What Is Duct Tape Made Of?
Cotton Mesh – Cotton mesh forms the base of duct tape. The cotton backing gives strength and lets the tape to be torn in both directions. Tighter weaves and higher thread count give greater strength and allow for a cleaner tear. Accordingly, tape made with a better quality mesh is more expensive. The cotton fabric is called a “web”.
Polyethylene Coating – The cotton web is coated with polyethylene. This synthetic material protects the mesh from moisture and abrasion. The coating is flexible and allows the tape to stick better to irregular surfaces. Polyethylene is melted and applied to the fabric in a coating operation.
Adhesive – The adhesive used in duct tape is unique. It is formulated with rubber compounds that give a long-term bond. The adhesive is applied to the substrate in a much thicker coating than lighter weight tapes. This serves to increase the adhesive properties of the tape.