In times of distress when things may appear to be tearing about or need holding together, the only tape can come to our rescue. There are tons of items that may need a tape for varying purposes.
For instance, you may need to seal a small tear in the electrical wires. Or, you may need a tape for packing the cutlery into boxes when you are relocating. The examples are countless. However, the crux of the matter is that different situations call for different tapes, which brings us to the essential question of the difference between a PVC tape and electrical tape.
Or, are they the same thing? To begin with, let’s note what each of these is and what are they commonly used for.
What are PVC and electrical tape?
Electrical tape is an insulating tape that is commonly used to wrapping piping and electrical wire. It is made of slightly stretchy material. The tape has a pressure sensitive rubber-type adhesive too.
Electrical tape mainly comes in two types. These include PVC and vinyl. However, vinyl is the more popular version of the electrical tape. In a sense, you can think of vinyl as synonymous with electrical tape.
Therefore, when we are talking about the similarity and differences between PVC tape and electrical tape, we are, mainly, comparing PVC and vinyl tapes.
Essentially, both the kinds of tapes help with similar purposes. However, they are differences between the two, so you can’t just say that PVC tape is the same as electrical tape.
What are they used for?
Electrical tape has good insulating properties. Therefore, it is good for protecting wire splices. It can also be used for providing extra insulation to electrical cords. If you quickly look up PVC tapes, you will see that they help with insulating electrical applications.
The difference is that it is made of a popular plastic known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Consequently, it showcases some valuable features such as long-lasting stickiness and good insulation. The tape can also tolerate temperatures well. This means that it works efficiently in temperatures below 80 degrees Celsius.
You may think that electrical tape comes only in black coloring. However, there are several options for Colored PVC. This means that you can get the tape in different colors such as red, blue, orange, and so on.
Comparative sketch of PVC and electrical tape
While vinyl and PVC electrical tapes may come in handy in similar situations, they show some differences too. For instance, they have different tolerance to the cold weather and their weather resistance also varies.
PVC cold-weather tape is often suitable for outdoor use. The tough layering of the PVC exhibits good potential against all kinds of physical abuse such as metal corrosion, different weather conditions, and abrasion.
Such durability makes PVC cold-weather electrical tape good for wrapping underground and outdoor piping. On the other hand, vinyl cold-weather taping is waterproof. At the same time, it is durable. Both these properties make it best for outdoor use. However, when it comes to physical abuse, PVC takes the winner’s trophy.
Similarly, diving into the cold-weather tolerance, both the tapes show significant differences. Electrical tape that is made of vinyl performs well between a temperature range of 15-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means that vinyl electrical tape is not suited for use in the outdoor application when temperatures go below freezing. On the flip side, PVC electrical tape can withstand temperatures when they go below -50 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the heat tolerance of PVC is the same as vinyl electrical tape.
The bottom line in this case, however, is that PVC tape is best suited for cold-weather use in contrast with electrical tape. Lastly, vinyl tape is best for enclosed mechanical and electrical repairs. It stands well in the face of metal corrosion like chemical acid leaks. PVC tape can help too. However, it has better mastery over the outdoor tape-requiring affairs.
Wrapping it up – things to remember
PVC tape is a type of electrical tape that is best fitted for outdoor use due to its durability and weather resistance. What’s important to remember though is that you need to use the right tape when covering up wires.
PVC electrical tapes are made of rubber-based adhesive that helps it stretch. Know that using any other regular tape for holding cables and wires is unsafe and can ante up the odds of a fire outbreak.