Mean, Clean and Green!

CleanTape™ tape with low outgassing, non-VOC UV acrylic adhesives is generating quite the industry buzz.

“Mean, Clean and Green.” That’s how we describe these strong, flexible, cost-effective and environmentally friendly UV acrylic adhesive tapes.

Why? Check out this time-lapse product demonstration video from FOAM EXPO.

That’s our CleanTape UV acrylic adhesive on the left. On the right is a modified solvent acrylic adhesive.

Both adhesives are coated as 3.0-mil transfer tapes (the solvent acrylic was dried to the industry standard of 2.5% retained volatiles). Both also have the same physical properties: approximately 8# of peel, 7# of quick tack and 80 hours of shear.

Each adhesive was laminated to a 5-inch round glass disc and placed onto a heating plate. A 6x19-inch glass cylinder was then placed on top of the adhesive to create a closed environment. The heat plate was set to 250°F to speed the outgassing process (outgassing is time-temperature super dependent).  

What you are seeing:

Within a few minutes, vapors appear inside the solvent acrylic cylinder. These vapors reflect the outgassing of the adhesive’s volatile components. The vapors rise away from the heat and condense on the cooler surface near the top of the cylinder, forming a tacky film of hazy residue on the inside of the cylinder.

The CleanTape UV acrylic shows no signs of outgassing and the cylinder remains clear indefinitely.     

Why this is happening:

The solvent acrylic has 3 primary disadvantages that lead to outgassing.

  1. Since it was coated from solvent, it has retained solvent, which readily outgasses. The standard retained solvent level for industrial tapes is 2-2.5%. The CleanTape UV acrylic is coated as 100% solids so it has no solvents.
  2. It utilizes tackifiers and plasticizers, which although not as volatile as solvents, still outgas (especially at slightly elevated temperatures). The solvent acrylic has to utilize tackifiers and plasticizers to achieve high tack and peel rates, but these components condense on cooler surfaces, leaving behind a sticky residue. Alternatively, the CleanTape UV acrylic achieves its adhesion performance through custom formulation of pure acrylic resin only – tackifiers and plasticizers aren’t needed. 
  3. It has residue monomer and low molecular weight oligomers. Since no chemical reaction ever reaches 100% completion, the solvent acrylic has residual low molecular weight byproducts that get coated out. These are volatile, but usually remain even after drying. During the production of our CleanTape adhesive, the polymer goes through thermal and vacuum stripping, which removes any unreacted byproducts and recycles them back into the feedstream. 

Learn more about our “Mean, Clean and Green” UV acrylic tape!