Benefits of Metal Building Panels

Wood, concrete, and brick aren’t the only building materials that should be considered when creating standing structures. Metal building panels are also being frequently used in a variety of applications, and they show some significant advantages over more traditional options. Here are some of the benefits of a metal building panel, in terms of both installation and long-term use. 

Metal Building Panels Are Lighter Than Wood

Metal panels are extremely lightweight — lighter than wood. This conveys a few critical advantages. A metal panel is going to be easier to install and cheaper to ship, reducing the costs of transportation and installation. Metal structures can also be moved and erected temporarily, in the event that shelter is needed for only a certain amount of time. If designed to be assembled by a non-professional, metal building panels will be far easier to position and work with — even with a small group.  

Metal Building Panels Are Durable and Resistant

A metal panel is naturally going to be resistant to rot, pests, and other environmental factors. They are particularly useful in areas with environmental extremes or issues to contend with, as they are not easily deformed and will last for a long time. For the most part, metal is generally only vulnerable to rust, and even then it would need to be metal that is not pre-treated and that is not cared for appropriately. 

Metal Building Panels Are More Dimensionally Stable

Metal panels are built with very low tolerances; they are machined precisely and can fit together very precisely, making them more dimensionally stable. For builds that are designed to use as little material as possible, being dimensionally stable is very important. Stability can be further improved through the use of adhesives for bonding. Adhesives not only create a strong bond quickly, but they can also reduce vibration and wear that would otherwise be associated with metal panels, making them last longer. The precision that is used to achieve this stability also ensures that everything fits perfectly when putting up a metal frame or structure.

Metal Building Panels Are Easily Insulated

Finally, metal building panels can be easily insulated. A metal building panel can contain insulating foam, being designed as a sheet with multiple panels that are stacked together. Special processes ensure that there is no space between the panels and the insulation, thereby making the insulation far more effective than other materials such as wood. Being easily insulated is incredibly important for many new, small homes, which are intentionally designed to have a low carbon footprint and be environmentally friendly.

Though it may seem strange to build a home with metal building panels, there are many unique and innovative homes that are currently being built. When working with metal building panels, there are many options for adhesive solutions that will be more affordable, durable, and environmentally-friendly than other bonding processes. For information about metal building panels and the adhesives that can be used on them, contact Tom Brown, Inc.

Saint Gobain – High Quality Tape

High quality, sustainable, and cost-effective bonding and sealing tapes are available through Saint-Gobain. Saint-Gobain produces a wide variety of construction and industrial materials, including their complete line of bonding and sealing solutions. Ranging from the aerospace industry to general construction, Saint-Gobain’s tape products are used wherever quality is at a premium. Saint-Gobain is a leader within the automotive, fenestration,  and construction industries and produces structural spacer tapes, foam sealants, and other products.

The Advantages of Saint Gobain Tape

Tom Brown, Inc is a master converter of Saint Gobain’s tape products. As a master converter, Tom Brown Inc is one of the most experienced tape converters in North America and is able to provide many different Saint Gobain products to suit any industry specifications or standards. Some of the products that are available through Tom Brown, Inc. include Saint-Gobain NORBOND V2800 series bonding tapes. These bonding tapes are constructed of polyurethane foam which is able to dissipate and reduce stress and wear on the bonded materials. These bonding tapes are ideal for severe weather conditions and provide a seal and resistance against UV light.

  • Saint-Gobain NORBOND A7000 series bonding tapes. These are acrylic bonding tapes available in clear, gray, white and black. They are highly viscoelastic and dissipate stresses well in a variety of applications.
  • Saint-Gobain NORSEAL Series closed-cell PVC foams. A pressure-sensitive adhesive

on one side, these PVC foam sealants are able to act as a shock absorber and sealant in nearly every application.

If you’re interested in any of Saint-Gobain’s high-quality products, contact Tom

Brown, Inc today. TBI will be able to find the right solution for you even if it’s not in

our current inventory and will convert it to meet your specifications and needs. TBI  provides the best in high-quality bonding and sealing tapes for any application.

