Duck Tape 101.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by gapsych, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    These guys have written SEVEN books about Duct Tape. gap

    Welcome to Duct Tape 101. Although is basically a humor site, we often get visitors looking for REAL, useful information about Duct Tape. So, we decided to hold a class (or online seminar if you will) to answer some of the common questions that we get asked about Duct Tape. If the answer to your question doesn't appear below, just email us the question and we will see what we can do to answer it for you.
    P.S. No, you don't have to ask us permission to use this material for school reports!

    Duct tape is a strong tape that is composed of three layers. The top layer (1) is a resilient plastic (Polyethelyne). The bottom layer (3) is a rubber-based adhesive. The middle layer (2) is a fabric mesh. Duct tape was manufactured by pressing these three layers together. Now, some manufacturers have created a process that makes the same strong, three layer tape in just one step. While there are stronger tapes (like filament tape), duct tape, when doubled over onto itself can pull a 2000 lb. car out of a ditch, and has the distinct benefit of not requiring any other tools to cut it - you just rip it with your bare hands.

    In California, to be called "Duct Tape" the tape must meet certain heat-resistant standards - assuming that people will want to use it on ductwork (see below).

    Other duct tape-like tapes that don’t recommend use for ductwork are usually called cloth tape or gaff tape (see below).

    Duct tape is the quick fix. We (especially in America) want stuff to happen quickly - we lack the patience (and often the skill) to fix stuff right. Plus, this is a throw-away society. We would rather throw something away and buy new than repair and use. If money is tight - repair is the chosen option. The quick repair is duct tape.

    Also - there has been a rise in duct tape awareness thanks to the grass-roots marketing efforts of the Duck® brand company with their popular "Stuck at Prom," "Stuck in Traffic," "Rock the Tape" and other contests and events that utilize duct tape. Red Green (Canadian television comedian - seen on PBS in the U.S.) promotes duct tape to a wierd extent on his show. Garrison Keillor occasionally mentions it on "The Prairie Home Companion." Plus, We've been pushing the stuff in our books and web site since 1994 - that's bound to help.

    In general, I think the answer is - everyone knows someone in their family (if not themselves) that uses duct tape to a ridiculous and laughable extent. This makes it a very recognizable and intrinsic part of our popular culture.

    I guess we know about as much as anyone about duct tape origins - so we've become the "experts," or the conveyors of folk lore - as the case may be. It was actually rather hard to find anyone to admit to the actual invention of duct tape. The closest we got to a consistent story was the Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division who made the stuff for the U.S. Military during World War II. The original use was to keep the moisture out of the ammunition cases. Because it was waterproof, people referred to the tape as "Duck Tape." Also, the tape was made using cotton duck - similar to what was used in their cloth medical tapes. Military personnel quickly discovered that the tape was very versatile and used it to fix their guns, jeeps, aircraft, etc. After the war, the tape was used in the booming housing industry to connect heating and air conditioning duct work together. Soon, the color was changed from Army green to silver to match the ductwork and people started to refer to duck tape as "Duct Tape." (By the way, "Duck Tape" is now a registered trademark of Duck® brand (a division of Henkel Consumer Adhesives) in Avon, Ohio.

    Adhesive tape (specifically masking tape) was invented in the 1920's by Richard Drew of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Co. (3M). Duck tape (the WWII military version) was first created and manufactured in 1942 (approximate date) by the Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division. Its closest predecessor was medical tape. (No specific person or group of people at Johnson and Johnson have been named in the development of duct tape. Don't ask them... they don't know. But, if you know anything about the origins that we haven't been able to find, let us know!)

    We know of at least eight companies in the United States and Canada that manufacture duct tape. Most of the duct tape that is sold into the consumer market is distributed by Duck® brand. Duck® brand Duct Tape is manufactured by Shurtape Technologies in Hickory, North Carolina. As The Duct Tape Guys we recommend Duck® brand Duct Tape because of its consistent quality and innovation. Some other duct tape companies are Nashua, 3M, Anchor, Tessa, Tuck, and Polyken.

    Sure there is! Speaking of Duck® brand's innovations, they have a whole line of "plain" colors like red, yellow, green, blue, brown, and black, and now have introduced "Xtreme" colors (like the dayglow colors of the seventies); blaze orange, lime green, citron yellow, and (a favorite of the ladies) hot pink! Duck® brand also has a "Camo Tape" which has a "real tree" camouflage design that is great for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. There is also a clear duct tape which allows you to fix stuff without seeing the tape (kind of). I like to call it "cameleon tape." Duck brand came out with clear duct tape first, then dropped it from their line-up after sales were less than phenomenal. Later, 3M reintroduced clear tape and made a stir in the market place, so Duck brand brought their brainchild back to the store shelves. Click here for a list of stores that carry colored and clear duct tape.

