Which WAT and Why?

Which WAT and Why?

Water activated tape (WAT) – also known as gummed paper tape – is rapidly gaining popularity for carton sealing because it has near-perfect eco credentials but at the same time outperforms conventional plastic tapes. And as an added bonus, it works out cheaper per sealed carton.

  • Standard WAT is a single layer of pure kraft paper with a water-soluble, natural starch-based adhesive.
  • Reinforced WAT is two layer of pure kraft encapsulating glass fibre reinforcement filaments.

The adhesive on WAT is activated as it emerges from a manual or electronic dispenser. Many of these have unique features that differentiate them and suit them to particular applications.

Manual WAT dispensers

A manual dispenser such as the Tegrabond® BP333 is the best choice for low to medium use and in areas without a readily-available power supply. In addition, it is ruggedly built, easy to use and maintain, and offers an entry-level machine at a low investment.

The BP333 is compatible with reinforced WAT. A simple mechanical locking stop mechanism sets the tape length, which is dispensed with a single forward pull of the feed handle.

As the tape emerges, water is applied to the adhesive with brushes and the dispenser automatically cuts the tape off at its selected length.

Electronic WAT dispensers

As taping volumes increase it makes sense to upgrade to an electronic dispenser, which brings performance-enhancing automation and pre-heated water for faster adhesive activation. These compact units combine rugged construction and attractive, ergonomic design that make them perfectly suited to a busy pack station or a trade counter.

The Tegrabond® BP500 is a sensible choice for medium to high use and features colour-coded keys programmed to dispense reinforced WAT in popular lengths. Other features (some available as optional extras) include

  • a random key that overrides the pre-set lengths and continues to dispense tape until the button is released
  • foot pedal operation with repeat function
  • adjustable water level and temperature

Additional features can further improve productivity for higher volume use and these are generally included on more advanced dispensers such as the Tegrabond® BP555. This has all the features of the BP500 and (again, some optional)

  • increased roll length capacity from 150 to 305mm
  • suitable for standard and reinforced WAT
  • higher capacity water bottle with anti-drip valve
  • heavy duty adjustable water heater
  • unique tape guide system with no need to adjust the weights on the water heater
  • tape configuration can be programmed to dispense up to three different tape lengths sequentially
  • dual foot pedal operation with dual repeat function
  • IT system interface
  • tape aerial that holds tape rigid and at ideal angle for removal from machine
  • auto measuring device that gauges dimensions of carton and automatically calculates correct tape length

in addition to manual and electronic WAT dispensers, Tegrabond® produces a wide range of water activated tapes. These are most commonly natural brown kraft but are also available in white. As they are made of two kraft layers, reinforced WAT is also manufactured in oyster (white kraft on brown kraft) and snow white (white on white).

Water-activated tapes are conventionally wound onto the roll with the adhesive side facing inwards; this is referred to as Gummed Side In or GSI. Occasionally users request it with the adhesive side facing outwards (Gummed Side Out or GSO).

WAT is perfect for standard or custom printing to improve security, deter mishandling or communicate a brand and Tegrabond® from Xtegra® offers this as an additional service.

For more information on Tegrabond® tapes and dispensers, contact Southgate® on 01553 69 29 69 or email sales@southgate.eu.com.

You can also visit our Youtube channel to find out more.

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