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Everything you need to know about duct tape

Everything you need to know about duct tape

Duct tape is one of the essential adhesives you'll see in a house and almost every workshop anywhere. But did you know that duct tape is actually born out of the courage and love of a mother? 

Duct Tape History

duct tape history

In 1940, Vesta Stoudt, an Illinois mother of two Navy Sailors employed by the U.S. Navy, sent a letter to then-President Franklin Roosevelt. She suggested a type of fabric adhesive to seal the boxes of ammunition that won't interfere during the battle and save the people's lives battling for the country. 

Stoudt detailed her proposal where she also allegedly included a hand-sketched diagram. Her suggestion was to fabricate a tape made from strong and water-resistant cloth. Although it's highly impossible to get a response from the President, Stoudt received a response to her letter after two weeks. Her suggestion was forwarded to the military officials and was approved. She was given an "exceptional merit" for her idea. 

Later on, the military assigned Industrial Tape Corporation, a then-Johnson & Johnson operating company, to develop a sturdy cloth with a strong adhesive. Making the adhesive garnered the company an "Army-Navy E-Award." It is an honor given out as a distinction of excellence in the production of war equipment.

According to Margaret Gurowitz, Chief Historian of Johnson & Johnson, the military called this waterproof tape "100-mile-per-hour tape" because they can use it to fix anything. 

And the rest is duct tape history.

Brilliant Uses for Duct Tape

uses of duct tape

Thanks to the legendary stickiness of duct tape, it never runs out of use. From home applications on Earth to the Moon, duct tape is a necessity. Here are some of the brilliant and practical uses of duct tape.

Patch a hose.

If you are looking for a temporary fix to your garden hose or vacuum hose, you may use duct tape. Because of its strong material, it is perfect for the job. 

Hem clothing.

No needles on hand? No worries because you can use duct tape to hem your clothing temporarily! Its strong adhesive can handle a few machines or hand wash, so you don't have to worry if you still can't visit a shop to repair your clothing properly. 

Make a rope.

Another scout idea is making a rope with duct tape. Just twitch several lengths of duct tape into a cord or rope. Its strength can surely help you with an activity!

Add insulation to your boots.

Get extra insoles for your winter boots, then put duct tape on them with the silver side up. It will make your shoes a little bit warmer. 

Remove splinters.

It is because of the stickiness of duct tape that it can remove splinters. Ensure that the skin where the splinter is completely dry, put a strip of duct tape, and quickly yank it off. 

There are a lot more other uses of duct tape. It is indeed one of the essential adhesives that every household should have. 

But the legendary use of duct tape was when it was used in one of NASA's missions. In 1970, duct tape was used to save the lives of astronauts on Apollo 13 during a lunar mission. An oxygen tank exploded in the spacecraft, and the only way to save their lives is to clean the air from CO2 with specific lithium hydroxide canisters. The engineers used duct tape to modify the canisters to be compatible with the openings of the module. Thanks to duct tape, the astronauts came back with no harm done. 

How to Remove Duct Tape Residue

how to remove duct tape residue

Remove duct tape residue swiftly with these simple tips.

Tip 1: Scrape off the adhesive

Get a putty knife or a butter knife to banish the gunk. Start from one end, then move slowly to the other affected areas. Hold the blade parallel to the surface and patiently and carefully wait for the residue to come off. 

You can also use a box cutter as an alternative scraper if you do not have a putty knife. You can use the box cutters for scraping windows, tiles, boxes, concrete, and walls from stickers or paint residue.

Tip 2: Use the warm water technique

This technique is proven effective for surfaces that have a high-gloss finish. Dampen the surface with warm water, and the heat will weaken the structure of the glue. Scrub the surface with a microfiber cloth to get the gunk. 

Tip 3: Dissolve the residue with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is unsuited with most surfaces, especially if painted. Make sure to test it first in a small area before proceeding with the whole application. If the test is successful, cover the gunk with the rubbing alcohol and just let the liquid evaporate to the point that you can easily wipe off the residue.

Tip 4: Get a hairdryer and start scraping it off

This technique is the safest if you don't want any liquid touching the surface. Crank the hairdryer to its highest setting and put it several inches above the residue for a minute or so. Try scraping it off when you see that the residue is easy to wipe.

Tip 5: Apply the Goo Gone solution

The Goo Gone Solution is a lighter fluid that doesn't disappoint and can remove any gunk from any adhesive. 

How to Make Duct Tape Wallet

how to make duct tape wallet

One of the most effective ways to teach children to save money and be practical is to show them how to make a duct tape wallet. You just need three materials for this project - duct tape, scissors, ruler. 

Colorful duct tapes will be perfect for this project, but you can also use classic gray. XFasten has different duct tape colors that you can check below.

Directions:

  1. Create the outside layer by cutting four 10-inch strips of duct tape to adhere to one another. You may stick the duct-tape strips to one another in a row, with a 1/2 overlap.
  2. Prepare another set of 10-inch strips of duct tape to stick to the sticky part of the first sheet.
  3. Cut another strip of duct tape to put at the edge of the sheets. Adhere the edges to separate strips, then fold the strip to make a smooth, clean finished edge.
  4. Fold the sheet in half. Then tear two 1″ x 4″ duct-tape strips and attach one to each end. Fold them over the sides of the wallet, and trim the excess.
  5. To create small pockets, cut two 5-inch duct tape strips to adhere to one another. Add the pocket to the inside of the wallet. 

This DIY duct tape wallet is super easy to do, and it will be a great way to bond with your children. Let them know the importance of repurposing things around the house. 

Next article How to test the adhesive strength of tape

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