Duct tape is a cloth backed adhesive tape used for many different purposes. It is known for being strong and flexible while remaining very sticky. It was invented in 1942 by Permacel, which was a part of the company Johnson & Johnson at the time. It was originally designed for sealing ammunition cases during World War II, but it wasn’t long before it was being used for other purposes such as repairing military equipment. Since it was released to the public it has been used for a variety of different purposes, including many unusual and alternative uses. Let’s take a look at how this popular product is manufactured.
How is duct tape made?
The raw “ingredients” and manufacturing of duct tape may be slightly different depending on the manufacturer. However, in most cases the process starts with the delivery of the raw ingredients; natural rubber, resin, calcium carbonate, scrim (light fabric mesh made of cotton) and the polyethylene backing. Firstly the rubber, resin and calcium carbonate are heated until they are melted. This is then mixed together and passed onto a holding tank. Large rolls of scrim and polyethylene backing are fed onto the machinery and the polyethylene is heated to melt the two together. A machine then feeds this combined fabric into a machine where the rubber adhesive mixture is rolled onto the underside of the fabric. The now sticky cloth is fed onto a new roll where it is cut into the proper size and packed for shipping.
The following video shows duct tape being made in a large factory in Canada:
Did you know?
Originally duct tape was water resistant and made from cotton duck, which led to the somewhat common nickname of duck tape.