Hot Melt Versus Acrylic Tape

September 8, 2023

Choosing the right tape for your packaging needs is crucial and may seem complex, given the variety of options available. This article simplifies that decision-making process by comparing the two most commonly used types - Hot Melt and Acrylic tapes.

By understanding their unique features, benefits, and optimal usage scenarios, you can identify the ideal solution for your specific application.

Let's examine how each of these tapes performs under different conditions, and learn some useful tips to ensure that your cartons remain securely sealed.


Hot Melt Tape Features and Benefits: 

  • High adhesions offering superior holding power, typically higher than acrylic tapes.
  • Ideal for dusty corrugated or corrugated with a high percentage of recycled material.
  • Easy to unwind.
  • Quick tack.
  • Consistent and reliable seal.
  • Popular for machine application.
  • Use in environments between 45degrees and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Common use: carton sealing/closing for shipping or storage.

Acrylic Tape Features and Benefits: 

  • Ideal for long-term storage or where the package may pass through varying temperatures, as great in both low and high temperature and humidity.
  • Use in environments between 32 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Doesn’t yellow with age and is not affected when exposed to UV lighting due to its high resistance to oxidation.
  • Has long shelf life.
  • Common use; Light weight carton sealing/closing and long-term storage.


Both hot melt and acrylic tapes perform well for carton sealing applications in room temperature environments. They offer premium and economy grades and can be used for hand or machine application.

Acrylic tape tends to be louder coming off the roll but is the most commonly used tape, it is inexpensive and ideal for a wide range of temperature settings including refrigeration.

However hot melt tape offers a stronger adhesion and works well on corrugated with high levels of recycled material, or sealing packages where the content is heavy.


Here’s some simple tips that may help:

  • Remember, packing tape is pressure sensitive and needs to applied with pressure to adhere properly. 
  • Ensure the tape is applied with at least 2 to 3 inches down each side of the box.
  • Putting a second layer of tape right on top of another for additional strength  or security is not effective, add your second layer in two strips, covering only approximately 50% of the first layer each pass.
  • In some applications it may be more beneficial to do the ‘H’ taping method: A strip down the centre to hold the flaps closed, then a strip along each of the two ends of the flaps.h-taping

Making the Right Choice for Your Packaging Needs

In summary, both Hot Melt and Acrylic tapes have unique features and benefits suited for different packaging scenarios.

Acrylic tapes excel in varied temperature settings and long-term storage, while Hot Melt tapes offer superior adhesion, particularly on recycled materials or for sealing heavy content packages.

Your specific needs and application environment will dictate the best choice. If you're still unsure, our SmartShield sales team is always ready to guide you.

Reach out to us today for personalized assistance in making an informed decision that optimizes your packaging process. Secure your packages the right way with the right tape!REGULAR TAPE-1-1

Article written by SmartShield