Technology

What Are Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs)

Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes are also known as PSAs. It is a category of adhesive
tapes that are made up of very thin and flexible material with coatings (single or
double-sided coating). Pressure Sensitive Tapes are often elastomers or elastomer
copolymers that might be crosslinked or slightly crosslinked and they attach strongly with a
substrate. PSA is a strip of paper, cloth, metal, or plastic that has a permanently sticky
adhesive on either side or both sides of the strip of material.

The major difference between Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes and other adhesive tapes
is that PSAs need a little amount of pressure to work. Other types of adhesive tapes need to
be activated with solvent, water, or heat.

Kinds of Adhesives used for Pressure Sensitive
Adhesive Tapes

Rubber: these adhesives are based on natural or synthetic rubbers and are formulated with
sticky resins, oils, and antioxidants. Rubber offers quick tacky capability and is very cheap to
produce. It should be noted that rubber adhesives are not suitable for high heat applications.
Acrylic: these are adhesives formulated with acrylic polymers. They have greater resistance
to solvents and environmental factors and have a longer shelf life. Acrylic adhesive sticks
are better than rubber adhesive and they can be used in high temperatures.

Silicone: silicone adhesives are produced from silicone polymers and they are the only kind
of adhesive that will stick well with silicone substrate. They are more expensive than rubber
and acrylic adhesives, but can generally withstand higher temperatures than rubber and
acrylic adhesives.

Characteristics of Pressure Sensitive Volume
Adhesives

A PSA must possess three characteristics before it can be called a Pressure Sensitive
Adhesive. These characteristics are Adhesion, cohesion, and tack.
Adhesion: this means the ability of the material to stick with the substrate or the surface the
adhesive is sticking to.

Cohesion: this is the strength of the PSA or the relative strength of the tackiness.
Tack: this is the duration of time it takes an adhesive to stick to a given surface or substrate.

Construction Of A Typical Pressure Adhesive
Tape

● Single coated: this is an adhesive coated on only one side of the material. A
silicone-coated release liner protects the adhesive.
● Double-coated: the adhesive is coated on both sides of the material. The material
could be plastic, tissue, metal, thin films, papers, etc. They are generally used for
lamination and carpet tapes.
● Transfer tapes: these tapes of PSA offer suitable stickiness on irregular surfaces.
The adhesive is coated with a release liner on both sides of the material.
● Self-wound: a material that is coated on the inside with PSA and release coating on
the other side. Examples of self-wound tapes include Carton sealing, duct tape, and
masking tape.

Advantages of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

They are made with very light and thin materials. They require no activators. That is, they do
not require water, solvents, or heat to activate. Pressure Sensitive adhesives can be bound
with dissimilar materials, reduce noise caused by vibrations, and have superior cosmetics
look as they require no visible mechanical fasteners.

PSAs reduce assembly time and create a uniform thickness on materials.
Silicones for pressure sensitive adhesive (PSAs) are very important for various applications
such as tapes for electrical installation, masking tapes use in protecting circuit boards,
protective films for electronic touchscreen and displays. Silicone PSAs come in several
forms such as solvent and solvent-free, water-based, and UV technologies.

Silicone Pressure Sensitive adhesives also support both industrial and consumer electronic
needs and they are specially designed to offer a wide range of tack and peel adhesion tapes
that are compatible with numerous substrates and are resistant to high and low
temperatures. An excellent example is the Silcolease ™ PSA products which are very
suitable for all kinds of climates and environments.

● Advantages of Silicone Pressure Sensitive Adhesives
● Excellent bond on low surface substrates.
● Sticks well on hard-to-wet surfaces.
● Excellent aging resistance.
● Extreme temperature tolerance of up to and above 250°C.
● Bonds well with silicone release liners.
● Excellent optical clarity and transparency.
● Leaves no residue.
● Excellent chemical and UV resistance.
● Very good plasticizer resistance

Silcolease™ silicone PSAs are used for various applications such as masking tapes,
protective films, splicing tapes, and Mica tapes. Elkem silicones PSA specialists help clients
choose the right Silcolease™ system that will suit their needs. Elkem has several production
sites on four continents, with numerous technical centers, as well as dedicated teams to
assist with the optimization of the client’s products and processes.

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