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Tapes Water-Activated Tapes
Tapes Water-Activated Tapes

Water Activated Paper Tapes

strong adhesive system that is activated when moistened

Water-activated paper tape (sometimes referred to as gummed tape), is a paper-backed tape with a strong adhesive system that is activated when moistened. The wet adhesive penetrates the fibers and surface of the cardboard, then creates a complete bond so that the tape becomes part of the box. Water-activated tapes bond so completely and thoroughly, that their removal is destructive to the box when pulled off by hand.

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Advantages of Water-Activated Tapes

In addition to their strength, there are several other benefits to using water-activated tapes.

Environmentally Friendly

Many of our customers have made the switch to water-activated paper tapes for sustainability reasons. Unlike other carton-sealing tapes, water-activated tapes are fully recyclable. Often, cardboard refuse is not accepted by recycling facilities where tapes consisting of plastic films (such as Poly Tapes) or even coatings of paper-based flatbacks are used. Either is it rejected outright, or the tape must be removed from the cardboard before recycling. On the other hand, cardboard with water-activated tape is Eco-Friendly, a benefit that many end users are proud to promote as part of their marketing efforts!

Printing and Branding

Because it is paper-based, water-activated tapes provide an ideal surface for accepting ink printing. A notable example is Amazon, who uses multi-color printing on water-activated tapes to promote its Prime services, including its network. For some companies, using printed carton sealing tapes is better and more economical than printed boxes, and branding is often more noticeable at the point of opening a box than it may be on the side.


Because water-activated tape creates a destructive bond to the box surface, it can only be properly removed by cutting. Removal and replacement by hand is not possible, as it may be with other carton-sealing tapes, making package tampering impossible. Tamper-proofing is required in some industries, such as medical, but is a best practice in many others, where opening and re-packaging is not desirable.

Consistent Application

Because of their strength and consistency, water activated tapes are designed to work with one, well-placed strip of tape. This means no over-taping, doubling up, wrinkling or misapplication. This, of course, means a better look with less tape actually being used.

Machine Roll or Standard Length

As a gummed tape supplier, Spectape stocks water-activated tapes in a variety of widths and lengths to accommodate normal or high-volume applications. Since water-activated tapes often require a dispenser, selecting the appropriate roll length often depends on compatibility with an end-user's existing dispenser.

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Reinforced Water Activated Tapes

Reinforced Water-Activated Tapes offer even better strength and performance than their non-reinforced counterparts. The reinforced product is strengthened by reinforcement fibers typically made of fiberglass or polyester so that even the paper backing is not able to be torn by hand.

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For more information regarding our adhesive tape products please submit our contact form or call 214-956-0077. We look forward to serving you!

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