How a Full Service Converter Helps Solve YOUR Problems

It’s easy to walk into a prospect’s office and say things like, “We’re the best”, “We’ve been in business for 30 years”, “Our quality’s the best”, “We’re a family owned business”, or “We’re faster”.

These all sound great but ring hollow with a prospective customer trying to solve real world problems such as increasing inventory turns, lowering working capital requirements (while not sacrificing lead time), reducing material costs, and solving new product design challenges.

The simple truth is that all those high sounding platitudes really mean little to the customer and make you sound like everyone else. It’s really about their problems. So here’s the converter’s “secret sauce” and how we do it.

Increasing Inventory Turns and Lowering Working Capital

When you decide that a bonding and assembly tape or gasket material is the right solution for your production, you will be faced with some challenges if you want to buy directly from a tape manufacturer. Many tape manufacturers have lead times anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending on the product and the minimum order quantity can easily surpass what might be needed on the production line on a weekly or monthly basis. If you buy more than one width or size, this has a multiplying effect on the problem.

That minimum order quantity (MOQ) and lead time throws two “wrenches into the gears”. Let’s say for example that you buy a ½” wide bonding tape for one application and the same tape in 1”” width for another and that the lead time is 3-4 weeks.

If we suppose that the MOQ matches what you use in a month, you will need to have at least 1.5 -2 months of inventory on the floor to prevent a stock out or line down situation especially if your business has any seasonality.

Based on this common scenario, your tape inventory will turn maybe 6 to 8 times if your purchasing folks are really tracking it carefully and you have two months of working capital tied up to make sure you don’t go line down.

So how does a full service converter solve the problem? A converter typically buys tape products in log rolls or master (also called “jumbo”) rolls. These rolls are anywhere from 36-64” wide and can be rewound into the correct length or they are purchased in a predetermined length. Most of the products are purchased in pallet, multiple pallet, or truckload quantities.

The tape inventory is now on our floor and not yours. We hold the inventory and we can slit the log roll or master roll down on demand. Need 400 rolls of ½” and only 20 rolls of 1”? No problem. Need 4,000 rolls of ½”? No problem. Need 10 rolls? Still not a problem. The converter is tooled with the right rewind slitters, log slitters, spoolers, and die cutting presses to turn orders quickly in quantities that match the customer’s requirements.

The net result is that the products arrive in the right quantity at the right time no matter the season. You can cut working capital requirements in half and your inventory will turn 12-18 times (or more) instead of 6-8.

Reducing Material Costs

Converters work with the top manufacturers in the pressure-sensitive tape industry. They have access to and in depth knowledge of a broad palette of products with many different price points. That knowledge and access save sourcing time when your operations and purchasing team are challenged by management to reduce manufacturing costs and improve margins.

A full service converter can often show you two or three samples of products that can meet the technical requirements. There are some products that are unique and only have one or two manufacturers producing them but more often than not, there are alternatives.

If you have multiple plant locations, SKUs can often be reduced by consolidating purchases and many converters have multiple locations to reduce transit time to multiple sites.

Another hidden value with multi-location converters is supply chain continuity. If something happens at one converter site, the other can pick up the slack and maintain supply and avoid any line down situation.

Solving Product Design Challenges

The same access to and knowledge of the top tape manufacturers that helps with cost reduction is also a significant resource when determining the best way to solve a design challenge.

Understanding the technical details of products from many manufacturers means that that knowledge can be easily shared with the end user. The pros and cons of the products can be discussed with the design team and the right form factor can be identified. Need slit rolls in a unique width or length? That’s what we do. Need a die cut part to work with an applicator? We have you covered.

What about fast prototypes? A full service converter can often provide one or two prototypes to a design team within a day or two to allow an idea to be tested quickly and at minimum cost. Designs can usually be easily adjusted and production ramp time is reduced.

