What Is Sealing Tape B?

A problem with the way in which we organize many business, commercial and industrial activities these days is that a lot of jargon has crept in which is somewhat arcane to the uninitiated. Take the following example for instance:-

You have recently started work in the Procurement Department of a telephone company and one of your jobs is to take the purchase requisitions (PR) sent in from the linemen and find the best source for whatever it is that they want purchased for their use. One day, you get a PR for 100 rolls of Sealing Tape B – which is something that you have never heard of and have no idea what it is – let alone what sizes it might come in. You can simply copy these words onto an official request for quotation (RFQ) and send it blindly to any number of approved suppliers.

Many suppliers will simply ignore you; others might come back and ask you what it is that you want to do with this Sealing Tape B? It is unlikely that, on your own, you will chance upon anyone who can make you an offer on this “stuff”.

In desperation, you contact the lineman who issued the PR and he (possibly in a sarcastic tone) informs you that he must have rolls of self adhesive, high track, conductive butyl rubber which comes in standard rolls about 1 ½ inch wide by around 15 feet long. This is what he uses to seal the ends of telephone cables and around terminals in order to prevent the ingress of water.

Maybe he could have been more descriptive in his PR but, Sealing Tape B is what he and his colleagues have always called this “stuff” (although they might sometimes say “B-sealing tape” – i.e. “B” for butyl). At least now you have a better idea of where to look for Sealing Tape B.

What Is Butyl?

Maybe you do not need to know this in order to buy Sealing Tape B but, many people do like to know at least the basics about something that they have encountered at work. In this respect, butyl is the name that organic chemists give to an elastomeric (rubber) type of polymer derived from butane (actually from either of the two isomers of butane) – from thereon in, it gets complicated.

To keep it simple, the molecules that form butyl compounds can be put together in a number of different ways which, along with selective additives, can give different properties to the final butyl compound. For example, some additives will allow butyl to conduct electricity and it is this property that you want when looking for Sealing Tape B.

Engineered Materials Inc. is a stockist and converter of many kinds of butyl sealing tapes including self adhesive sealing tape. To send them an RFQ or browse their product line, navigate to engineeredmaterialsinc.com.

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