09 March 2020

Hot melt adhesive tape: what’s the difference with acrylic tape?

As you know, hot melt adhesive tape and acrylic tape are very different. Therefore, since choosing the right tape for your application guarantees a well-done job, you want to think very carefully about which one to choose. PPM is here to help you compare the two options and figure out which one applies best to your needs.

In this article, we are going to talk about:

Hot melt adhesive tape and acrylic tape both have their own features and benefits. However, they are not interchangeable. They are consistently different from one another for a number of reasons. And depending on the kind of application you have in mind, one is more suited than the other.


Hot melt adhesive tape VS acrylic tape

Let’s take a look at what makes hot melt adhesive tape and acrylic tape so different:

  • First of all, the origin: hot melt adhesive tape is made of thermoplastic polymers; while acrylic tape is made of acrylic resins (that are actually made from acrylic acid).
  • The structure: hot melt adhesive tapes are made of three layers – a film layer, a special release coat that allows the tape to easily unwind off the roll, and an aggressive adhesive layer – while acrylic tapes are constructed with two layers – a film backing and an emulsion acrylic adhesive.
  • Hot melt adhesive tape is significantly stronger than acrylic tape: hot melt adhesive tape has a great quick initial tack that guarantees higher adhesion and superior holding power, specifically when it comes to difficult and heavy bundling and packaging.
  • They work best at different temperatures: hot melt adhesive tape holds well at steady temperatures; while acrylic tape performs best at tough temperatures, both hot and cold, with high humidity conditions, which makes it ideal for sealing boxes that will be stored away for a long period of time.
  • They react differently to exposure to UV rays: hot melt adhesive tape tends to turn yellow with time and exposure to UV light sources; while acrylic tape is unlikely to yellow over time, thanks to its resistance to oxidation.


PPM’s selection of hot melt adhesive tapes and acrylic tapes

PPM knows well about the pros and cons of both tapes, which is why it offers a wide variety of different tapes, both with hot melt and acrylic adhesive, ideal for different kinds of applications.

Here is a list of a few examples from PPM’s selection. As you can see, the final application is ultimately what determines the kind of adhesive that is most appropriate to the job.

Hot melt adhesive tape

  • 4030 Kraft paper packing tape: this brown paper tape, with very high tensile strength and good adhesion, is recommended for heavy boxes and difficult packaging applications, at steady temperatures.
  • 9081 Contractor medium grade duct tape: this tape is designed for all-weather challenging construction jobs; the hot melt adhesive provides very strong adhesion and holding power even on difficult surfaces and in harsh environmental conditions.
  • 1020 Heavy duty mono oriented fiberglass filament tape: this tape is a high capacity reinforcement solution for difficult bundling, with a strong holding power; thanks to its powerful hot melt adhesive, it provides a strong hold on different surfaces and materials.


Acrylic tape

  • 5210 Painter’s blue outdoor masking tape: this tape is a high performance masking tape designed for outdoor applications. It easily withstands moisture, UV rays, high and low temperatures, up to 30 days. It’s compatible with both solvent and water based paints, and it adapts perfectly to different and irregular surfaces.
  • 5030 Painter’s outdoor fineline masking tape: this tape is designed for professional high-performance outdoor jobs, to ensure smooth, clean, and sharp paint edges. It’s water and UV rays resistant and it guarantees outstanding performances even under tough climate conditions.
  • 5020 Painter’s low tack fine line masking tape: this tape is designed for professional painting applications and is specific to very delicate surfaces; its gentle acrylic adhesive requires a very low removal force.

As you can see, they are far from the same thing. They are very different and perform best in different applications.

Curious to know which tape applies best to the application you need? Contact us! We will walk you through the advantages of both acrylic and hot melt adhesive tape.

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