Speaking of applicators, converters have knowledge about tape application systems and dispensing equipment. We can easily make recommendations and help facilitate automation efforts that save time and money.

The right product, for the right application, at the right price at the right time. That’s what a full service converter can do but more importantly we help the customer reduce working capital requirements, improve inventory turns, and solve bonding and assembly challenges.

Want to know more about the problems we can solve for you? Contact Tom Brown, Inc. today.

Rubberlite Provides Integration of the Most Advanced Technologies

Rubberlite is an advanced leader in flexible material technologies. These technologies can be integrated into a wide variety of industries, ranging from industrial to commercial. Businesses looking for custom-engineered and state-of-the-art flexible materials can utilize Rubberlite’s products for a number of applications. The products provided through Rubberlite include industrial rubber and plastic solutions, engineered foam solutions, and technical composite solutions.

The History of Rubberlite

In 1986, Allen Mayo originally founded Rubberlite. Rubberlite specialized in custom rubber products and plastics, with an emphasis on connecting manufacturers and fabricators and creating a superior integration of business processes. Through the years, Rubberlite’s innovative technology was able to give way to numerous unique and useful products, including custom engineered polyurethane foams. Rubberlite has experimented with different formulas and applications to develop the best products for the best projects. 

A Company Founded Upon Improvement

The mission of Rubberlite is very simple; it is one of constant improvement. Rubberlite focuses on improving upon “the way we work, the way we create, the way we think.” Together that has created a company that is innovative and strong. The market has been changing for some time regarding flexible materials and their applications. In order to continuously offer the best products, Rubberlite has had to adapt over the past three decades. Its this ability to adapt that has created a leader within the industry.

Products Provided by Rubberlite

Rubberlite provides three primary types of product: rubber and plastic, foam, and technical composites. Rubber and plastic composites are highly durable products that include polyurethane foam, fabrics, and pressure-sensitive adhesives. Rubberlite has additionally worked within the foam industry since 1997 and provides engineered foams such as HyPUR-cel, which creates a durable, flexible, and long-lasting foam. Finally, technical composite products include laminations, functional coatings, and Sur-Fex surfacing. These composites can be used to add utility and durability to other materials. 

The Primary Markets of Rubberlite

  • Industrial. Rubberlite products are used to cushion products from stress, dampen movement and vibration ,and provide a seal against air, water, and other substances. 
  • Transportation. Rubberlite products can be used to protect sensitive components that are used in the transportation industry, from aviation to aerospace travel.
  • Packaging. Rubberlite products can be used throughout the packaging, shipping, and logistics industry, to better protect devices and equipment.
  • Medical. Rubberlite products, including leading products such as HyPUR-cel, are used to improve the safety and comfort of many medical devices.
  • Consumer Goods. Rubberlite products can be used to reduce the cost and weight of consumer goods, while also increasing comfort and enhancing flexibility.

Rubberlite provides industry leading flexible materials, ranging from durable and flexible foams to adhesives and coatings. Whatever your organization’s industry is, it’s possible that there are applications for these innovative technologies. Is your business interested in the benefits of Rubberlite products? Tom Brown, Inc provides only the best in adhesive and film technologies, including the Rubberlite line up. Contact Tom Brown, Inc today for a quote on Rubberlite products.

How Structural Adhesives Save Manufacturers Time and Money

Manufacturers are now finding that structural adhesive tapes can save them both time and money. Environmentally-friendly, durable, and strong, structural tapes are one of the best replacements for traditional mechanical fasteners and mechanical bonding. Bolts, welding, and other methods of conventional fastening are more expensive and more likely to fail, for a few very clear reasons.

Structural Adhesive Tapes Reduce Distortion and Fatigue

One of the major issues with mechanical fasteners has to do with wear. Over time, metal fasteners will distort, tear, and fatigue. When this happens, it’s often not just the fasteners themselves that need to be replaced; there is also associated damage to the attached materials. The very act of welding can potentially damage structural elements, as it introduces physical changes and heat distortion. In order to reduce potential wear and fatigue, more mechanical fasteners than are necessary are often introduced, and this can inflate the cost of a project as well as the project time. Altogether, mechanical fasteners can be inefficient and unpredictable.

