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4-5 Tapes

4-5.1 Use

Tapes are used to close, seal, and reinforce mailing containers. Commonly available tapes have pressure-sensitive adhesive or gummed adhesive, with either reinforced (filament) orExample of proper use of tape. nonreinforced backings. However, certain types of tapes (such as cellophane and masking tapes) are not strong enough for reinforcing.

The illustration at right shows how sealing tape can be combined with banding or reinforcement tape to produce an effective closure for boxes with flaps and for telescoping boxes.

4-5.2 Pressure-Sensitive Tape

Pressure-sensitive tape is acceptable for closing and reinforcing mailing containers. This type of tape is available with various cloth, paper, or plastic backings, both plain and reinforced. Except for pressure-sensitive filament tape, tape used to close and reinforce mailing containers may not be less than 2 inches wide. Nonreinforced plastic tapes must be at least as strong in the cross direction as in the machine (long) direction.Example of pressure sensitive tape packaging.

Pressure-sensitive tape works best when applied to clean surfaces at temperatures above freezing. In below-freezing temperatures, the tape should be rubbed down after it is applied.

Cellophane and masking tapes may not be used to close or reinforce containers. These tapes may be used, however, on envelopes to augment adhesive closures or on bags to cover staples.

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4-5.3 Gummed Tape

Gummed tape is acceptable for closing and reinforcing mailing containers if the adhesive is adequately activated, usually with water. If the adhesive is improperly activated or the fibrous material of the container absorbs the water, the gummed tape cannot stick to the container.Example of Gummed Tape packaging.

Gummed tape is applied correctly if it remains attached to the container during handling and transportation and its removal causes delamination or at least a 50-percent fiber tear on the surface to which the tape is applied.

The tape should be kept away from freezing temperatures for at least 1 hour before its application. Even properly applied gummed tape tends to crack in extremely cold temperatures.

Gummed paper tape is available in two types:

Reinforced Paper (Kraft). Reinforced paper (kraft) tape is acceptable for closing and reinforcing irregular-shaped or soft-wrapped packages. A mailing container closed with reinforced paper tape is more durable than one closed with nonreinforced paper tape.

Nonreinforced Paper (Kraft). Nonreinforced paper (kraft) tape is acceptable for closing mailing containers if the tape is of at least 60-pound basis weight. This tape is inadequate for reinforcement. When applied, the tape should extend at least 3 inches over the adjoining side of the container.

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