October 7, 2003

Duct Tape: A Short History


"What has a dark side, a light side
and holds the universe together?"
"Duct Tape!"

Not all there is to know, but all you need to know about this sticky issue according to American Hertitage:

The first duct-tape users were not reluctant handymen hastily shoring up sagging gutters with a prayer and a dozen yards of tape, then hurrying back to the couch before the second-half kickoff. The original olive-drab version of the tape was developed during World War II for a specific purpose: The military needed a tough, waterproof adhesive tape to seal ammunition cases and other containers.

At Permacell, a division of Johnson & Johnson, a research team led by John Denoye and Bill Gross set to work on a cloth tape that would be similar to surgical tape but tougher and water-resistant. They came up with a strip of cotton-mesh cloth coated with a polyurethane sealant on one side (making it waterproof and allowing the tape to be peeled off the roll) and a thick coating of rubber-based adhesive on the other. According to an undocumented tradition, military personnel called the stuff duck tape, either because water rolled off it or because of the layer of cotton-mesh cloth that formed its base. The amphibious vehicle known as the "duck" (from DUKV, the manufacturer's classification code) may also have something to do with the name. Its use on ammunition cases led to another name, gun tape.

More here...

Posted by Vanderleun at October 7, 2003 2:19 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

You should see nuclear duct tape (aka DPE tape). Sweet stuff, but damned expensive.


Posted by: Kalroy at July 19, 2003 11:41 AM

I was told at Reactor School in Idaho that the official name was HP Tape standing for High Pressure. High Pressure being 15 psi. (note that the primary coolant in a pressurised water reactor is pressurised to 2,000 psi)

We were also told that it's genesis was sealing bullet holes in combat aircraft until permanment repairs could be made.

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