were used to "seal" the joints. In commercial work a mastic was often slathered on the ends and a non-adhesive cloth "tape" wrapped around the soft mastic and then covered with another layer of mastic.

Eventually they started adding sheet-metal screws to mechanically hold the duct together and since applying mastic was (still is) a messy job they looked for some other method of sealing the joints. There were already different varieties of self-adhesive tapes on the market and they chose a fairly inexpensive cloth tape, similar to athletic tape, to use.

Eventually the tape manufacturers developed the vinyl/cloth tape we know of as "duct tape" and that became fairly popular for the job but it was soon learned that the adhesive would dry out and other environmental conditions caused the cloth to disintegrate to the point that a few years after initial installations the tape had completely failed. Since most of these "taped" jobs were in residential installations, most in single-family homes, the tape manufacturers didn't learn of the high failure rate until the energy crunch of the 1970s when people started to "tighten up" their homes to same on there heating and cooling bills. That's when they developed the metallic tapes with their superior adhesives.
Old 11-13-15, 07:48 PM
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Good info Furd.

I demo many old kitchens and the cloth tape does disintegrate over time. The adhesive turns to powder also.
I used to avoid the metal tape but have learned to love it. Adherence and flexibility are excellent.
Old 11-13-15, 09:02 PM
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When going up over the top of a coupling where it is too tight to feed that sticky tape through, I have learned to peel back the protective layer about half the length of the amount needed, then feed the protective cover and remaining tape over the top. Stick the exposed where it belongs and when you pull the peeled off end of the protective cover over the top you will leave the sticky tape right where you want it.

Can't do that with the mastic.


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