Top Types of Tapes & Adhesives Used in Film

Top Adhesive Expendables In Film

Have you ever seen a production studio on television, or perhaps up close and personal, and noticed all of the cables and wires taped to the floor? Well if you have, you’ve probably also observed that this is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill type of tape holding down these wires and protecting the valuable equipment that they’re fastened to.

There are many types of adhesive expendables that directors of photography and other staffers use to keep their sets and their equipment safe from the hordes of people who are often walking into, around and onto sets.

Here are a few of the most popular:

1) Gaffer’s Tape. This is the most popular form of tape used in the industry and it comes in many different forms. It’s heavy and pressure sensitive with a strong adhesive and is widely used in theatre, film and television production. Sometimes confused with duct tape because of the look and the feel of this kind of adhesive, gaffer’s tape is more resistant to heat than duct tape and can be more easily removed without damaging the underlying surface. The backing is also made of fabric instead of vinyl, also differentiating it from duct tape.

2) Pressure Sensitive Tape. Also known as PSA tape or sticky tape, this kind of adhesive can be used in the industry for a wide variety of purposes. It consists of a pressure sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film, cloth or metal foil. One of its benefits is that it will stick without the need for a solvent, such as heat or water.

3) Electrical Tape. Known more for its everyday uses, electrical tape is also used in the industry due to its durability and its easy of use. It is not only used to adhere wires to the floor, but also as an insulator and protector. Its most popular form is in vinyl, as it stretches well and gives an effective and long-lasting insulation. It comes in many different shapes, sizes and colors, but black is easily the most popular.

4) J-LAR Tape. This type of tape is generally one of the stronger types that you’ll find on the market and has many uses, including for use in the video and production industry. Some of its benefits are that this type of tape won’t discolor, crack or peel and, as mentioned above, it’s stronger and more durable than many other types of tape.

5) Cloth Tape. A heavy duty protective tape with a laminated or polycoated cloth backing, this kind of tape is very similar to traditional gaffer’s tape and duct tape. It was originally developed for use in the heating and air conditioning industry, but is now used it many different professions. It’s strong and super adhesive, but also provides clean and problem-free removal when the job is finished, with no adhesive residue left behind.

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