ELi5 – how Bondage Tape works

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Bondage tape is amazing!! It sticks to itself, but nothing else, and you can unstick & restock it multiple times without it losing grip! How does bondage tape work, scientifically? How does it manage to stick only to itself & unstick? I’m imagining it microscopically looking like velcro.
I know how to use it contextually [; I just don’t understand the science behind the grip. Thank you!

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Not velcro, I believe it’s just static cling, and something called hydrophobic interactions/London Dispersion Forces/Van der Waals interactions. It’s the same principle that cling wrap works on: like sticks to like.

What does any of that mean? The reason oil and water don’t mix is they both have different kind of inter-molecular interactions. Water is what is called a polar compound, while oil (and most other hydrocarbons) are very much nonpolar. Because oil isn’t polar, it is what is called hydrophobic, or water fearing. The bonding forces that oils and other hydrocarbons use to interact are the ones I mentioned before, called Van der Waals interactions or London Dispersion Forces. These can be quite strong too, and without them you wouldn’t be alive.

So what does all this mean? You are a water based organism, that’s why you are. ~70% water by weight. So a material which uses hydrophobic interactions to stick to itself won’t stick to you!

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Do you mean friction tape? Years ago i worked at a job where we were issued a roll with our company supplied tools. We used it to make a more ergonomic grip for the handle of the scraper that we used so as to prevent hand fatigue.

That said, this tape had no adhesive on it, but if you wrapped it tight, the friction from the 2 surfaces trying to move across one another kept them “bonded” together. And with friction happening with each layer, the tape tended to stay stuck together. Fascinating stuff.

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