Comparatively, adhesive fasteners are able to dampen structural forces such as vibrations, thereby reducing wear on the surrounding materials. As a flexible material, adhesive fasteners do not permanently warp, distort, or wear; instead they are able to move with the structure to provide strong adhesion without the potential for damage. Structural adhesive tapes do not impact the structural integrity of other materials, because they do not require heating, cutting, or other damaging processes. Overall, this makes them a superior and safer product.

Structural Adhesive Tapes Are Faster and Easier to Install

Structural adhesive tapes can substantially reduce installation and maintenance time. With an adhesive bond, the tape simply needs to be applied to the materials and then and light pressure applied as it is put into place. For the most part, most adhesive tapes bond very quickly, allowing the installers to move on to other parts of the structure. Mechanical bonds comparatively take much longer, as welding, bolting, and other physical and precise activities have to be completed. This also involves large amounts of equipment, which are going to require training to use and which could potentially cause hazards if used improperly.

In terms of a project, adhesive tapes make the installation and maintenance faster and easier, thereby reducing the cost of the entire project as well as reducing the risk of potential delays. By limiting the amount of safety concerns involved in the installation process, tapes make it less likely that anything could occur that would be detrimental, financially damaging, or time consuming.

Structural Adhesive Tapes are Lightweight

Many projects are looking for ways to improve efficiency. Structural adhesives do this in two ways: they both reduce the weight of a project and they increase the project’s sustainability. Compared to mechanical fasteners, structural tape is far lighter. This means that projects can be built with reduced loads and that the project overall will be easier to construct. There will be fewer materials shipped by weight and the project itself will require fewer materials.

Structural adhesive tapes are superior to mechanical welds in many ways. They are easy to install and naturally create a seal. If you’re interested in any specialty tapes for your next product, check out Tom Brown Inc’s inventory of specialty tape products and adhesives.


Holding It Together – Flexcon Industrial

Flexcon Industrial is a leading provider of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes, insulation laminates, Stabrite® fluorescent films  and other related custom products.

Through Flexcon, industrial and commercial companies can acquire the products they need to complete installations, developments, repairs, and maintenance in a fast, efficient, and sustainable manner. Flexcon Industrial particularly focuses on pressure sensitive adhesive tapes and applications for its use.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes

Flexcon Industrial provides pressure sensitive adhesive tapes for a variety of industries and applications. Pressure sensitive adhesive tapes and  release liners are provided in multiple thicknesses and sizes, all able to be customized and tailored depending on customer requirements. These pressure sensitive products are being used increasingly throughout constructive and automotive industries, as a method of reducing costs and improving sustainability.

Insulation Laminates

Flexcon also produces a wide variety of insulation laminates, which are able to serve as barriers within transformers, generators, and motors. These insulation laminates protect from temperature changes and dielectric breakdown , thereby making parts last longer. Insulation laminates don’t just reduce the wear on parts; they also improve safety and reduce the cost and speed of maintenance. Though these laminates may be used primarily within industrial equipment, they can also be useful for other applications, such as automotive.

Custom Products

In addition to insulation and pressure sensitive adhesives, Flexcon products custom products such as thermosetting (b-stage) adhesives. Phenolic coated products, epoxy coated products, AFR coated products, and PVC heat seal are all provided through Flexcon with RoHS and REACH compliance. The adhesives that are used by Flexcon Industrial utilize proprietary adhesives  designed for extreme heat applications and with special, safety improving capabilities for flame resistance.

About Flexcon Industrial

Located in San Antonio, Texas, Flexcon has prided itself on developing its customer service and partnerships throughout the industry. Flexcon has been able to achieve success in a competitive market through research, development and innovative product design . The products provided through Flexcon are “off-the-shelf,” tailored for each company and its needs.

