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Everything you need to learn about water activated tape

Posted October 7th, 2022 by WACO tapes

Introduction to Water Activated Tape

Water Activated Tape (WAT) is a paper-based tape with a bonding agent that is dry to the touch until it is triggered by water. Water turns the dehydrated adhesive into a sticky, fluidic adhesive that is intended to adhere to corrugated boxes. Unlike some other tapes in the packaging marketplace, these tapes have a remarkable focus and safe closure of corrugated boxes.
Water Activated Tape is offered in reinforced and non-reinforced ranges. The reinforced product is fortified by reinforcement fibers usually made of fiberglass or polyester. The addition of reinforcement improves the strength of the tape closure and is perfect for boxes bound for parcel shipping. The reinforcement is inserted between two sheets of Kraft paper along with an enclosed adhesive, thus completely encapsulating the reinforcing filament.
Non-reinforced water activated tape does not include any reinforcement fibers and as a result does not have the same level of durability as reinforced tape. Although, non-reinforced tape has some benefits including cost and environmental advantages. The most general applications for non-reinforced tape are lightweight boxes and packages that are united on pallets, not bound for separate parcel shipping.
The factor that separates Water Activated Tape from other packaging tapes, both the non-reinforced and reinforced grades, is the adhesive transfers into the fibers of the corrugated box. Once the adhesive dries – within a few seconds – the adhesive has fused the tape and box together. The only way to eliminate the tape is to destroy the seal; leaving behind a damage evident footprint that the box has been purposely opened.

Applications of Water Activated Tape

There are several reasons why water activated tape has seen a revival in popularity. The energetic force of the popularity is the growing demand for parcel shipment. The e-commerce revolution has made it easier for consumers to order the merchandise they need and get the items directly to their front door. For the merchants, the e-commerce model has permitted for a cost-effective sales model without the expenditures of store fronts and other related overhead costs.
Water activated tape is perfect for e-commerce transporters. Below are the reasons why:
1. Safety and security– no shipper wants their package to be damaged. Nowadays, shippers are sending all kinds of items containing pharmaceuticals, foods, valuable electronics, and many other subtle items. The tamper evident closure of water activated tape reassures the box stays locked until deliberately opened. Security of closure is the main reason why water activated tape is used today for e-commerce packages.
2. Branding and marketing – The appearance of your e-commerce packing is declaration about your brand. Do you value your client’s experience when they receive your package? The majority of e-commerce shipments are turning to branded water activated tape to seal packages. The paper based, water activated tape prints well and is easy to apply to the box without creasing or folding the tape – a main problem for plastic pressure sensitive tape.
3. Environmental friendly – there is a rising war against plastic packaging. Paper based packaging is trending due to its sustainability and recyclability given present forestry guidelines and recycling practices inside the paper making industry. Paper void fill, Corrugated boxes and water activated tape generate a secure, defensive and an ecological responsible package. Customers are pushing vendors to be ecologically conscious. We received many questions from customers about the environmental issues and recyclability of water activated tape. Here is how we answer them:
Reinforced Water Activated Tape is an ecologically friendly product, particularly when compared to plastic pressure sensitive tape. The majority of the product’s creation is made from renewable resources. Reinforced tape, by itself, is non-recyclable. This water activated tape is curbside recyclable.
Reinforced water activated tape is manufactured using four basic components.
Paper – this material is biodegradable, eco-friendly, and repulpable.
Corn Starch Based Adhesive – like paper, this material is biodegradable, environmental friendly, and repulpable.
Enclose Adhesive – This joins the papers together; it is a petro-chemical material. This does not help the environmental rights of the product.
Fiberglass – This is not Repulpable, Recyclable or Biodegradable material.
In the application of the tape to a box, the tape is a minor percentage of the overall weight of the box. The curb side biodegradable standards that we are aware of call for 80% of the total mass must be recoverable in the recycling procedure in order to be considered recyclable. The laminate and fiberglass are a very small percentage of the total weight of the overall box – perhaps 1% or less of the weight. Therefore, in its application, it is possible reinforced water activated tape can be considered ecological.
A roll of tape on its own cannot pass this standard as the weight of the fiberglass and laminate would go beyond 20% of the overall mass of the tape roll. However, rolls of tape are not showing up in the recycling stream normally. The tape is anticipated to be adhered to a corrugated carton and in that application, curbside recyclability standards should be met. Non-reinforced water activated tape is biodegradable, repulpable, and ecological. One could argue that non-reinforced WAT is the supreme environmentally friendly carton closure product.
4. Ease of Application – Ecommerce shipment are under stress to transport products quickly and increase the output of their work-force. Packing and carton closure needs to be competent. Water Activated Tape, when dispensed from a high quality water activated tape dispenser, is offered to the packer at the exact length and is ready to be applied to the box. This presentation of an inadequate length of tape is much different than using a pressure sensitive tape gun to apply carton closure. Concluding with a pressure sensitive tape gun depends on the speed, skill, and durability of the packer, these variables, while still significant, vary less with water activated tape. This steadiness is a key advantage of water activated tape carton closure.

Branding your company

As mentioned earlier, the chance to brand water activated tape provides packagers with a cost-effective technique to engage customers. An undeniable feature is that when a customer opens a package sealed with water activated tape, they are forced to look at the tape. Custom printed water activated tape offers an opportunity to convey a message, promotion, new product detail, cross-selling offer, and innumerable other choices to make an impression on a customer you are already selling to.