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Aluminium Foil Tape vs Other Adhesive Tapes: Key Properties of Aluminium Tape

aluminium sticky tapeSource: viadon.com

Foil tape is a key consumable that’s found on every engine builder’s, custom interior designer’s, and classic car restorer’s workbench, and it’s used for everything from sealing ram-air intake boxes to overlaying the gaps between insulation materials. All around the car, these aluminium adhesives are ideal for making sure that heat, sound, and even moisture aren’t conveniently finding their way into areas where they’re not wanted.

Automotive foil isn’t the same as the metalized HVAC, or aluminium-backed construction tape used on household insulation and duct board. Automotive foil is designed to be flexible, but still strong enough to hold up under exposure to the severe temperatures, vibration, and flexing that’s to be expected with automobiles.

In short, if you’re looking for a tape that’s made specifically made for sealing gaps, controlling noise, and keeping everything precisely where you want it, now’s a great time to discover more about what high-quality foil tape has to offer.

Properties That Make Aluminium Foil Tape the Best Adhesive

Durable, pressure-sensitive metal tape technology has been used for everything from RFI shielding to protecting aircraft windows. It’s a lot more specialized than you might think though, which is why genuine automotive aluminium sticky tape is the foil you want to use when you’re working on your car, truck, or ute.

aluminum foil tape
Source: 3m.com

With a highly workable vapour barrier backing that conforms easily along all kinds of unusual surfaces, high-strength automotive aluminium foil tape is engineered to serve as an adhesive and a protectant, and benefits from a list of properties that include:

  • 50 micron (.05mm) carrier thickness;
  • A resilient, acrylic-based pressure-sensitive adhesive;
  • An effective temperature range of -20°C to 120°C;
  • High light and heat reflectivity; and,
  • High resistance to chemical and UV degradation.

Regardless of whether you’re using it inside or outside your vehicle, you won’t find a more effective fixative than self-adhesive aluminium foil tape. And with its long-lasting adhesion and exceptionally low moisture transmission rate, you’re going to be impressed with just how effective it is on all kinds of surfaces and substrates.

True Aluminium Tapes for All Your Interior Sealing Jobs

You can buy true, 38mm aluminium automotive foil tape in 10m long rolls with either black or silver treated carriers. The choice of colours is perfect for achieving a consistent, OE-quality look with different types and textures of insulating and shielding materials on custom installs, and the acrylic-based adhesive is formulated to be applied to any clean dry surface, including:

  • Fibreglass, wool fibre, or butyl-type composites;
  • Bare, sprayed, or powder-coated steel or aluminium; and,
  • Carbon fibre, or polymer laminates.

Ideally, these are precisely the types of mounting surfaces that aluminium foil insulation tape would be on for sealing and securing materials like:

  • Acoustic liners and sound deadening mats;
  • Floor, door, and roof insulation and thermal barriers; and,
  • Waterproof, mass loading, and mass noise underlays.

And while these are the substrates and sealing jobs that you’re most likely to buy aluminium tape for, there are a host of other tasks that they’re equally well suited for. In fact, there are as many jobs under the bonnet as there are under the carpet that need taping, and you’ll instantly see the advantage that aluminium tapes have for all of them.

Keeping Things Tidy Under the Bonnet With Aluminium Tape

Even when you’re not in the middle of redoing your interior, noisy and vibrating panels, loose components, and gradual parts fatigue are everyday automotive problems that can occur at any time. This is where the versatility of an aluminium tape roll can assist with regular maintenance and upkeep functions, such as:

aluminium tape
Source: indrub.com.au
  • Organizing and de-cluttering wire looms;
  • Closing unplugged grommet and accessory holes;
  • Insulating panel and barrier edges from aging and fraying;
  • Preventing loose or dislodged parts from falling off; and,
  • Quick repairs to damaged sheet metal or stampings.

The damping and thermal stability of heat-resistant aluminium tape can even help with protecting vital electrical components from damage due to excess vibration and increases in resistance from temperature variations. To that end, what you’d invest in high-quality aluminium tape is minimal compared to what you would otherwise have to spend on replacement parts.

Time and Effort Make Up the Real Advantages of Foil Tape

Make no mistake: although the adhesive properties of heat-resistant aluminium foil tape offers more than its share of technical advantages, the real advantage comes from how it’s applied. When compared with a variety of other commonly used aftermarket automotive adhesives, aluminium tape also offers the following:

  • Expedience. Unlike a host of sealants, caulks, and glue-like adhesives that might require hours to prepare, apply, and fully set up, aluminium foil tape goes on instantly, and doesn’t require any special tools.
  • Convenience. Not only is a self-adhesive aluminium foil tape easier to handle and work than any other automotive application, but there’s also no clean-up afterwards.
  • Resilience. While most automotive adhesives require a range of optimal ambient and surface conditions to adhere properly, you can expect aluminium foil duct tape to adhere to any surface you apply it to.

Suffice it to say, not only do aluminium foil’s inherent advantages allow you to do more, they allow you to do it more efficiently too.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, deciding to install insulation or sound deadener in your car or truck isn’t a job that you want to go into lightly. It takes time and patience. And to get the best results you also need to start with the right materials.

That’s why when you’re sourcing your insulation and shielding materials, you also want to make sure to include genuine automotive aluminium sticky tape with your supplies. It’ll make a difference in the quality and aesthetic of your work, and you’ll find uses for it long after your interior upgrade is completed.

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.