Removing Rock Hard Tape Adhesive

3 Minute Read
Posted by Nekoosa on 10/27/22 8:00 AM

RTape by Nekoosa Application Tape Adhesive

Many sign makers use RTape application tapes as a protective masking for substrates or paintings.

Masking on products stored indoors and not exposed to high heat should remove without problems. However, when paper application tape is exposed to high heat and prolonged sunlight, you can encounter big trouble that may be irreparable.

Why is the adhesive from the paper application tape stuck to the substrate?

Every so often, a sign maker or painter cannot remove the adhesive of an RTape application tape from a substrate. For instance, a customer located in the hot heat of Southern California leaves masked painted panels in the sun. The panels become so hot that it becomes impossible to handle the substrate without wearing gloves. The scorching summer heat bakes on the masking.

In another example, an automotive painter uses our RTape application tape to mask the chrome bumper of a classic car, while spray painting. This is a great application for the product, however, the problem occurs when failing to remove the tape after painting. The adhesive will harden if the car is left outside for weeks after the job is finished. Even when trying everything to remove the masking, including water, mineral spirits, turpentine, lacquer thinner and naphtha, the adhesive will still remain. No amount of solvent will dissolve the adhesive.

Why are high heat and prolonged sunlight exposure dangerous for application tapes?

Here's what is happening in these situations - with exposure to heat and UV light, the co-adhesive strength of the rubber adhesive increases until it crystallizes and hardens. As the adhesive hardens, it becomes less and less soluble. At some point in time, the adhesive becomes so hard that it loses any solubility at all. Unfortunately, once the adhesive becomes hard as a rock, there is nothing you can do. At Nekoosa, we have tested a wide range of solvents, hoping to find that one chemical that will remove the hardened adhesive. However, we haven't discovered that magic potion yet. The good news is that if you have masked glass and the adhesive hardens, you can at least scrape the residue off the razor scraper.

We will leave you with two key pieces of advice:

  • Do not store masked materials outdoors or anywhere exposed to high heat.
  • If you are using application paper as a masking for painting, remove the masking when you are finished painting.

For more information on Nekoosa's RTape Application Tapes and Premasks, please visit our website.