Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) has designed the first masking tape to adhere to water-based and ultra-high slip release agents, providing an effective low-tech solution to a high-priority problem.
Produced by leading manufacturer of industrial tapes and films, Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), SMT1 is a patent-pending paper masking tape coated with a unique silicone adhesive, perfect for applications where traditional masking tapes do not provide proper adhesion.
Its advanced adhesive system is designed to perform well on release-coated surfaces commonly found in the manufacture of fiberglass-reinforced products - boats, spas, turbine blades - as well as a variety of other hard-to-stick-to release-coated surfaces.
Composites continue to play a critical role in the development of previously unreachable feats of engineering. Composite strength-to-weight ratios provide tolerances that feed the growth of wind energy production. The need for more turbines means that blade production must step up, and IPG has recognised a need for a process improvement in the overall production of fibre-reinforced and laminated structures.
Out with the mould
Recognition that vacuum-moulded production experiences added labour in the de-moulding process led the company to focus on a solution that, though somewhat passive, allows for quick mould release of the subject at the leading edge of the mould.
Moreover, preparation time for the next production is dramatically reduced because the mould does not require intensive cleanup from the prior extraction.
"We studied the current products on the market and incorporated customer feedback on ways to improve performance and productivity," says Cindy Stoner, IPG market development director.
"SMT1 is a creation of innovation through collaboration with customers. IPG research resulted in developing an ultra-high-slip masking tape. This development enables the customer to use high-slip release agents without the added step of wiping the tape line or using a variety of mould-release agents to promote tape adhesion. SMT1 allows the customer the flexibility of choice, to take advantage of technically advanced release agents, allowing for increased efficiencies, higher productivity, less rework and greater profits."
"IPG is able to offer first class quality products at competitive prices," adds Dean Blockowitz, IPG vice-president of industrial tapes. "We constantly look for ways to provide solution-based products, while helping customers improve their bottom line."
The little things that matter
"SMT1 was developed to improve the entire manufacturing process," Stoner continues. "Clever design, innovative thinking and attention to detail combine to provide exceptional performance. Our research and development projects will bring something new and different to existing and emerging applications and processes."
At the 2014 International Boatbuilder Exhibition and Conference, SMT1 was recognised as a meaningful and progressive solution. The long-standing problem of clean mould release in the production process for the marine industry was quickly solved using SMT1.
When productivity needs innovation, it's not always a high-tech solution that is called for. Sometimes solutions at the molecular level deliver heavyweight impact to the bottom line.