How Is Duck Tape So Strong? 🐥

Henry Belcaster
Henry Belcaster
3 min read

Morning Durd!

Hey hey hey, what’s up buddy?

You’re excited for another day of Smart Nonsense learning?

Me too :)

Let’s get you ready to go..


Say, how is duck tape so strong anyway?

If you missed our the invention of duck tape newsletter, let’s get some brass tacks out of the way:

  • Duck tape was invented in 1942 – WWII
  • The US needed a strong tape to seal wooden ammunition boxes
  • It had to be waterproof like a duck’s back

Okay, now bring back Durd. It’s time to learn why it’s so strong.

Poor fellow, lol.

Let’s zoom in on his mouth:


Now, there’s 3 components that make this stuff so strong.

Obviously there’s a layer of adhesive:

This is what gives duck tape its stickiness.

Then, there’s the silver, waterproof duck backing.

This is what gives duck tape its signature waterproofing.

But in the middle of these two layers is where the magic happens.

See, this is a scrim:

It’s a thin layer of woven cotton that distributes forces evenly across the tape.

It increases the tape’s tensile strength – basically the amount you can pull on the tape before it breaks.

Poor durd can’t win today.

So how is it so easy to tear duck tape then?

Well, that middle cloth layer – the scrim – is a woven like this:

And it takes almost no effort to tear against its grain!

Stay Cute,
Henry & Dylan 🌈

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