Electrical tape is a pressure-sensitive tape which is used to insulate electrical wires or other materials that conduct electricity. Electrical tape is supplied in rolls and is quite often referred to as insulation tape, electrical insulation tape, insulating tape or PVC tape.
Electrical tapes are abrasion resistant, flame retardant and help provide protection against dust, dirt, moisture, acids, UV radiation and solvents. They have an adhesive backing making them easy to apply to a cable.
Electrical tape is available in assorted colours to not only aid colour coding of wires by masking them but to also indicate the phase and the voltage level of the wire (phasing tape). There are many colours of insulating tape to choose from which include, black, blue, green, yellow, green/yellow, grey, brown, white and red.
Black tape is generally used for insulation purposes by electricians and for low voltage neutral usage. In the UK green/yellow tape is used to indicate protective earth, brown tape to indicate low voltage live wires and blue tape is to indicate low voltage neutral wires.
There are a wide variety of electrical tapes available depending on the application they are required for. Electrical tapes differ on how they perform in relation to their ability to withstand extreme temperatures, insulation resistance and dielectric breakdown. They vary in widths and thicknesses, backing materials and colours.
The most popular material for electrical tape is vinyl but they can also be made of many other types of plastic such as PVC. Vinyl is an ideal choice for electrical tape as it stretches well and provides long-lasting electrical wiring insulation.
Conductive tapes are made from a copper foil with a conductive adhesive. They are used to shield all different types of electrical connections plus rebuild strand and insulation shields on high-voltage splices.
Glass cloth tapes high a very high mechanical strength and can withstand high temperatures. They have excellent absorption of varnishes and resins.
An electrical antistatic tape can be used near electronic components and assemblies. They generate little voltage when removed helping to prevent any ESD damage. You can find further information about the different types of electrical tape in our comprehensive guide.
Electrical tape is used by engineers in electrical installation, electrical maintenance and automotive repair.