Pressure sensitive adhesive

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A self-stick adhesive commonly used on tapes, labels, and stamps. Pressure sensitive adhesives bond to another surface with slight pressure. They do not require solvent evaporation or a chemical reaction in order to bond. Rubber-based pressure sensitive tapes were introduced by Horace Day in 1845 for use in medicine (Bemmels 1977). Automobile manufacturers began using masking tapes in 1925. Cellophane tapes were introduced by 3M in 1930. Since that time, self-stick adhesives have been applied to cloth, paper, film, foil, and foam substrates. Pressure sensitive adhesives are made from either natural rubber, butyl rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, nitrile rubber, acrylic, polyvinylalkyl ether, or silicone formulations. They commonly contain additives such as tackifiers, plasticizers, fillers, and antioxidants.

Synonyms and Related Terms

pressure-sensitive adhesives; PSA; adhesivo sensible a la presión (Esp.); adesivo sensibile alla pressione (It.)

Hazards and Safety

May leave a residue or stain.

Additional Information

C.W.Bemmels, "Pressure-Sensitive Tapes and Labels" in Handbook of Adhesives, I.Skeist (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1977, p.724-735.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 16
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Marjorie Shelley, The Care and Handling of Art Objects, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1987
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "adhesive" Encyclopædia Britannica [Accessed February 12, 2002].
  • Irving Skeist, Handbook of Adhesives, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1977 Comment: C.W.Bemmels, "Pressure-Sensitive Tapes and Labels"
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988