15 October 2020

What is masking tape? Let’s see what it’s made of and used for

We know it can be used for many purposes and applications, but really: what is masking tape? What is it made of? What is it used for? Let’s answer these questions once and for all.

Masking tape is a lightly adhesive, easy to unwind and easy to tear paper tape, that can be applied on many different surfaces and removed without leaving any residue or causing any damage. Its gentleness and low level of adhesion make it ideal for many applications, both at a professional and non-professional level.

What is masking tape made of

Masking tape is made of two layers:

  • A thin saturated crepe paper backing, that is thin enough to be torn by hand (so that no cutting tool is required).
  • An adhesive that can be solvent free, hot melt or acrylic based, depending on the level of adhesion required.

How masking tape was born

Masking tape has a very long history, that dates all the way back to 1925Richard Gurley Drew, a sandpaper manufacturer, invented masking tape after witnessing the frustration of auto-body workers as they used butcher paper to cover the cars they were painting.

The butcher paper adhesive that was used at the time was very strong, which caused a great deal of damage when removed. After having witnessed the ineffectiveness of butcher paper, Drew saw the need for a better alternative, which marked the birth of adhesive masking tape.

What is masking tape used for

Masking tape was originally used (as we said earlier) to cover off auto parts which didn’t require painting. Today, this application is still the most common; however, considering that masking tape guarantees clean and sharp edges and prevents paint from dripping, it’s also being used today for all kinds of professional and DIY painting jobs.

According to the field of application, PPM has a specific selection of different masking tapes.

Body shop

PPM’s range of Body Shop Masking Tapes presents a number of high-performance solvent-based adhesives, designed to reliably deliver impeccable results in automotive painting jobs at high temperature drying cycles.

Let’s look at one example from the range:

  • 5040 Automotive Fine Line Masking Tape: this tape can withstand drying cycles at high temperatures, up to 120°C for 60 minutes; it guarantees clean, razor sharp lines and, thanks to its narrow structure, it’s ideal for masking small and curved car body parts such as profiles, bumpers, head/bottom lights and car handles. It can be applied to different surfaces like aluminum, plastics, rubber and glass, guarantees high adhesion and doesn’t leave adhesive residue when removed.

Professional Painting

PPM offers a wide range of masking tapes, perfect for any professional in- and outdoor job in painting and renovation, building and construction. The range features hot melt, solvent- and acrylic-based adhesives with superior adhesion, precision and removal properties as well as enhanced water and temperature resistance.

Let’s look at one tape specifically:

  • 5020 Painter’s Low Tack Fine Line Masking Tape: this tape is made of a Japanese washi paper backing and a gentle acrylic adhesive that requires very low removal force, which is why it’s ideal on delicate surfaces such as wallpapers, frescos and painted walls. It guarantees clean and sharp edges, while protecting the delicate surface beneath it.

Utility Painting

PPM’s Utility Painter’s Masking Tapes are designed for general, DIY indoor applications at constant temperatures: an everyday tool that can never miss in any house.

Let’s look at one of these tapes:

  • 6010 General Use Masking Tape: practical and versatile, this tape is perfect for any DIY project. It guarantees good adhesion to multiple and irregular surfaces and it’s compatible with both solvent and water-based paints: the perfect balance between quality and price.

These are only a few examples, but PPM’s masking tapes’ selection is extremely wide and diverse, ideal to answer every painting need, even the most specific.

If you’re interested in exploring PPM’s masking tapes, contact us! We will gladly answer all of your questions.

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