Safety | Water Activated Tape

Securing Your Cartons: When to Use Water Activated Tape?

By: Better Packages on January 29th, 2016

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You know how important it is for you to protect the products being shipped inside your company's cartons. With multiple carton sealing solutions available, it can be difficult to decide which option is best for your application.

This article describes when using water activated tape offers more benefits to your business than using alternative carton sealing solutions.


Glues For Carton Sealing Solutions 

Hot melt glue is the most common carton sealing solution used within packaging industries. It is manufactured with thermoplastic polymers to which other materials are added for bonding to a variety of materials. When heated, it is soft and flexible. Holt melt dries quickly and creates tamper-resistant seals.

It can be used be used in most environments except those with high temperatures. In high temperatures, the glue can liquefy and seep through the carton, compromising the integrity of the box and damaging the materials inside.

From a production perspective, glue adapts well to high-speed production packaging lines and this is its most common application.

On the downside, to adhere, hot melt glue requires heating, making it impractical for many applications. It can be messy and the fumes potentially harmful to workers.


Staples For Strong Sealing Bond 

When used for carton sealing, staples employ metal fasteners that are driven through the carton material by a device that also bends its two ends inward and flattens them so they grip the material firmly.

Staples create a strong seal and are often used to ship heavy items. They increase security because cartons are difficult to open and cannot be tampered without showing signs of attempted intrusion. Staples are often used with extremely heavy corrugate.

However, because the staples create such a strong seal, the cartons are often destroyed when opened. Using staples undermines the integrity of the carton. They also make it very difficult to recycle the remaining carton.

Staples are typically used for very heavy items that will be shipped on pallet by truck or rail.


Water Activated Packaging Tape Ensures Carton Security

Water-activated tape (WAT) is made of Kraft paper and a starch-based adhesive. It is often reinforced with multiple layers of polyethylene strands available in various widths and thicknesses. Once the tape adhesive is activated with water, the adhesive penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton.

Because of WAT’s bonding characteristic, you cannot remove the tape without leaving obvious signs of intrusion. Tape integrity is intact even when punctured or in extreme environments such as dirt and humidity. 

WAT also offers the opportunity to spread awareness of your businesses' brand by displaying your company’s logo printed directly on the tape seal.

WAT holds several benefits that other carton sealing solutions cannot provide. The tape is strong enough for heavy cartons, versatile enough to seal different sized cartons and can withstand extreme environments.

The tape is applied using a water-activated tape dispenser. These dispensers are available in many configurations and price points. 

See the matrix below for a broader understanding of when it’s in your company’s best interest to use water-activated tape.



Are experiencing product pilferage when you ship your cartons?…

Water-activated tape provides a tamper-evident seal that discourages theft

Want a cost-effective carton sealing solution?...

Water-activated tape creates such a strong seal, you only need to use one strip of tape to ensure your packages’ safety

Wish to print a logo or message on your carton tape?...

Water-activated tape is printer-friendly.

Are packing products in a challenging environment?...

Water-activated tape retains its seal in dusty, dirty, cold and hot environments.


Better Packages | Water Activated Tape 

Better Packages offers a full line of Better Pack brand water-activated tape designed to create a superior seal on your corrugated cartons. Water-activated tape (also known as gummed tape, gum tape, Kraft paper tape, reinforced tape, etc) offers advantages other carton sealing methods do not. It is the preferred choice of packaging professionals when strength, security, employee safety, professional appearance, and recyclability are critical.

A wide range of paper and reinforced water activated tape in natural and white is available in many lengths and widths along with custom-printed tape with up to four colors.