Used widely across the electrical industry, electrical tapes - also sometimes known as phasing tape - are a simple to use and cost effective way of protecting users whilst handling electrical equipment and also can be used for labelling wires and connectors.
Here at Cromwell, we offer a wide range of electrical tapes from our trusted, exclusive brand Avon as well as national brands 3M, Advance Tapes, HellermannTyton and many more.
Electrical tapes are a type of adhesive tape specifically designed for electrical applications. They are typically made of vinyl or rubber materials with various adhesive properties.
They are used to insulate, protect, and secure electrical wires and connections, preventing electrical shocks, short circuits, and damage. This ensures the safety of the user when working with wires.
Electrical tapes are used in any setting whereby electrical current will be passed through the area. This includes on components such as wires and connectors.
There are several types of electrical tapes available, each of which possess key attributes. To help you to find the best one for your needs, we've broken down each type to highlight the basic features of each.
• Vinyl electrical tape - The most common type of electrical tape, it is made of a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) backing with a rubber-based adhesive. Vinyl tapes provide good insulation, flexibility, and conformability. They are widely used for general electrical insulation, wire splicing, bundling, and colour coding.
• Rubber electrical tape - Rubber electrical tape is made from a rubber compound and is highly stretchable and self-fusing. It provides excellent electrical insulation properties and is often used in high-voltage applications, such as splicing high-voltage cables and insulating bus bars.
• Silicone electrical tape - Made of silicone rubber , silicone electrical tape has exceptional resistance to high temperatures, moisture, and chemicals. It is commonly used in applications where heat resistance and sealing properties are required, such as in motors, transformers, and aerospace industries.
By considering these factors, you can select the appropriate electrical tape for your requirements, that provides the necessary insulation, protection, and performance for your specific electrical applications.
• Voltage rating - Check the voltage rating of the tape to ensure it is suitable for the specific electrical application. Different tapes have different voltage ratings, ranging from low voltage to high voltage.
• Insulation properties - Consider the electrical insulation properties of the tape, such as dielectric strength and breakdown voltage. Ensure that the tape meets the necessary insulation requirements for the intended application.
• Backing material - Vinyl, rubber, and silicone are common backing materials for electrical tapes. Each material offers different properties, such as flexibility, stretchability, temperature resistance, and chemical resistance. Choose the appropriate backing material based on the application requirements.
• Adhesive properties - Consider the adhesive strength and bonding characteristics of the tape. Some tapes have aggressive adhesives for better adhesion, while others have low-adhesive properties for easy removal and repositioning.
• Temperature resistance - Evaluate the temperature range the tape will be exposed to. Some tapes are designed to withstand high temperatures, while others may degrade or lose their adhesive properties under extreme heat.
• Moisture and chemical resistance - If the application involves exposure to moisture or chemicals, select tapes with good resistance to these elements. Silicone tapes, for example, offer excellent resistance to moisture and various chemicals.
• Standards and certifications - Check if the tape complies with relevant industry standards and certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards, to ensure safety and performance.
• Colour coding - If colour coding is required for identification or organization purposes, choose tapes that come in a variety of colours to easily distinguish different electrical wires or circuits.
What does each colour of electrical tape mean?
Electrical tape is available in a wide range of colours, all of which can help you to label and identify different wires and connections. When using electrical tape in this way, it is often referred to as phasing tape. Below, we've outlined the most commonly used colours and their meaning.
• Black electrical tape - Black electrical tape is largely only used for the specific application of insulating or protecting wiring and isn't normally used for colour coding or labelling wires.
• White electrical tape - Similarly to black electrical tape, in the UK white tape is not often used for phasing or colour coding applications. It can be used where applicances may have white cord or cables, for a better aesthetic finish. In the US, white phasing tape if often used to signify a low voltage or a neutral wire.
• Red electrical tape - Red electrical tape is most often used in the UK to signify that a wire is 'low voltage, phase A', in the US 'low voltage, phase B'.
• Orange electrical tape - Orange electrical tape is not commonly used in the UK, however it does have its uses in the US and internationally. In the US, orange electrical tape can be used to show that a wire is 'high voltage, phase B' and internationally, it is used to denote the wiring sheath colour.
• Yellow electrical tape - Yellow electrical tape is used in the UK to signify 'low voltage, phase B'. In the US, yellow electrical tape can be used to show 'high voltage, phase C' and internationally it is used to label a wire as 'sheath, 110V site wiring'.
• Green electrical tape - Green electrical tape is commonly used in the UK to label the wire as 'earth'. In the US, green electrical tape can be used to show 'ground'.
• Blue electrical tape - Blue electrical tape is commonly used in both the UK and US to signify 'low voltage, phase C'. Internationally, blue electrical tape means 'low voltage, neutral sheath'.
• Purple electrical tape - Purple electrical tape is not commonly used in the UK, however in the US it is used to signify 'high voltage, phase B'.
• Brown electrical tape - Brown electrical tape is not commonly used in the UK, however in the US it is used to signify 'high voltage, phase A' and 'low voltage, phase A' internationally.
• Grey electrical tape - Grey electrical tape is likewise, not commonly used in the UK, however in the US it is used to signify 'high voltage, neutral' and 'low voltage, phase C' internationally.