Kapton has become a proprietary eponym… a brand name which has taken on a more general meaning, going beyond the brand. Hoover, for example, is a brand of vacuum cleaner, yet the word is used today to refer to vacuum cleaners of any brand. Spam, a product and trademark of Hormel Foods Corp for its tinned smoked ham and pork, has taken on a completely different meaning: unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Kapton® is a trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and refers to their brand of polyimide film. It has more than 35 years of proven performance as a flexible material in applications involving very high (400°C) or very low (-269°C) temperature extremes. It is used in a wide variety of applications such as substrates for flexible printed circuits, transformer and capacitor insulation and bar code labels. Kapton polyimide film has been the basis of our high temperature masking tapes for over 20 years.

However, in recent times, the demand for Kapton has substantially increased, primarily in the rapid growth of flexible circuit applications in electronic devices. I think it is fair to say that there have been supply pressures.

Happily, other manufacturers have been making polyimide films for some years. In order to secure our adhesive tape business against price and delivery problems, we have changed our polyimide film to one which is not Kapton. We did extensive testing prior to this switch, and still retain our proven high performance! We do not believe that our customers will be able to tell the difference.

The data sheet has changed to reflect this; but even we will call it Kapton tape from time to time. That’s what happens with proprietary eponyms!

Kapton dots

Categories: adhesives, epoxies