Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2006

Wet Tape Adhesion Test

Q. I am currently working on a restoration project that may require a form of wet tape testing as a way to remove old paint without disturbing a gold leaf application underneath. My question is this: what type of tape is used in a wet tape test?

A. The same tape is used for the wet tape test as for the dry adhesion test. My question, however, is why to want to perform the test and what you want to achieve by it. When I perform the test for non-legal or non-QC purposes and I want to insure maximum adhesion, I often use aluminum duct tape. If the coating shows delamination with the duct tape, I feel confident that adhesion is truly good. This duct tape is much stronger and has considerably more tack than the ASTM D3359 tape. On the other hand, if you are performing comparative tests for official QC purposes, or if your analysis will be used for legal purposes you should use the ASTM tape.

In your case the aluminum duct tape might pull of the gold leaf underneath the topcoat. Therefore, you would need to use a tape with lower tack, such as some of the masking tapes that you can purchase in a paint supply or hardware store. Remember that tapes with a lower tack will not pull off coatings that exhibit marginal adhesion. It's your call.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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