Why Use a Heavyweight Paper Application Tape

When I started in the vinyl graphics industry more than thirty years ago, there was no such thing as lighter standard weight application tape that is generally used in the sign industry. The only tapes that were used were the heavyweight premium grade premasks. Today many sign makers have never even used these premium grade tapes. They don’t know what they are missing.

Premium grade application tape can make your job easier and minimize costly and time-consuming mishaps. When should you use a heavier tape? Ask a professional decal applicator and he’s likely to tell you all of the time. Here’s why:

  1. Heavyweight premium grade application tapes are about 1 mil thicker than the standard grade application tapes that are generally used in the sign industry. The added thickness makes them easier to handle and apply to vinyl graphics. Because the paper is more stable, fewer wrinkles and bubbles are created after the tape is laminated to the graphics. That’s a good thing. Fewer wrinkles and bubbles in the tape translate into fewer wrinkles and bubbles in the applied graphics.

  1. One extra mil of thickness may not seem like much, until your tape tears in your shop and you trash your graphics, as shown in the photo below. Who makes money on rework?
Standard grade application tapes can tear, which can result in damaged graphics and time lost in rework.



  1. An extra mil of thickness also gives more body to flimsier films and results in smoother applied vinyl, with fewer wrinkles created in the squeegee process.

  1. When installing a project outdoors, a premium application tape can be a lifesaver. During strong winds, heavier transfer tapes are less likely to tear.

  1. When the job is done, heavyweight application tapes remove in one piece. Thin standard grade paper tapes tear more easily and often remove in little bits and pieces. When this happens, installation time can needlessly drag on.
Heavyweight premium-grade premasks remove in one piece, not in little bits and pieces.

  1. For sign makers who apply their graphics wet, a heavyweight paper holds up better than a standard weight paper. Remember, application tape is a paper product. Wet paper can disintegrate. And the longer it stays wet, the more likely it is to fall apart.


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