22 July 2015
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When it’s performance that counts

The Hangar 111 race team has it taped

From motor racing to modern pentathlon – right up to the pinnacle of sports, the Olympics – adhesive tapes are being selected to improve performance and assist competitors.

As a sponsor of the British Skeleton team for a number of years, tapes specialist tesa has supported athletes in an event where speeds of up to 140 kilometres per hour and forces of up to 5G are regularly encountered. At that level of performance every second counts and tesa 4651 tape has played an important part in the athlete's grip during the vital start sequence and to assist the skeleton's aerodymanic performance.

This is a sport in which Britain has recently won World Championship events and Olympic Gold.The tesa 4651 acrylic coated cloth tape used by the Skeleton team provides high adhesion and good tensile strength where it is used on the handles of the special grade mild steel saddle to provide a reliable grip on various surfaces ranging from powder coated polymer, zinc or spray paint finishes.

The British Skeleton team uses a coated cloth tape on parts of the sledsThe tape is also used to fasten different types of foam padding on the top of the saddle where the athlete lies. On the bellypan, typically made from carbon fibre sheet or GRP and finished in gel-coat, lacquer or paint, it is used to optimise airflow and speed in general, by covering the holes where the runner fits.It also assists in the 'push' start which requires a 20 to 30 metre sprint before the competitor dives aboard.

In motor sport too, the durability and performance of tesa tapes is contributing to success.In this sector tesa supplies a significant amount of single-sided medium density black PVC foam tape where its gap-filling capacity is used to good effect in protecting against dust, weather and air ingress.he company's duct tapes and fleece cable harnessing tapes have excellent adhesion – across a wide range of applications, including effecting emergency repairs on race fairings or bodywork and locating wiring clusters.

The Hangar 111 race team has made extensive use of a premium acrylic paste coated cloth tape both in cosmetic and practical applications. Black 4651 tape has been used on the interior of race cars, completing the very low glare matt black finish which is important in the drivers peripheral vision when concentration is paramount.The raw edges of the bulkheads between the passenger compartment and the engine bay were sealed with the tape and numerous incidental but important details such as wiring wraps and the retained wiring in the driver's footwell also employs the black tape for an effective and tidy result.

Bonding to the carbon fibre race seats is notoriously difficult, however, the same tesa tape was highly effective in attaching foam pads which give the driver a more comfortable ride. It was also noticeable that when the tape was removed, clean down was very quick and easy.

In addition, the product showed its versatility across a range of temporary and semi-permanent repairs, including quick fixes for coolant hoses and some bodywork repairs using the white version to deal with damage caused by a straying competitor.

Michael O'Brien is ranked as one of the best down-hill riders in the countryIn the demanding environment of downhill biking, riders are finding the value of tesa 54994 self-adhesive tapes which give permanent protection against abrasion, corrosion and stone chipping, contributing both to performance and aesthetics.he film was developed specifically for external applications in the automotive industry and is highly effective on painted surfaces, helping to maintain team colours and sponsor logos.

Adhesive tapes are even used by Britain's Olympic Modern Pentathlon team and once again the company is proud to be an official sponsor. The company is providing 4651 double sided tape to secure pistes for the fencing discipline as the athletes compete in events around the UK. The tape was introduced at the second national rankings event in Somerset recently and is used to hold the pistes in place.

tesa's UK marketing manager, Jeremy Smith, says the link between the tapes and performance sports is an important one for the company. "The demanding environments presented by top-class sport are the ultimate proving ground for our products. International and performance sports competitors demand products that work at the highest level and that's what our tapes do – we're delighted to be helping so many British sportsmen and women to achieve their goals."

Paul Gay

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