Fastest adhesive tapes ever over ice

Paul Boughton
Amy Williams gold medal in the women’s skeleton at the recent Vancouver games - Britain’s first solo Winter Olympics gold medal for 30 years – is a triumph of skill, athleticism, dedication and technology.  

Hurtling down the ice track at speeds approaching 80 mph with Amy on her very high tech sled were several metres of tesa tapes bringing the indisputable accolade as the fastest adhesive tapes ever over ice at this event.
With 0.10 sec separating competitors, sled comfort and dynamics are absolutely critical. Grip on the sled at the start of the run coupled with comfort and aerodynamics during the slide are essential.
Many parts of the sleds used by the British bob skeleton team employ tesa 4651, a premium acrylic paste coated cloth tape, to optimise performance. On the special grade mild steel ‘saddle’, the part that the athlete holds onto at the start of the run, it provides a reliable grip on various surfaces ranging from powder coated polymer, zinc or spray paint finishes.   It is also used to fasten different types of foam padding on the top of the sled where the athlete lies.  On the underside of the sled known as the bellypan, which can be made from carbon fibre sheet or grp and finished in gel-coat, lacquer or paint,  it is used to optimise air flow and hence speed, by covering the holes where the runners fit. Most athletes also use the tape along the edges of the sled where the bellypan meets the padding, again to enhance aerodynamics.
Based on a 148 woven rayon fabric and natural rubber adhesive tesa 4651 is a 310 µm thick very strong cloth tape that is suitable for a multitude of applications. 

Offering high adhesion on smooth and rough surfaces, excellent tensile strength of 100 N/cm and temperature resistance up to 130⁰C, users benefit from straight tear edges and conformability. It can be written on and is offered in a wide choice of colours.

Main applications include bundling of heavy pipes and profiles, covering holes, cable marking, cable insulation, labelling, colour coding, airtight sealing, sealing tins and tubes as well as protecting sharp edges.
Jeremy Smith UK Marketing Manager for tesa UK who has sponsored the British bob skeleton team for the past four year’s tesa said: “It’s pretty special be involved with an Olympic gold medal winning team. And of course it proves that our tape product can deliver in one of the most demanding and competitive applications in the world.”

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