    Gaff tape (used in the entertainment/movie industry to hold down power and audio/video cords) usually comes in a flat (non-reflective) black color and differs in that the adhesive is removable without leaving a residue. Watch movie credits for the job title "Gaffer" - this is the person who handles and tapes down all of the cords required to make a film/television show.

    Yes. As a general rule, spare the cost and spoil the job. Look at the weave of the fabric in the tape. The tighter the weave, the better the tape. Again, Duck® brand Duct Tape is our favorite for consistently good quality tape. But don’t take our word for it, Backpacker Magazine (Oct. 2000 issue) compared different brands of duct tape and gave Duck® brand Tape their highest rating.

    We seldom remove duct tape, so our first thought would be to duct tape over that sticky residue. However, some of you might not go for that solution... so, try spraying the residue down with WD-40 or Duck® brand Adhesive Remover (it has a really nice citrus scent) and let it sit for a bit. The residue should wipe right up. You can also roll duct tape sticky-side-out around your hand and dab up bits of remaining residue. Other products that work to remove the goo are Goo-Be-Gone and rubber cement thinner or acetone.

  2. spacee

    spacee Member

    One of those books would make someone I know very happy. :)

  3. quanked

    quanked Member

    Hey, thanks! My husband insists that it is "duct" tape--now I can let him know what is what!

    I have wanted to know for so very long what a "gaffer" is/does. Thx again.
  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Was playing bridge about ten years ago. East was telling us something
    he had achieved w/ duck tape that afternoon. South wanted to know
    why it was called duck tape. Always helpful, I told him it was probably
    duct tape cause it was used to hold air conditioning ducts together.

    And now we have info to the contrary. Isn't that the way life goes.
    We historians are constantly confronted w/ new and conflicting

    My neighbors are in show biz. They told me the gaffer is the electrician
    who handles the lighting. His assistant is called the best boy. But perhaps
    the term has now been changed to "best person".

    Tx 4 all the info Gap. Seems very fitting that you should be the one to
    post same.

  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Dear Duct Tape Users:

    Is it Duct or Duck? We don’t want you to be confused, so we will explain. The first name for Duct Tape was DUCK. During World War II the U.S. Military needed a waterproof tape to keep the moisture out of ammunition cases. So, they enlisted the Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division to manufacture the tape. Because it was waterproof, everyone referred to it as “duck” tape (like water off a duck’s back). Military personnel discovered that the tape was good for lots more than keeping out water. They used it for Jeep repair, fixing stuff on their guns, strapping equipment to their clothing... the list is endless.

    After the War, the housing industry was booming and someone discovered that the tape was great for joining the heating and air conditioning duct work. So, the color was changed from army green to the silvery color we are familiar with today and people started to refer to it as “duct tape*.” Therefore, either name is appropriate.

    Today, Duck® brand Tape is manufactured by Henkel Consumer Adhesives. After thoroughly familiarizing ourselves with the hundreds of duct tapes on the market, we have found Duck® brand Tape to be the most consistent in quality. And, we are delighted with the large array of colors that they manufacture (including camo tape and new “X-Treme Tape” which comes in hot day-glo colors).

    Jim and I do lots of appearances promoting Duck® brand Tape and do so without reservation. Therefore, we go by both The Duct Tape Guys, and The Duck Tape Guys. And, we use the words Duck and Duct interchangeably throughout our web site.

    So, whether you call it Duct Tape or Duck Tape... you are still using the “Ultimate Power Tool” in our estimation.

    --- Jim and Tim, the Duck/Duct Tape Guys

  6. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Does anyone listen to "Car Talk" on NPR? Jim and Tim, the Duck'Duct tape guys kind of remind me of them. I think any of them would fit right in on the chit chat board.

  7. kjade

    kjade New Member

    All I know is this tape can fix ANYTHING! LOL.
    I always wondered too if it was "duct" or "duck". I always feel like I am saying it wrong.
  8. jole

    jole Member

    Say it fast enough and nobody!!!

    We'd be pretty lost without it here on the farm! (And we always called it duct tape)
  9. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    for some reason it is called quack tape at our house
  10. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    With this new info from Gap, you can now feel that you are saying
    it right regardless of which form you use.

  11. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I think I will start calling it "quack tape" LOL.

    I won't bore any of you with actually posting the following information, but if you are interested, you can find sites that show you how to make things out of duct/duck tape. Might be helpful with the holidays coming up.