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By Kate Gluck on  4/9/2024

Material Spotlight: Construction Layer Tapes for Medical Wearables

Material Spotlight: Construction Layer Tapes for Medical Wearables

Valued at USD 39.2 billion in 2023, the wearable medical device market is expected to reach 68.9 USD billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 11.5% from 2024 until 2030. The prevalence of chronic diseases and the rapid advance of wearable technologies continue to contribute to this rapid growth. 

This growth requires that medical device OEMs introduce specialized products of all sizes, shapes, form factors, and materials. Designing lighter, smaller drug delivery systems, diagnostic monitoring machines, or short- and long-term wear devices for chronic applications also requires innovative adhesive solutions. 

While not new to the market, differential double-sided tapes are playing an increasing role in fabricating wearable technology devices – as construction layer (tie-layer) tapes that bond one component to the next and as skin contact tapes that affix the device to the skin. 

Today’s material spotlight focuses on several such products offered by Avery Dennison Medical and features insights and information provided by Avery Dennison marketing manager and adhesives expert, Miguel Solivan.

Could a differential double-sided tape be a good fit for your wearable device assembly?

Before we dive into product-specific information, here’s a quick primer on differential double-sided tapes

While a typical double-sided pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) has the same adhesive on both sides of a carrier, differential double-sided tapes have a different adhesive on either side of a carrier material. 

This double-sided adhesive design helps achieve a secure bond between two dissimilar materials. Differential double-sided tapes could be a good fit if you need to bond multiple components within a device. Differential tapes are also useful if your device requires a permanent adhesive on one side and a removable adhesive on the other. 

Read Differential Double-Sided Tape Defined | The Basics for more in-depth information.



Selecting a tie-layer tape: key considerations  

Once you’ve determined that a differential tape will work for your application, the next step is to figure out WHICH tape will work for you. Whether you plan on using PSA tape to bond one layer of the device to another or to affix the device to the skin, you’ll need to consider several factors to understand which tape is right for the application. 

With the support of key suppliers like Avery Dennison Medical, the converting experts at JBC Technologies are here to help. The more information you can share at the outset, the better we can help you identify the right tape for your application. 

   Here are a few things we’ll want to discuss 

  • What type of substrate(s) the device or its parts will need to adhere to (e.g., silicone, low surface energy plastic, glass, human skin)
  • Whether you need to create a permanent or removable bond.
  • How long the device will be worn
  • The general device characteristics (e.g., size, shape, weight, types of materials).
  • Where on the body the device will be worn
  • If the end-user will be active or inactive
  • What environmental conditions the device will be exposed to 
  • How the manufacturing process could affect adhesion (e.g., Will the materials go through sterilization? Will materials be Corona treated?)

Check out this blog post for an in-depth look at Selection Criteria for Skin Contact Adhesives

Avery Dennison “tie-layer” adhesive tapes

 With the basics covered, now it is time to get to the specifics. Avery Dennison Medical differential double-sided tapes include acrylic, synthetic rubber, and silicone tie-layer adhesives that “tie” a skin-contact adhesive to a foam material or other device substrate: 

Tie Layer Tapes with ACRYLIC / ACRYLIC Adhesives:

  • MED 3044 is a double-coated, conformable, transparent polyethylene film with an acrylic adhesive on both sides. It has a heavy-weight liner that allows for flexibility in product design and manufacturing.     Recommended for: Adhering to many foams, films, and nonwoven substrates and/or to the skin for sustained periods of wear. 
  • MED 3046 is a double-coated, conformable, transparent polyurethane film with an acrylic-based adhesive on both sides. As with Med 3044, it has a heavy-weight liner.     Recommended for: Adhering to polyester (PET) nonwoven material on one side and rigid wearable device materials (polycarbonate, polyester, polypropylene, blends, etc.) on the other side. When used as a skin contact tape, it can sustain periods of wear, up to 21 days. 
  • FT 3043 is a 4 mil, double-linered transfer tape with a low surface energy (LSE) modified acrylic adhesive that offers extremely high adhesion to LSE materials.     Recommended for:  bonding to irregular or rough low surface energy materials in extreme environments that may be exposed to chemicals. 

Tie-Layer Tapes with RUBBER/RUBBER Adhesives:

  • MED 8345 is a double-coated and conformable PET film with a rubber-based adhesive on both sides. It has a high tack, high adhesion, and excellent shear strength to adhere to low surface energy substrates. Recommended for: Adhering to various low surface energy substrates like certain plastics (PVA, polyethylene, polypropylene, PVF, etc.) to combine multiple layers within a product’s design. 

Tie-Layer Tapes with SILICONE/ACRYLIC Adhesives:

  • FT 9302SF Given the increased use of silicone and plastics in medical wearable devices, Avery Dennison created FT 9302SF, a 5.7 mil, double-coated polyester with a silicone adhesive on the laminating side and a modified acrylic adhesive on the mounting side. This product also offers a double-liner system. Recommended for: Bonding silicone foams and rubber adhesives to medium and high surface energy materials (polycarbonate, PVC, polyurethane, etc.), as well as for applications where bonding to sensitive skin. 


JBC Technologies, taking a collaborative approach to optimize your design

As a custom die-cutter, JBC takes a collaborative approach to optimize the design, development, and commercialization of every customer’s product. We leverage the material science expertise of our material partners with JBC’s state-of-the-art value-add services like slitting, laminating, embossing/microperforating, spooling, rapid prototyping, and clean room manufacturing. This enables us to provide every customer with high-quality, custom adhesive solutions to maximize performance, decrease costs, and improve efficiency. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you convert your design concepts into reality.

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