Aluminum Flashing Tape Vs. Aluminum Foil Tape

Written by kevin ann reinhart
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Aluminum Flashing Tape Vs. Aluminum Foil Tape
Aluminium foil tape and aluminium flashing tape are not suitable for all aluminium connections. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Aluminium foil tape and aluminium flashing tape may look alike, but a closer inspection reveals technical differences that become very important in specific applications. The two types of tape should not be used interchangeably, as design, strength, and weatherproofing characteristics for the disparate adhesive products make them functionally dissimilar and inappropriate for use in select areas.

Aluminium Foil Tape

This thin, foil tape, treated with acrylic adhesive and backed with a removable paper liner, is extremely malleable, giving it the ability to conform itself well to fibreglass duct board and sheet metal ductwork. The product provides an effective vapour seal and withstands temperatures ranging from -25 degrees Fahrenheit to 127 degrees C. Aluminum foil tape is commonly available in 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 mil thicknesses and widths from 2.5 to 3 inches.

Aluminium Flashing Tape

Flashing tape is a three-ply laminate product designed to be highly resistant to puncture, wear, and cold-weather conditions. This product is used to provide weather-tight installations for windows, doors and roof flashing. Aluminium flashing tape is made with top and bottom outer layers of aluminium foil and a single layer of polyester film at its core. The tape is then coated with a cold-weather acrylic adhesive that allows the product to be pressed into place.

Dimensions For Flashing Tape

Due to its three-ply design, aluminium flashing tape ranges in thickness from 6.5 to 7.5 mils. The tape is available in widths from 2 inches, for window and door applications, up to 6 inches for ease of positioning on roof flashing. Flashing tape withstands temperature ranges from a low of -25 degree F to a high of 180 degree F. Flashing tape may be used as an alternative to rolled or step flashing in roofing applications.

Tape Characteristics

Aluminium foil tape is primarily designed for indoor use, where its ability to conform with aluminium and fibreglass in the presence of extreme heat is its best asset. Strength and wear resistance is less of an issue for aluminium foil tape, so it can be made thin and malleable without compromising effectiveness in its intended use. Aluminium flashing tape, a thicker, stronger product, is designed for the rigours of outdoor use and to be able to handle most weather extremes.

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