So what's the story with electrical tape?

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So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:22 pm

So what's the story with electrical tape?
I went down to the lumber yard to pick up black electrical tape.
It was priced from 59 cents a roll up to 4.28 a roll.
I asked the sales clerk what was the difference and he picked up the roll and started reading.
Obviously he didn't know either.
So, I bought 5 different types from 3 different manufactures and had one donated by Foxx4Beaver so I could test the usability of each one.
Here is a pic of the 6 different types.
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Here is what we have:
$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").

$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").

(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"

$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"

$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"

$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"

Without all kinds of cool equipment, fancy lab coats, or PHD's, we will see how accurate we can get on this.
Since all the tape will be equally tested we should get fairly accurate results.
All of these tests except the weather test will be conducted in our shop which we keep at about 68 degrees.

First, lets check out Dimensional Accuracy.
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:42 pm

Dimensional accuracy
These are in no particular order.
$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").
It measures approximately .0061" it is hard to measure the thickness because the tape wants to deform but it is very close.
The width is .719".
I'm not going to pull out and measure the length of these rolls so let's assume that the advertised lengths are fairly accurate.

$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").
It measures approximately .0085" it is hard to measure the thickness because the tape wants to deform but it is very close.
The width is .741".
I'm not going to pull out and measure the length of these rolls so let's assume that the advertised lengths are fairly accurate.

(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"
It measures approximately .0065" it is hard to measure the thickness because the tape wants to deform but it is very close.
The width is .748".
I'm not going to pull out and measure the length of these rolls so let's assume that the advertised lengths are fairly accurate.

$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It measures approximately .007" it is hard to measure the thickness because the tape wants to deform but it is very close.
The width is .750".
I'm not going to pull out and measure the length of these rolls so let's assume that the advertised lengths are fairly accurate.

$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"
It measures approximately .0088" it is hard to measure the thickness because the tape wants to deform but it is very close.
The width is .749".
I'm not going to pull out and measure the length of these rolls so let's assume that the advertised lengths are fairly accurate.

$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It measures approximately .007" it is hard to measure the thickness because the tape wants to deform but it is very close.
The width is .750".
I'm not going to pull out and measure the length of these rolls so let's assume that the advertised lengths are fairly accurate.
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:06 pm

So, out of the 6 rolls the US made Scotts is the most dimensionally accurate.

But, what do we care? We are going to put it on our motorcycle and ride it and hopefully never have to deal with it again, right?
To test the different tapes adhesion qualities I will wrap the same amount of wraps around some wire loom and wires, stick it out in the weather and see what happens.
After all, if the tape won't stick for any time out in the real world, do you want it on your bike?

My testing methods are not laboratory perfect.
In fact they are downright crude.
But, this is how I will be using them so why not test how I will use them?
First I took some wire loom and 4 strands of wire.
I wrapped them left to right from least expensive to most expensive.
When I wrapped them I did not stretch the tape, or I should say that the tape was stretched as little as possible.
I did not pull the tape to break it from the roll but I used a pair of scissors to cut it.
My goal is to make sure there is as little resistance or pulling action as possible on the end of the tape cut.
The loom and the wires all received 4 wraps of the tape.
Here is the results:
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Then I took the pieces and stuck them outside to let them sit in the weather.
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I will check the pieces every day to see which if any starts to experience edge raveling.
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:23 pm

Day one.
None of the tape has come unraveled, is stretched, or has any noticeable problems.

Day two.
None of the tape has come unraveled, is stretched, or has any noticeable problems.

Day six.
None of the tape has come unraveled, is stretched, or has any noticeable problems.
Up to this point it has been cold and foggy.
Temps as low as 28 deg F.
Temps as high as 42 deg F.
No rain yet, but it's coming :D

Since this may take a while I will continue with some other tests and continue to monitor the test pieces.

Two weeks and everything is looking good.
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:24 pm

Puncture test.
Without all kinds of cool equipment, fancy lab coats, or PHD's, I will see how accurate I can get on this.
Since all the tape will be equally tested we should get fairly accurate results.
What we will do is take a piece of tape and put it on my vice.
Then we will take a punch that isn't real sharp, place it over the opening on the tape and add weight on it waiting 30 seconds to see if that weight will punch through.
We do this 3 times on different pieces of tape from the same roll.

First up:
$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").
It held up fine with .55lb on it.
When we tried .6lb it punched through in about 15 seconds.

Next up:
(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"
It held up fine with 1.2lb on it.
When we tried 1.3lb it punched through in about 15 seconds.

Next:
$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It held up fine with 1.2lb on it.
When we tried 1.3lb it punched through in about 20 seconds.

Next:
$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It held up fine with 1.4lb on it.
When we tried 1.5lb it punched through in about 7 seconds.

Next:
$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"
It held up fine with 1.4lb on it.
When we tried 1.45lb it punched through in about 13 seconds.

Last:
$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").
It held up fine with 1.4lb on it.
When we tried 1.5lb it punched through in about 15 seconds.

