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Duct tape

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Duct tape, in the USA, is a strong, fabric-based, multi-purpose pressure-sensitive adhesive tape. It is generally silver or black in color but many other colors and transparent tapes have recently become available. With a standard width[citation needed] of 1.88 inches (48 mm), duct tape was originally developed during World War II in 1942 as a waterproof sealing tape for ammunition cases.[1][2] Permacel, then a division of Johnson & Johnson, used a rubber-based adhesive to help the tape resist water and a fabric backing to facilitate ripping. Because of these properties, it was also used to quickly repair military equipment, including jeeps, guns, and aircraft. Duct tape is also called "100 mph tape" in the military [3], due to the fact that soldiers often refer to something that exceeds expectations as "High Speed."

After the war, the housing industry boomed and people started using duct tape for many other purposes. The name "duct tape" came from its use on heating and air conditioning ducts, a purpose for which it, ironically, has been deemed ineffective. To provide lab data about which sealants and tapes last, and which are likely to fail, research was conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Their major conclusion is that one should use anything but duct tape to seal ducts. (They defined duct tape as any fabric-based tape with rubber adhesive.) The testing done shows that under challenging but realistic conditions, duct tapes fail.[4] Its use in ducts has been prohibited by the state of California[5] and by building codes in most other places in the U.S. However, metalized and aluminum tapes used by professionals are still often called "duct tapes."

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