A variety of industrial and commercial applications can be fulfilled in a sustainable and affordable way through Flexcon’s product line. If you’re interested in learning more about Flexcon Industrial and their products, Tom Brown, Inc can help. Tom Brown Inc. provides double coated film and foam Flexcon adhesive products , and can advise organizations on the right products for their applications.

Know What Sticks With Adhesives Research

(Image Courtesy of Adhesives Research)

At Tom Brown, we provide a range of foam tape products from Adhesives Research, an independent developer of pressure-sensitive tapes, coatings, laminates and release liners. Adhesives Research manufactures a full line of pressure sensitive tapes to solve a variety of bonding and assembly challenges.



Tom Brown Inc. and the ARclad® Series

The ARclad® series foam tapes are designed to glaze insulated glass units (IG units)into PVC framing systems. At Tom Brown Inc., we carry ARclad® 2000, 3000, 4000 and 8000 series products. Each product has increasing strength and performance, with ARclad® 8000 providing the highest design pressure ratings. For customers seeking a cost effective foam glazing tape, the ARclad® 4000 series is durable and affordable. Tom Brown Inc. provides the following ARClad® products:

  • ARclad® 2000 Series- The ARclad® 2000 features a rubber based, high tack, high shear adhesive system. This product is perfect for PVC and aluminum.
  • ARclad® 3000 Series- This is a glazing tape series for PVC and aluminum. ARclad® 3000 is available in black and white, a range of thicknesses and can be delivered in long length spools.
  • ARclad® 4000 – ARclad® 4000 is a high performance acrylic adhesive that is available in a range of colors and thicknesses. This is the workhorse series in the line and has excellent resistance to moisture and UV light.
  • ARclad® 8000 – This top of the line product provides the best design pressure ratings and overall performance.

You can check out more about the Adhesives Research products that we sell by taking a look at our website.  


Contact Us To Purchase A Product

At Tom Brown, Inc., we carry a full line of foam sealing and bonding tapes. Our tapes can hold together metals, plastics, and almost anything you can think of. Our tapes keep out water and literally hold together trailers, trucks, and commercial window and wall systems.. We’re a behind the scenes company, but our role in the lives of our customers is important. Located in Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City, we serve customers all over the surrounding areas and beyond. We’re committed to providing the best tape products, in the right width, at the right time.. For samples or to discuss our tapes in greater detail, call us today at (800) 446-2298.


Trends Impacting the Global Adhesives and Sealants Industry

The Global Adhesives and Sealants industry has been changing quickly over the past decade. Not only have substantial strides been made in the chemical and physical composites available to the industry, but new uses have been discovered for adhesive and sealant products. Here are some of the major trends impacting the industry now.

Environmentally-Friendly and Sustainable Options

As with most sectors, the adhesives and sealants industry has been working towards more environmental and sustainable options. This is occurring in two major ways:

  • Sustainably sourcing chemicals and materials. The actual components of adhesives and sealants must be able to be recovered and created in a sustainable way. This means finding better locations to source these chemicals and materials and safer ways of doing so, often working on an international scale.
  • Producing safer end products. Adhesives and sealants are now being produced with lower amounts of emitting materials, thereby reducing the amount of environmental damage they could potentially cause. Many adhesives and sealants have now achieved 100% safety for VOC content, which makes them safer than many other types of chemical bonding.

Expansion Into New Sectors

Certain types of adhesive and sealant, such as tapes, are now being used throughout additional industries and applications. The adhesives and sealant industry is now working to ensure that these transitions occur smoothly and that their ramifications and potential consequences are fully explored. This may include stress testing, consultants, and revising standards of care. At the same time, the industry is also seeking new sectors in which products can expand. Adhesives and sealants are constantly improving, both in terms of sustainability and in terms of cost.