The $1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085") and the $3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007" held the best.
So what's next?
Sheer strength!
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:14 pm

Sheer strength!.
Again without all kinds of cool equipment, lab coats, or fancy degrees, we will see how accurate I can get on this.
Since all the tape will be equally tested we should get fairly accurate results.
We changed the way we were testing because I felt that I was getting more accurate measurements.
I will add a pic later of the set up.

We do this 3 times on different pieces of tape from the same roll.

First up:
$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").
Just the weight of the scale causes it to noticeably stretch and thin out.
It held up to 8.65lb for 30 sec.
It consistently broke at 8.75 lb in about 9 sec.

Next up:
$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It held up to 10.95lb for 30 sec.
It consistently broke at 11.3 lb at about 16 sec.

Next up:
$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It held up to 11.25lb for 30 sec.
It consistently broke at 11.85 lb in about 14 sec.

Next up:
(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"
It held up to 12.25lb for 30 sec.
It consistently broke at about 12.5lb in about 20 sec.

Next up:
$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"
It held up to 13.75lb for 30 sec.
It consistently broke at 14lb in about 17 sec..

Next:
$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").
It held up to 18.6lb for 30 sec.
It consistently broke at 18.85 in about 22 sec.

Once again the Chinese made tape takes the lead.

One interesting point is that I had to find the weight where the tape broke and then back off and do the test again.
It seems that if the tape is allowed to stretch slowly without reaching it's breaking point quickly it actually becomes harder to break.

How about adhesion?
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:46 pm

Adhesion

What we did was take a bottle, cut out the top so we could add weight, and taped it onto a square as shown.
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We could easily add weight as required:
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Then we added weight and waited for 30 seconds to add more weight.
We did this until the tape let go in under 30 seconds from adding the weight.
The square had the least surface area so we fully expected it to let go from there first and it did in every test except the very last because the tape broke before it let go.
The square was wiped down after every test with acetone to prevent contamination of the square.
acetone.JPG
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First up:
$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").
It consistently pulled loose at about 2.2lb.

Next up:
$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").
It consistently pulled loose at about 3.55lb.

Next:
$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It consistently pulled loose at about 4.75lb.
This was somewhat of a surprise because this is advertised as super adhesion.

Next:
$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"
It consistently pulled loose at about 4.75lb.

Next:
$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
It consistently pulled loose at about 5.3lb.

Last:
(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"
It consistently pulled loose at about 5.7lb.


So, what's next?
Heat test :D
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:31 pm

Heat Test

So here's the set up.
Simple Ryobi heat gun.
The fan is set on low.
heat gun.JPG
HEAT GUN
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First up:
$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").
Distance from the face of the heat gun to the face of the tape 6".
Temperature: 200 deg F.
Burn through in 11 sec.

Next up:
$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").
Distance from the face of the heat gun to the face of the tape 4.5".
Temperature: 600 deg F.
Burn through in 4 sec.

Next:
$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
Distance from the face of the heat gun to the face of the tape 4.5".
Temperature: 600 deg F.
Burn through in 11 sec.

Next:
$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"
Distance from the face of the heat gun to the face of the tape 4.5".
Temperature: 600 deg F.
Burn through in 12 sec.

Next:
$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
Distance from the face of the heat gun to the face of the tape 4.5".
Temperature: 600 deg F.
Burn through in 13 sec.

Last:
(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"
Temperature: 600 deg F.
Burn through in 15 sec.

As you can see, all the American tape was fairly close in heat resistance.
Next test?
Elasticity :?
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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:07 pm

ELASTICITY

To test we clamped a piece of tape in the vice using some soft jaws.
Then at the other end we used a C clamp, also with soft jaws, leaving 5" of open tape.
So how far would the 5" of tape stretch before it broke?

$.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007").
Broke at 10". So it could stretch 2 times it's original length before breaking.

(cost?) Scotch 1700 Temflex (Made in the USA) Vinyl Electrical Tape (General Use) 3/4" x 60' x .007"
Broke at 13.25". So it could stretch 2.65 times it's original length before breaking.

$3.79 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 33+ (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
Broke at 17.25". So it could stretch 3.45 times it's original length before breaking.

$3.98 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape 700 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .007"
Broke at 18.5". So it could stretch 3.7 times it's original length before breaking.

$1.97 Commercial Electrical Extreme Temperature tape (made in China). 3/4" x 66' x 8.5mil (or .0085").
Broke at 20.75". So it could stretch 4.15 times it's original length before breaking.

$3.95 Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88 (Made in the USA). 3/4" x 66' x .0085"
Broke at 21". So it could stretch 4.2 times it's original length before breaking.

Next test?
Abrasion resistance?
I'm taking any ideas.
It just has to be simple tests that the average guy can do in his garage...
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

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Re: So what's the story with electrical tape?

Post by Sandblaster » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:11 pm

Remember this?

Image

After 3 weeks in the weather most everything is looking really good.
Although the $.59 Frost king PVC Vinyl Electrical tape (Made in China). 3/4" x 60' x 7mil (or .007") seems to be just starting to curl.
I can't be absolutely sure just yet because it is very slight...
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

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