It Is DUCK Tape

And it's lousy for ducts.

March 23, 2006

1 Min Read
It Is DUCK Tape

NOON -- Wired News reports that Larry's long-running campaign for adhesive material terminological correctness has been vindicated:

  • Invented in the early 1940s by scientists at Permacell, a division of the Johnson & Johnson Co., duct tape was built to fill the need for a strong, flexible, durable tape that could help the war effort, according to Avon, Ohio-based Henkel Consumer Adhesives, one of the world's largest makers of the stuff. Early versions consisted of medical tape laminated to a cloth backing, covered with polycoat adhesives and a polyethylene coating. It was colored Army green and nicknamed "duck tape" because it repelled water.

What's more, the story goes on to point out, "It's lousy for use on ducts":

  • In 1998, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicists Max Sherman and Lain Walker tested a variety of sealing materials on sheet metal ducting, then heated and cooled the ducts to simulate the aging process. They soon found that duct [sic] tape leaked air so badly much of the cooling and heating was wasted -- and that the tape frequently shrunk, dried up or separated.

    "It failed reliably and often quite catastrophically," says Sherman. "And nothing else except duct [sic] tape failed."

It works great on ducks, though.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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