New Reforms for California and the TSCA

The U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act has needed reform since it was first adopted in 1976; at least that is the widely held opinion of the global adhesives and sealants industry. The industry has been working hard to revisit this issue, as it may block off chemicals that are both useful to the industry and that are not harmful to either the environment or to consumers. Since 1976, many additional processes have been discovered and new chemicals have entered into widespread usage. It is believed that it is now necessary to revamp the act to be more realistic. A larger variety of chemicals would  both improve the adhesives and sealants in use today and contribute to increased safety and industry growth.

Continued Growth Within the Market

Not only is the market expanding substantially in areas such as South America, but the industry totals were reported as a total of $12.5 billion as of 2013, which shows a gross profit of 29.5%. These profits are substantial and growing, covering exports to a total of 170 countries.

As the market continues to grow, the need for superior products, better sustainability, and standardized testing becomes even more important. The market is growing and a wider variety of products are becoming available for different commercial, industrial, and even residential purposes. And that means that there are increased requirements for expertise. For everything from foam tapes to surface protection films, Tom Brown, Inc. can provide both consultation and quotes.

3M Extreme Sealing Tape – Yes, it really works!

(Photo courtesy of 3M)

My typical approach for this blog is to offer readers some explanation of the various terminology, materials, test methods, and design considerations they might encounter when using pressure-sensitive tapes and gasket materials. I don’t usually critique or review specific products but sometimes certain tapes really turn my head (you’re probably thinking I have no life or am a real tape nerd…which is true!)

Many of you have heard of 3M’s VHB tape products. VHB tapes have been around since the mid 80’s. Those products were truly ground breaking at that time and the product portfolio has grown substantially over the years to enable manufacturers to assemble anything from a cell phone to bonding an insulated glass unit into a high rise building. The Extreme Sealing Tape is born of this heritage but has some really interesting properties worth knowing about.

What is Extreme Sealing Tape?

The tape consists of a flexible ionomer film with a foamed mass of 40 or 80 mil acrylic adhesive (and a very tacky acrylic at that) on one side. A film release liner protects the ionomer film /adhesive layer and allows the product to be self-wound into a roll.

In case you are not familiar with the term “ionomer”, the technical definition is a polymer that is comprised of repeating electrically neutral units with a fraction of ionized units that are covalently (shared electrons) bonded to the polymer backbone. A more practical way to think about ionomers is by thinking of DuPont’s Surlyn which is a tough film made from ethylene (electrically neutral) and methacrylic acid (ionic). It’s the tough outer cover used on golf balls and the film on the Extreme Sealing Tape is tough too.(and you can paint it)

The 40 or 80 mil acrylic adhesive layer bonds on contact to many metal and plastic surfaces and can generate peel values in excess of 15 lbs./inch. It’s “softness” allows it to easily conform over metal seams, contours and fastener heads and it seals out water like nobody’s business!

Extreme Sealing Tape was meant to compete with liquid sealants. It is easy to apply, and eliminates the mess associated with caulking guns. Its’ unique design prevents it from cracking or crumbling, it resists high pressure washing, and can compensate for thermal expansion and contraction. All that in a roll of tape!

What can you do with it?

You can seal the roof seams on utility trailers or RV roofs, seal metal enclosures, tape around vent windows and skylights, seal a gutter or downspout, and use it pretty much anywhere you want to keep water out. Application steps are very easy:

(Photo courtesy of 3M)

Want a sample roll, technical data, or to discuss how to use this unique product? Call Tom Brown, Inc.

Release Liners – The Unsung Hero of the Tape World

Release liners are that piece of paper or film that you remove to expose the adhesive on tapes or labels. Some people call it “the backing” but that is not exactly correct terminology.

