The Growing Demand for Adhesive Tapes in the Medical and Packaging Industries

The global adhesives and tape market is growing rapidly. By 2020, over 53.78 billion square meters of different bonding products will be created and used by numerous industries. However a close breakdown of the numbers shows that applications in healthcare and packaging outnumber the consumption in other sectors by a definitive margin.

Silicone Adhesive Tape

Adhesives & Their Components:

A good adhesive is not only durable with high bonding strength, it is also flexible and doesn’t corrode the surface to which it is applied. Both the medical industry and the packaging industry have different demands so the right category of tape is found by experimenting with carrier, the adhesive and the release liner.

Why are Adhesive Tapes so Popular?

Adhesive tapes offer significant non-intrusive benefits that mechanical fastening options do not. They typically remove the need of screws and non-structural substrates that are risky to handle and can’t be used on surfaces like sensitive human skin. Also adhesive tapes are cost effective, they are flexible, and their disposal doesn’t pose environmental hazards.

Use of Adhesive Tapes in the Medical & Packaging Industry:

In the medical industry adhesive tapes are generally of two kinds:

  • Structural tapes are chemically cured and used to hold together surgical instruments, rubber bumpers on crutches and figure prominently in the manufacture of IV tube sets.
  • Pressure Sensitive tapes which necessitate the application of higher pressure to forge the initial bond. Found in acrylic, silicone and hydrogel variants, these adhesives are extremely flexible and can hold together plastics, uneven surfaces with dips and bumps and even human skin.

The packaging industry relies on adhesive tapes to secure carrier boxes that store goods and perishables. Because of the rise of e-retailing and drop shipping, there is an inherent need to ensure the safe transit if often delicate and fragile items. Adhesives play a major role in this regard, especially in the food and beverage sector where the goods might be rendered unusable if they are jostled or exposed to the elements.

At Cheever Specialty Paper & Film we are specialists in tailored adhesive tapes and films. We take the time to understand our client’s needs, and then use our years of experience to get the best product for their application to them.  In the past we have served the pharmaceutical and medical industry by providing products for wound care, surgical drapes and gowns and medical devices.  Contact us for more information about our products and services.

The Next Step in Food Packaging

Food is one of the vital requirements of the human race.  We would not be able to survive without the nourishment that is provided by food.  As technology has improved, it has become easier to ship food across long distances.  To do this successfully though, it is important that the food products are packaged correctly to prevent spoiling and ruin.

Packaging Supplies

According to a study commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations called “Global Food Losses and Food Waste” one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted around the globe.  This amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tons of food per year that is lost or wasted.  To cut back on this extremely high number of food that is not able to be consumed, new packaging and distribution methods have been explored, as the current methods contribute to increased pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Demand has been growing for food barrier-packaging solutions that are recyclable and biodegradable and would shield and protect the quality of extended shelf-life foods.  One potential solution to this problem is to use paper.  Technical advancements in ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) technologies allow the paper industry to create packaging that safeguards food quality and at the same time minimizing spoilage and waste.

EVOH is a high gas barrier thermoplastic that is used in household food packaging for products like shredded cheese and baby foods.  It contains a semi-polar, semi-crystalline molecular structure that provides an excellent barrier against gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.  The gas barrier protection it offers is between 10,000 and 25,000 times more than the low density polyethylenes found in common plastic bags.  Since it shuts out oxygen, it slows the microbial degradation of the food from the ingress of oxygen over time, and ensures flavor is maintained while protecting vitamin content.

PVOH is a synthetic resin that has been used historically to coat paper for sizing, strengthening, and as a carrier for pigments and optical brightening agents.  Similar to EVOH, it has a low permeability to oils, greases, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, but under dry conditions surpasses EVOH’s barrier performance due to its higher polarity and crystallinity.  It is considered to be the one of the highest barrier polymers available, and will greatly improve paper-based food packaging.

The food market wants to preserve foods for longer periods of time while using packaging that will not have a negative effect on the environment.  Paper packaging meets these demands, and the inclusion of EVOH and PVOH coatings and technology can help packaging manufacturers meet their goals.  At Cheever Specialty Paper & Film we can provide you with the film or paper that will meet your packaging manufacturing needs.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.