Visual cues improve facility safety through reliable, easy-to-understand messages. But, due to the number of material and adhesive options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best option to suit your facility’s needs. While the tape’s appearance—including colors, text, and custom design elements—is essential, floor tape must also be designed to adhere well in busy spaces. Tapes with pressure-sensitive adhesive, such as Superior Mark® floor tape, is a highly rated option that resists wear and tear, even in the busiest warehouses or production facilities. We’ve created this round-up of terms associated with industrial tapes to help you select the ideal option for your location.

What Is Pressure Sensitive Tape?

As the name suggests, pressure-sensitive tape requires force to be applied—rather than light, heat, or solvent-based adhesive—for it to bond with a surface.  Pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) is made of substances that do not change states, but instead remain tacky to grip surfaces upon contact. The PSA category includes masking tape, gaffer tape, vinyl tape, and specialty tapes, including our own patented Superior Mark® floor marking tape.

Why Choose Pressure-Sensitive Tape for Visual Cues?

Installing visual cues helps increase productivity, create a safer workplace, and improve OSHA compliance, but the product you choose can affect the longevity of your visuals. The backing material, print method, adhesive grade, and substrate quality affect how well self-stick tape performs, especially in demanding industrial environments. Superior Mark® pressure-sensitive floor tape is manufactured to high industrial standards to ensure performance on production floors and in warehouses. Explore these benefits of our pressure-sensitive Superior Mark® tape for your facility.

1) PSAs Allow Fast, Easy Installation

Pressure-sensitive tape adhesive as viscoelastic, which means it hovers between a liquid and a solid. The constant stickiness permits adhesion to many surface types, without the need for solvents or heat. The peel-and-stick application saves you from messy, lengthy floor-marking projects. Even though the adhesive won’t dry out, properly applying floor marking tapes on cleaned, dried surfaces per the manufacturer’s instructions results in markings that stay in place and aren’t compromised by contaminants, such as dirt, debris, oils, cleaning solvents, or chemicals.

Not only are PSA tapes reasonably fast to install, but the floor markings do not need curing time as epoxy or glue-based options do. The more pressure that is applied, the better the bond: Whether tape is applied by hand or using tape applicator equipment, firmly tamping the entire application area is an essential step when applying pressure-sensitive visuals. Then, open the area to traffic, without waiting.

2) Recessed Adhesive Improves Durability

Superior Mark® tape combines recessed adhesive and beveled edges for improved resistance to damage from dragging, scraping, and industrial traffic. Instead of a solitary sticky layer like cheap floor marking tape offers, Superior Mark® adhesive is thermally applied in a recessed slot on the underside of the tape, which improves the adhesive bond. The firm bond helps maximize the benefits of beveled edges, preventing the tape from shifting or tearing. All of the layers—printing, adhesive, and outer laminate—are bonded to create pressure tape that won’t peel apart from friction or other influences. 

3) Specialty Adhesive Grades Perform in Challenging Environments

Different grades of pressure tape are created by adjusting the adhesive formula and the material. More durable options, like our highway-grade tapes, are constructed with tough, reinforced backings and stronger adhesives. Our pressure-sensitive tape is preferred for visual cues for in warehouses and factories, including for improving forklift safety, because it can withstand industrial traffic. The tackiness of pressure-sensitive adhesive is what allows the tape to conform to a variety of surfaces and substrates, and it can be adjusted with alternate backing materials to suit various application needs, including:

4) Pressure-Sensitive Tape Allows Flexibility

Pressure-sensitive adhesive can be removed without leaving behind residue or damage, making it ideal to support flexible floor plans and continuous improvement methods in factories. Unlike paint and gummy rubber adhesive (i.e. duct tape) a flat blade is all you need to remove pressure-sensitive tapes. After loosening the tape edge, pulling up at a 90-degree angle disrupts the bond, so the material detaches and leaves the surface clean and residue-free. 

Striping floors and marking aisles with pressure tapes allows you to rezone areas for machines and pedestrians, adjust floor markers for better navigation and improved pallet organization, and make changes to workstations and egress paths as needed. These changes can be made without shutting down or hiring a specialized crew, saving you money while improving safety in your industrial environment. Removable markings for rental properties keep commercial businesses compliant with safety regulations without permanently altering the floors.

5) PSA Tapes Improve Compliance With Safety Regulations

Not only do caution tapes improve safety, but they help you maintain compliance with OSHA. Low-quality bargain floor tapes break down more quickly, leaving areas unmarked—and out of compliance. Pressure-sensitive adhesive tape is durable and long-lasting, which helps keep hazards marked as part of your visual communication system. Create custom floor tape with facility-specific messages to reinforce safety protocols: Because graphics and text are printed beneath the surface material, safety warnings don’t easily deteriorate, ensuring your messages are clear and easy to read. 

Floor Signs With Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives

Consider your specific goals and environment when deciding between floor signs or tape. Though pressure-sensitive floor tape is durable and reliable, it may not provide the specific messaging you require. Our Superior Mark® floor signs are also designed with pressure-sensitive adhesive, so you get the same long-lasting adhesive in a format that suits your needs. You may choose to pair PSA floor tape with rubber floor signs that adhere using a synthetic butyl adhesive that withstands heavy traffic and moderate environmental changes—the high tack allows it to form a strong bond after tamping to fully activate the adhesive.

Alternatives to Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Tape

While pressure-sensitive adhesives are reliable on signs and tape, these aren’t your only options. Areas with extreme traffic or perpetual processes can benefit from the low-to-no maintenance of permanent visual cues. Consider our inlaid floor signs, which are printed on a mesh-like fabric, as alternatives. These are permanently affixed to the floor using a liquid adhesive. While curing time is required, the warnings will outlast most other solutions. Like our pressure-sensitive tapes, permanent and virtual signs can be customized to fit your messaging needs.

Prevent accidents and OSHA violations when you choose visual cues to create a well-marked, organized facility. Visit our Resource Center to learn more ways to streamline work processes and read up on the best practices for using floor tape and other visual cues.