Rubber tape edge sealant: application, advantages and disadvantages
Rubber tape edge sealant is an adhesive tape which is commonly used in solar PV modules.
Edge sealant in Solar PV
Edge sealants are used for thin film and crystalline silicon PV modules. It helps in delaying moisture ingress, which protects cells, connections, and conductive oxide coatings from corrosion and degradation. Edge sealants also strengthen the electrical isolation for PV modules. The many advances in sealing systems help PV manufacturers in finding ways to reduce costs and improve the protections of cells. Sealants have many forms which can be used, including liquid and tape forms.
Edge sealants are required to provide the following properties to the solar PV modules:
- Very low MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate)
- Reliable bonding throughout a range of temperatures and conditions
- Easy manufacturing process
- UV temperature degradation resistance
- Good adhesion properties.
Rubber tape edge sealant
It is a non-tacky silicone-rubber tape that is used for adhesion or protection of materials. Rubber tapes are used in many areas like providing protection and electrical insulation layer for different equipment like cables and electrical joints.
Rubber tape is resistant to heat, weather and sunlight. In solar module manufacturing, it is widely used as a sealant due to its mainly good mechanical properties, impact resistance, high adhesion properties, and relatively cheap cost. It is used during manufacturing, installation and normal operation of PV modules for mounting, adhesion and sealing requirements for modules.
Advantages and disadvantages of using rubber tape edge sealant
Rubber sealing tape meets the demand of a wide variety of difficult sealing applications. It can be used for oversealing of an existing joint or penetration, normal sealing applications which are typically done with a gasket, or liquid sealant/adhesive. The rubber sealant tape is flexible, durable, and abrasion resistant. It is also conformable which helps create an effective seal over contours, edges rivets, and edges. Rubber tape also has good moisture resistance and as an edge sealant primarily prevents moisture ingress and protects components besides insulation splices and connections in electrical components.
The rubber tape is susceptible to cuts and abrasion as it has low tear resistance. This disadvantage is increased because the rubber tape is wrapped while stretched, and stays under internal tension. Yet, these same properties, make tape removal when needed clean and easy.