Diagnosing Packing Tape Failure


Packing tape is one of those products that is used every day in production facilities throughout America. It is taken for granted until it fails.

Failure could be a big problem or little problem, depending on when and where the failure happens. If it happens in your facility, it’s an annoyance that can be fixed. If it happens while your product is being transported, it could lead to damaged goods, unhappy customers and higher costs.

When problems occur, use these basic guidelines to troubleshoot and diagnose problems.

  • Determine if you are dealing with an isolated problem or is this a problem with an entire lot of tape?
  • When is it failing? Is it popping off the box immediately or overnight? Or is the tape failing during the stresses of transit?
  • How much weight is in the box? Are boxes overstuffed or under-packed? Either can create strains.
  • Has there been any dramatic change in temperature or humidity during application or while the tape has been stored? When applying tape, extremely low temperatures can result in a “hardening affect” on the adhesive, reducing tack which affects the bonding. Higher than normal temperatures lead to softening of adhesives, which reduces tensile strength and makes tapes more likely to pop when under stress.
  • Are the tape tails too short to hold up when the box is moved, or products inside shift? Tap must hold up under pressure.

What the Experts Say

At the TapeUniversity.com blog run by Shurtape, who manufactures many of the tapes we distribute, Bradley Dunlap says, “Quality is extremely important to ensuring a good seal and efficient productivity. Good packaging tapes are easy to unwind, have good adhesion to the corrugated surface, and deliver the strength and durability needed to withstand the distribution network.”*

If tape failure is causing you problems, talk to your Athens representative. We can help you diagnose the issue and recommend the right product for your facility.