I was trying to think of a blog post to write about when my mind trailed off. I thought about duct tape. Why is it sticky? Is it a physical or chemical property? It turns out that the stickiness duct tape possesses is strictly physical. The sticky side of duct tape is actually covered with a very viscous liquid-like material that has high elastic properties. This combination of properties is called viscoelasticity.
Adhesion is the main force in duct tape. It has a polymer blend that uses intermolecular forces to attract the surfaces together. Unlike glue, which is a liquid when applied and hardens when reacting chemically with the surface, duct tape’s adhesive stays the same consistency before and after application. However, in extremely cold temperatures, the adhesive hardens and duct tape is no longer sticky. Water also cripples duct tape because it peels away the adhesive over time.
I now know the scientific reasons that Duct tape works. However, there are the practical or even fun reasons to use duct tape: making a wallet; hemming some pants; and even hanging my younger sister’s stuffed animals to the ceiling. Probably better than scotch tape… Anyways, I hope this blog post was informative and that you learned something about duct tape. Perhaps the information will “stick” with you…