Tape for marine applications robust and maintenance free

Louise Smyth

The adverse conditions in marine applications present a challenge to boat owners and operators who have to contend with the effects of both salt and fresh water on moveable metal fittings. If left unchecked, rust and corrosion can cause excessive wear leading to early replacement or seizure.

As space is at a premium on sailing craft or canal boats, horizontal sliding hatches are used in place of a traditional door with hinges.  This provides sufficient headroom to come up onto the main deck, and provide protection against the ingress of water.

These hatches slide on metal runners attached to the roof of the cabin.  As these runners are exposed to the elements, they need to be well lubricated or forced use can cause gouges or sticking to occur affecting the movement of the hatch. Polyurethane sealant and petroleum jelly are often used in conjunction with standard teak wood, but provide only a temporary solution, as dirt, sand and other debris can build up on the runners.

A solution to overcome this problem is using iglidur B160 tribo-tape over the runners. This robust polymer tape offers a low sliding resistance, and is highly wear resistant with good noise dampening properties. Because it is self-lubricating, it is maintenance free and therefore will not cause the runners to stick – even if the hatch has remained closed for a long period of time. In addition, as the tape in black in colour it can be used in installations where it is visible and aesthetics are a concern.

The tribo-tape is easy to cut with scissors and supplied in reels, with or without a self-adhesive backing. Two standard widths are available, 100 or 120mm, although any width of up to 500mm can be special ordered.  The standard parts have a thickness of 0.5mm (without the adhesive backing) and 1.0mm for the 500mm wide tapes. Custom die cut parts are available, whether as a specially tailored by-the-metre product or freely designed prefabricated parts, from one-offs to high-volumes.

Recent Issues