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Latest Posts » Consumer Electronics » Silicone Rubber Tape Sticks To Itself Without Being Sticky

Silicone Rubber Tape Sticks To Itself Without Being Sticky

Written by Vlad on August 22, 2010 – 5:12 pm - 4,288 views

Tommy Tape Silicon Rubber Tape in Packet

Silicone rubber tape differs from other tapes in that it fuses to itself without using glue or adhesive. This means that there is no sticky side that can leave a residue or become gooey. It is useful for tasks such as electrical insulation, sealing and waterproofing. It can replace electrical insulation tape and duct tape in many applications.

Silicone tape comes in the form or a roll. The actual silicone tape has a plastic backing that you peel off and discard. When you apply the tape, you stretch the silicone rubber tape tightly as you wind it around a wire, pipe or other object ensuring that each layer of tape has a 2/3 overlap to produce a strong seal. The end of the piece of tape should be wrapped over the last layer. Over a period of 24 hours, the silicone tape cures and forms a permanent seal. If you ever need to remove the tape, you just cut through all the layers with a sharp knife and peel it off.

The most popular brand in Australia is Tommy Tape, but it is sold under many other brand names including Rescue Tape, QuikTape, Silicone Sealing Tape, Stretch & Seal, X-Treme tape and Emergency Repair Tape. The most common colour is black, but it is also made in grey, white, clear, red and blue and possibly others.

Why I Bought Tommy Tape

My first experience with Silicone Rubber tape was when I purchased the local brand, Tommy Tape, from the local hardware store.

One of my other hobbies is playing synth keyboards and making electronic music. I purchased a second hand keyboard stand on eBay, which was nice and sturdy, but it had cracks in the rubber feet that surrounded the metal legs. I originally planned to remove the rubber feet and see if I could glue them back together, but there was a strong chance that they would be further damaged when trying to detach them.

I visited my local hardware store to ask for an appropriate glue, but instead, the helpful assistant suggested reinforcing the rubber feet using Tommy Tape. When I got home, I cut a 15cm length of tape and wrapped it around the circumference of each of the four rubber feet and now they are holding well.

Other Things I have Fixed with Tommy Tape

Mobile Phone Recharger Cable
I once had a pet cockatiel who loved to chew on things around the house. He chewed the insulation off the recharger cable for my old Nokia E70 and it had exposed the copper core in a number of places. I could not use heatshrink tubing as it was too narrow to slide over the plug and I did not want to cut the cable and resolder it. Using a few small pieces of Tommy Tape, I was able to repair and strengthen the cable.

Mains Extension Lead
The lock ring broke on the socket end of an old extension cable, so I wrapped Tommy Tape around the point where the cable leaves the socket enclosure.

Insulating the Metal Shaft of a Screwdriver
I had to do some repairs on a live high voltage device, and I needed to use a screwdriver, but I did not have one with an insulated shaft, so I made one by wrapping silicone tape around the whole shaft length, taking great care to ensure that no bare metal was exposed.

Scratch protection
As part of another project, I created a support stand for a laptop using metal angle brackets, but I wanted to ensure that the metal angle brackets would not scratch the plastic case of the laptop. I simply wrapped silicone tape around the brackets, so that the contact surface would be soft.

Tennis Racquet Grip
I needed to repair the grip of my tennis racquet in a hurry, so I wrapped around it with the silicone rubber tape.

Leaky Hose
My old garden hose was leaking at one end, which I was able to fix with the tape.

Drawbacks of Silicone Tape

It is expensive – I paid $18 for a 3 metre roll of Tommy Tape

Need to use more
Because you need to overlap each layer by 2/3, you end up using more silicone tape compared to conventional tapes. On the other hand, it does stretch by up to 3 times, so a 3 metre roll can give you up to 9 metres of length.

Quoted Material Specifications for Tommy Tape

These are the quoted specifications, that I have not attempted to verify:

  • Dielectric strength of up to 400 VPM
  • Withstands pressures in excess of 700PSI (4.83 MPa or 47.64 atm)
  • Operating temperature range of -60 TO +200 degrees Celsius (-76 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Silicone rubber is chemically resistant to most acids, solvents and oils

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