Release liners are produced for the most part by applying very thin coatings of silicone release agent to one or both sides of various papers or films. (there are some non-silicone release liners but they are very specialized and will not be covered here)

Because the release liner is thrown away, not many give it a second thought-until it doesn’t come off or function as intended. The truth is that there is an entire release liner industry that is a critical ally to the manufacturers of tape and label materials and there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

The Basics- Carriers

First, let’s look at the types of carriers that are typically used to produce most release liners:

  • Densified Kraft- a machine grade paper that has been run through a series of calendaring rolls to “smash down” the paper fibers into a sheet that has improved caliper control and ability to accept a silicone coating. These papers do not exhibit good dimensional stability in humid environments. They are often used in high speed rotary de-cutting operations.

  • Clay Coated Kraft- papers that have added clays or fillers added to the paper to improve surface characteristics. These fillers reduce the amount of exposed paper fibers and the paper exhibits better dimensional stability.

  • Polycoated Kraft- a paper that has a coating of polyolefin extruded onto one or both sides. The ‘poly” coating (often polyethylene) encapsulates the paper fibers except on the edges and greatly improves dimensional stability. These papers resist curling better than other kraft liners. The poly coating does compromise the heat stability of the sheet during the adhesive coating operation so care has to be taken when using them. Also, the hardness of the poly coating has to be considered when they are used for kiss cut part production.

  • Polyethylene- a conformable film with excellent tear resistance that is available in a variety of thicknesses and densities. It has limited heat resistance during adhesive coating operations and silicone transfer can happen if the coating process is not properly designed. This liner (along with polypropylene) is often used on high performance bonding and assembly tapes since it exhibits excellent tear resistance and allows the liner to come off in one piece.

  • Polypropylene- not as thermally sensitive as polyethylene, this liner too has exceptional tear resistance and good dimensional stability.

  • Polyester- this film has superior caliper control and is often used in high speed kiss cutting and dispensing applications. Polyester liners are very popular for converted products in the medical and electronics industries.

The Basics- Silicone Chemistries

The two most common ways to think about silicone chemistry are in terms catalyst used and the energy system employed. The catalyst refers to the chemistry selected to “cure” the silicone coating (without proper cure, the silicone ends up contaminating the adhesive which is a not good!). The energy system refers to the type of equipment and process employed to achieve the cure.

  • Thermally Reactive Systems- these silicones use tin or platinum as the catalyst to initiate silicone cure in the presence of heat. Tin is the oldest type of silicone curing catalyst. It is available in emulsion and solvent forms and cures very well with low potential for silicone transfer but the longer dwell times needed for cure limit the substrates or carriers that can be selected. Platinum catalyst systems cure faster than tin based systems and are available in emulsion, solvent, and 100% solids forms.

  • UV Reactive Systems-these systems use a photo initiator in conjunction with a UV light source to cure the silicone release coating. The lower heat associated with this type of curing allows temperature sensitive materials such as polyethylene to be processed without excessive shrinkage.

  • Electron Beam Systems- the least common type of system due to the expense of electron beam curing equipment, these high energy systems use the energy from the electron beam discharge to initiate the reaction to cure the silicone coating.

Adhesives and Silicones- Working Together

The tape or label stock manufacturer and the release liner supplier have to be natural allies. Not every liner will work with every adhesive. The adhesive chemistry has to be considered along with the coating process for the tape or label stock. downstream converting operations such a slitting, die cutting, kiss cutting, and laminating need to be understood along with how the product will be applied in the field.

For example, some rubber based adhesive don’t work well with UV cured liners and some high tack acrylic adhesives don’t like electron beam produced liners. Improper selection will result in a liner that is difficult to remove or doesn’t remove at all. An unhappy customer is the result!

If a densified kraft liner is selected for high speed kiss cutting and cost but will be applied via a dispensing system in an uncontrolled environment with high humidity, the applicator might jam and not perform properly.

Throw away items like release liners and product packaging often get little of our attention. We want to get to what’s inside the package or what’s behind the release liner.

The truth is that there is an incredible amount of science behind the selection of release liners and tape products. Tom Brown Inc. understands the importance of proper liner selection and can work with our customers to pick the right liner to meet your needs.