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Thickness and tensile strength?

Posted on 2013-12-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Two grades of an item:

1. 28 pounds per square inch tensile strength and 2.2 mil. thick.
2. 20 pounds per square inch tensile strength and 1.8 mil. thick.
3.  ??

Shipping tape.

Obviously 1 is more secure. However, the question is how un-secure is 2 compared to 3..?

2 may be perfect and the extra cost for 1 not be worth it.

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Well the last roll I just finished using looks like it was 30 pound and 2.8 thick.
However, the rolls used before that may not have been near as thick or strong.

So, for 3 above, I'd compare to the cheapo rolls off Ebay vs. the Scotch 30lb and 2.8 since the Ebay tape was used more often. I had like 4 rolls of that and it seemed fine before using the heavier Scotch (30 and 2.8)
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Question by:nickg5
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by:TommySzalapski
TommySzalapski earned 200 total points
ID: 39730913
Tensile strength is tensile strength. The thickness probably is what makes the tensile strength more on 1 and 3.

The thickness may also make tearing harder, but packing tape is pretty hard to tear anyway.

I would think number 2 would be perfectly fine for most use cases. If you have something that needs a little more strength, just wrap it twice! Double the thickness. Double the tensile strength. Then you only have one roll to worry about and you're not wasting the expensive stuff when you're doing light projects.
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by:aburr
ID: 39731016
" I had like 4 rolls of that and it seemed fine"
If it seemed fine, use it.
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byundt earned 300 total points
ID: 39731041
Tensile strength of adhesive tape means something different from tensile strength of a piece of steel. For one thing, the units are pounds per inch rather than pounds per square inch. For a reference, see the glossary of adhesive tape industry terms at http://www.budnick.com/GlossaryofTerms.aspx 

The test is to take a piece of tape and stretch it lengthwise until it breaks. The force divided by the width of the tape is the tensile strength of the tape. If the manufacturer wants to raise that number, they increase the thickness of the plastic film

For a given tensile strength, if you need a more secure wrap, you would use wider tape or multiple pieces. In other words, 3/4" is better than 1/2".

I suggest comparing the weight in the box to the strength of the tape. For example, you might want to use enough tape so the breaking strength is more than double the weight of the box:
Tape width (inches) * tensile strength * 2 > weight of box plus contents
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by:nickg5
ID: 39731733
aburr: those 4 rolls are gone, and the thickness and tensile was not marked and the prices are now too high on Ebay. Since they were unmarked rolls from Ebay, I never knew the thickness or strength but it worked fine.

I do have a thin roll of tape, and it is really thin. I have no way to measure the mil.
I cut off an 8 inch piece and tried to pull it in two pieces and failed.

The 1.8 and 20 pound may work fine. 6 rolls for $7.50 also beats any price on Ebay.
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by:nickg5
ID: 39745265
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