Photo by Diana Polekhina
Originally Posted On: The Importance of Medical Tape Converting | PolarSeal
The phrase ‘tape converting’ is thrown around a lot in the medical industry –but what does it really mean?
Let us help you break down the ‘ins and outs’ of medical tape converting.
What is Medical Tape Converting?
Tape conversion is the act of altering a flexible adhesive material or medical-grade tape to different forms, styles or uses to solve a specific medical problem as there is no one-shape-fits-all rule when it comes to medical tape.
For instance, at its simplest level, the humble plaster uses tape converting – the process of fitting the adhesive to the task of a basic wound care product.
Why is medical tape converting so important?
To the general public, the tape is that roll that’s stuck in the back of a drawer that doesn’t really need to come out until Christmas or birthday presents need wrapping. Or maybe it’s sitting on the top row of your toolbox for a DIY fix, like applying duct tape to a leaky drain.
While a handyman may use tape as the first line of defence against a faucet – medical tape is so crucial to healthcare workers, acting as the first line of defence in the business of life-saving.
Because people’s lives and futures are in the hands of medical professionals, this tape can’t simply wear down after a use or two like your average piece of tape – nor can it be an all-purpose, powerful sealant like duct tape or electrical tape.
Medical adhesives must walk a fine line and be used in a plethora of different ways to facilitate healing and ensure cleanliness.
Therefore, medical tape converting needs to involve a tailored process that accounts for the exact requirements of medical workers and the specific application that a medical tape will be used for.
How is medical adhesive tape converted for different uses?
Tape converting is an art requiring a skilled and knowledgeable team to create a high-quality medical adhesive (or surgical tape) that’s tailored toward a specific purpose and function.
Most medical products require adhesive tape, for example, if someone is wearing electro-medical equipment to take measurements of their body’s performance, they are going to need a medical tape that will withstand heat and sweat while also being breathable to ensure that the skin isn’t damaged by a suffocating product.
Similarly, if a doctor has prescribed that a wound cannot be exposed to water, there must be a different conversion for medical silicone tape that allows absolutely no moisture through.
On a high level, medical adhesive tape conversion involves selecting the right tape material as well as the right adhesive material for the desired purpose before being cut and fabricated into a final ready-to-use product (specifically sized rolls, and die-cut or slit tape). For the medical industry, this is a highly controlled process with strict manufacturing, sterility, and quality standards to adhere to.
Types of medical adhesive tape
There is a variety of medical tapes that are useful for different purposes in the healthcare field.
Having the right type of medical adhesive tape is important when it comes to applying the tape to particular surfaces.
Medical tapes come in all sizes and materials, from paper-based tape and clear tape to cloth tape, elastic tape and even hypoallergenic tape. Other examples are:
Your desired medical application will determine the type of tape you will need – that being said, it can be tricky to know where to start.
Uses for medical adhesive tape:
Surgical tape or medical tape is useful for a variety of different reasons in the healthcare field.
Specific types of medical tape provide different benefits and functionality based on their composition.
Some medical tapes are better for dressing wounds, whilst others might be best suited for attaching medical devices and tubing to the body.
Even athletes benefit from a specific type of tape to ensure they don’t strain themselves or provoke existing injuries.
Let’s find out more about some use case examples for medical tape below.
Medical tape use case examples:
- Wound Care: Bandaging, dressing and caring for wounds
- Medical care: attaching tubing and wearable medical devices to the body.
- Athletics: Stabilize injuries and prevent tissue damage.
Why do you need a high-quality medical adhesive that’s suitable/safe for your skin
Unlike regular old Sellotape or Duct tape, medical adhesives and medical tapes come into contact with our skin whenever we use them.
This means that making medical-grade adhesive tape into something skin-friendly is key to perfecting tape converting in healthcare – this makes tape conversion in the medical industry a highly skilled and precise process.
Contact PolarSeal for high-quality medical tape manufacturing
PolarSeal’s precision and experience in this field is a massive benefit for partners and distributors. We work with a variety of supply partners such as 3M and Avery Dennison and manufacture all products in our ISO7 certified cleanrooms.
We know that there is no simple solution to medical adhesive TAPE CONVERSION – each must be made to fit the specific situation for which it is required. To this end, we have dedicated teams working on tape converting for each bespoke product, as well as an R&D prototype department to develop and test out new surgical films.