Need to make a quick repair to a noncritical aerospace part? Speed tape may offer a solution. It’s a special type of heavy-duty tape that’s designed for high-speed vehicles, including airplanes. Below are five facts about speed tape and how it works.
#1) Reflects UV Light
There are different varieties of speed tape, but most of them are designed to reflect ultraviolet (UV) light. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), UV rays are nearly twice as strong at an altitude of 30,000 feet compared to sea level. UV exposure, of course, can degrade many chemicals and compounds, including adhesives. But speed tape features a reflective surface that protects against UV light.
#2) Made of Aluminum
Speed tape is made primarily of aluminum. It features a layer of adhesive-coated aluminum. The adhesive is isolated to one side of the aluminum. You can use speed tape just like regular tape: After peeling off the backing, place the adhesive side against the damaged part. Speed tape isn’t a permanent solution, nor should it be used on critical parts. With its aluminum construction, though, it offers a quick fix for noncritical parts.
#3) Resistant to Moisture and Solvents
You don’t have to worry about speed tape degrading when exposed to moisture and solvents. It can last a long time, even in harsh environments. Speed tape is resistant to both moisture and solvents. Environmental moisture may consist of humidity or rain. Solvents, conversely include oils, fuel and other corrosive chemicals.
#4) Resistant to Strong Winds
There’s a reason it’s called “speed tape.” Unlike traditional duct tape, it will hold up at high speeds. When exposed to strong winds, speed tape won’t fail. Some varieties have even been shown to resist winds of up to 600 mph.
#5) Not Limited to Airplanes
Speed tape isn’t limited to airplanes. It’s used on many other types of high-speed vehicles. Cars, for example, may feature speed tape for quick fixes. Some boats also feature speed tape. Speed tape is a type of multipurpose tape that’s designed to operate at high speeds.
Speed tape isn’t cheap. There are many different varieties of it, but you can expect to pay more for speed tape than traditional tape duct. Some varieties of speed tape, in fact, cost hundreds of dollars per roll. With its ability to reflect UV light, resist moisture and solvents, hold up in strong wings and support for multiple applications, though, speed tape is often worth the investment.