The most common acrylic adhesives in the self-adhesive tape industry are solvent-based acrylics and water-based acrylics. It is common for the differences between these two types of acrylics to be unclear when choosing an adhesive tape.
Solvent-based acrylic adhesives are acrylic polymers in petroleum-based solvents. The advantage of solvent-based adhesives is their strength, toughness and durability over time. It is true that they provide superior shear and peel resistance than water-based adhesives, however, their solvents make them highly polluting. They are also more expensive than water-based adhesives.
Water-based acrylic adhesives, also called emulsion, dispersion, solvent-free or water-based adhesives, use water to separate their adhesive molecules. When the water evaporates, strong bonds are formed. One of the main advantages of water-based adhesives is that they are environmentally friendly due to their low volatile organic compound (VOC) content and are an economically viable alternative to solvent-based adhesives.
It is for that reason that the market has shifted the trend to water-based adhesives versus solvents in order to minimize the impact of pollutants.
In summary: water-based acrylic adhesives are very versatile, environmentally friendly, more economical and therefore an exceptional choice when choosing a technical adhesive tape.