Primary Insulation helps keep the lights on.
Electricians have critical jobs. Keeping our world powered requires concentration, knowledge and skill. Some of the most dangerous work is done by electricians working on medium and high voltage applications. Ethylene propylene and silicone rubber electrical tapes have the highest dielectric rating of electrical tapes made by 3M and are a trusted product in the toolbox of most medium and high voltage linemen and installers. With proper wrapping, their self-fusing properties help to eliminate voids in critical areas that may cause catastrophic failures .
But there is more. Pros know that rubber tapes can offer more than just high voltage insulation and are often used in a variety of low voltage applications as well.
To evaluate rubber tapes for your application, click here.
Shouldn’t snap when you wrap.
Wrapping tape on a high voltage cable can be time consuming and error prone since the careful build-up of tape requires accurate half-lapping and constant tension in order to reduce build-in air voids. Rubber tapes are designed to stretch−some up to 1000%. Elongating the tape this way drives to compression, and that results in the strong self-fusion that provides great insulation and moisture protection.
In a typical tape splice, you’ll tug and pull out the tape, stretching it to just before the breaking point. The tape’s width narrows to about 1/3rd of its original size. The tape’s length increases; your hand travels very quickly up to 20” away from where you started. Quite often you’ll be wrapping in a tight location making this even more difficult. Proper taping techniques are critical to realizing the many performance benefits of rubber tape.
Self-bonding helps makes an air and watertight seal.
Rubber tapes repel moisture and are a great solution for outdoor applications or in manholes where water may occasionally seep in.
In production plants and manufacturing facilities where steam, dripping water and elevated humidity are present, self-fusing rubber tapes provide much needed moisture protection.
In a harsh environment, one that is subject to chemical and harsh fluid exposure; overwrap with a hearty vinyl tape to help prevent copper corrosion
Engineered to beat the heat.
Anyone who’s left a roll of general purpose vinyl tape in the cab of their truck on a very hot summer day can attest to the fact that heat makes the adhesive soft. Extreme heat makes it ooze and flow.
3M rubber tapes have operating temperatures ranging from 176°F (80°C) to 221°F (105°C). Some, like Scotch® Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape 130C and Rubber Splicing Tape 23, have overloads temperatures up to 266°F (130°C). Because of this high heat attribute; there are many industrial settings where it is common to use rubber tape in lower voltage applications to moisture seal, pad and insulate:
Wait, it gets hotter.
3M also makes an electrical tape made of silicone rubber for applications where Class “H” (180°C/356°F) temperatures are encountered i.e., silicone rubber cables.
Engines and motors in a production line subject electrical connections to extreme vibrations. Rubber tapes are typically 4 times thicker than vinyl electrical tapes and provide extra mechanical protection for connections like motor leads that are subject to constant vibrations. They also provide excellent padding and conformability around surfaces with irregular, rough or sharp edges like bus bar and split bolt connections.
Scotch® Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape 130C is 30 mils thick−watch it in action.
Ethylene propylene rubber tapes for termination, splicing and bus bar applications. Premium tapes are recommended for medium to high voltage applications. They offer the highest performance ratings of tapes made by 3M, with excellent stretch. General purpose tapes are great for low voltage moisture sealing and padding.
Self-fusing silicone rubber tape with a thin, profile and high operating temperature. Used in medium voltage applications and those with critical weight restrictions. Excellent ozone, arc and track resistance. Scotch® 70HDT Tape has a triangular profile, thicker in the middle, to even out half lapped wraps.
Extra tough backing made of vulcanized CSM rubber. Use to jacket cable in rough environments like construction sites, steel mills, petrochemical plants and industrial manufacturing. Use for on site repairs. Scotch® Heavy Duty Mining Tape 31 has an MSHA approval rating.
The first electrical tape manufactured by 3M. Woven cotton cambric fabric stiffened with electrical insulating varnish. Creates a strong, insulating shell when wrapped around a cable, splice or bus bar.
In applications involving medium to high voltage current; electrical shielding and grounding products come into play. 3M offers a variety of solutions which are compatible with high voltage splicing and terminating materials.
Intumescent Elastomer Tape protects cable from arc flash faults if they should occur in adjacent cables within 20”. Elastomeric tape formulated to generate a thick charred buildup when exposed to high temperatures. Used as jacketing in high voltage applications including aerial and underground.
An all metal open weave tape. Creates a Faraday cage around the conductor to block the electromagnetic field in bifurcated cables.
An ethylene propylene rubber tape. Provides continuous shielding inside multi-layered cables jackets. Because it conducts electricity; it should never be used as the outer jacket layer in a tape splice configuration. Must be overwrapped with non-conducting vinyl or rubber tape.
An all metal woven grounding braid designed to extend the ground potential in medium to high voltage cables. It has a high current carrying capacity of 6 AWG wire. Use for aerial strand-mount, pad-mount, pole-mount underground and wall-mount applications
Mastic is a very tacky material with extreme elongation properties. Rubber mastic tape combines an ethylene propylene rubber backing with a conformable mastic layer. Scotch® Rubber Mastic Tape 2228 integrates some of the best qualities of both materials−higher temperature rating, conformability, dielectric strength. It’s one tape that belongs in every toolkit.
Long lasting applications + great for quick fixes.
Learn more about Mastic Electrical Tape and where and when to use it.
There are some basic rules to follow when you’re selecting electrical tape.
Get more information on product selection, applications and training in our Electrical Resource Center.