What is actually the difference between an adhesive tape made of polypropylene (PP) and a tape made of PVC? And if you know the difference, can you recognize the tapes, too?

Why is this important? Because these tapes have fundamental qualitative differences.  For a regular consumer, there is probably not much point in considering this, but for you as a professional consignor, the selection of the right adhesive tape is fundamental.

PVC adhesive tapes:

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and it is the backing material for glue – natural rubber. It is highly resistant, flexible and especially tear-resistant. The tape unrolls evenly and quietly. It is suitable for taping up cardboards with a heavy consignment or other heavy objects (carpets, etc.) or it can also be used for marking specific zones on concrete floor. Rubber adhesive adheres well to all types of cardboard as well as to other materials. Here you can find a selection of PVC tapes in our e-shop.

BOPP adhesive tapes:

PP is the abbreviation for polypropylene. An adhesive tape made of this material is slightly cheaper than that made of PVC. It is ideal for light to medium-weight consignments. It is high tack and firm, but they is not suitable for temperatures that are too high or too low. If you have an unheated or non-air-conditioned warehouse, the tape may melt. Three different adhesives are used for polypropylene tapes – the so-called hot melt adhesive (synthetic rubber), natural rubber and acrylate adhesive. The adhesive also influences the loudness of tape unrolling. A vast majority of these tapes is louder than PVC tapes. There are also special so-called low-noise tapes with natural rubber, which unroll as quietly as PVC tapes.

Adhesive tapes made of these materials are not recognizable at first sight, but there are several simple tricks for determining the material.

A test with a ballpoint pen

Unroll a piece of the tape and stick it for example onto a desk. Tighten the tape and then pierce it with the ballpoint pen or another pointed object.  

  • If the adhesive tape is torn or tears off completely, it is a PP – polypropylene tape
  • If only a hole is made, it is PVC.

You can also carry out a second test – a stretch test

Unwind a piece of adhesive tape and stretch it. With increasing pressure, a PVC tape will gain a milky colour, a PP tape will maintain its original colour.  It is that simple. If you have any other ideas for how to identify the material, please write to us. We are looking forward to hearing from you.