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What is Aluminum Tape?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 17, 2024
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Aluminum tape, also known as foil tape, has many uses in the electrical, HVAC and construction industry. It can be used in jobs requiring moisture and chemical resistance, thermal conductivity, flame resistance, heat and light reflectance, and weatherability. There are several different styles of tape available, including acrylic adhesive, line-less, polymer coated, and flame resistant aluminum glass tape.

Foil tape with an acrylic adhesive is used for sealing off vapors in fiberglass duct board, sheet metal ducts and FSK systems. It is ideal for use in HVAC systems, due to its high tack cold weather acrylic adhesive, which helps it to adhere well, even in periods of low temperature and high humidity. It performs at its optimum level in temperatures between -40° and 250°F (-4.4° and 121.1°C), with a tensile strength of 21 pounds per inch (9.5 kg per 2.54 cm) of width.

Line-less aluminum tape is used for refrigeration duct bonding, due to its water-based acrylic adhesive and the absence of a liner. It can also be used for joining and sealing air duct seams and connections. This tape has a service temperature range of 68° to 248°F (20° to 120°C).

Polymer coated tape is used in the building industry to coat electrical cables. This type of tape is known as a shielding tape because it is also used to shield communication cables from the weather elements. It has an aggressive adhesive and blocks out moisture and odors. Due to its insulation abilities, it is also used in mobile home roof repairs.

Flame resistant aluminum glass tape contains a solvent based acrylic adhesive, making it water and UV resistant. This type is perfect for wrapping insulation cables, instruments and other high temperature sensitive materials, due to its heat-reflective wrap. It has a tensile strength of 135 pounds per inch (61.23 kg per 2.54 cm), and can withstand temperatures between -65° and 600°F (-53.88° and 315.55°C).

All varieties of aluminum tape should be stored under normal conditions of 60° to 80°F (16° to 27°C) with a relative humidity between 40 to 60%. For optimum performance, it should be used within two years of its manufactured date. Foil tape should only be used for the purpose in which it is intended, and it hasn't been evaluated or reviewed for medical usage.

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Discussion Comments

By anon346739 — On Aug 31, 2013

I've got an aerial that I use to pick up a WiFi signal from my local restaurant. In order to protect the aerial's inner workings (namely a small PCB) I've bought some aluminum tape to wrap around the casing, and I might even wrap it around the aerial itself.

Would I have problems from any electrical storms, as the aerial is outside on the balcony? Any advice would be welcome.

By anon190187 — On Jun 25, 2011

The aluminum tape offers no insulation value for what you are trying to accomplish. Have you considered a heating wrap to keep the pipes from freezing, as this may be your only option.

By anon137742 — On Dec 29, 2010

I have a washing machine located outdoors. Right now, because of freezing temperatures, the washing machine hose pipes are freezing intermittently. I've thawed the hoses in hot water, after which the washing machine works fine. But the hoses just freeze again. If I wrap the hoses in aluminum tape, would that keep them from freezing? Thank you in advance for your reply and help!

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