Box-sealing tape, parcel tape or packing tape is a pressure-sensitive tape used for closing or sealing corrugated fiberboard boxes. It consists of a pressure-sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material which is usually a polypropylene or polyester film which is oriented to have strength in both the long (machine) direction and the cross direction.
The Philadelphia, PA tape is most often used as a closure for regular slotted containers (RSCs). A “single strip” or “center seam” closure is applied over the center seams of a box extending 50–75 mm (2–3 inches) onto the end panels.
The Philadelphia, PA tape can be used as a “six-strip” closure or “H-seal” by applying cross strips on the ends of the box. This is used when a relatively weak tape is used or when extra box reinforcement is needed. This method also seals the box to help keep contaminants out.
This Philadelphia, PA tape has also been used by artists (E.g.Mark Jenkins) as a way to create molds of objects, as the strength of the tape allows for a strong shell for the mold when completed.
The tape can be applied manually with a stationary dispenser but is more often applied with a hand-held tape dispenser: this allows the user to more efficiently place the tape on the box, cut it off, and rub it down.
Automated machinery for application of tape to high-speed lines is also common.