Shale-Inland, 3M Launch Laser Tape Line


NEW YORK – Shale-Inland LLC and 3M Co. have launched a family of protective laser tapes for the metal fabrication market.

Unlike traditional tapes, “the unique combination of film and adhesive in (the product) helps prevent ballooning, edge shredding and other problems associated with laser cutting,” the companies said Monday.

The family of tapes is the first product to result from a commercialization agreement signed by the two companies in December (AMM, Dec. 13).

The move also comes as an exclusive distribution agreement between Shale-Inland subsidiary Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc. and Japan’s Nitto Denko Corp., a supplier of high-end protective tape, is set to end, market sources told AMM.

“We think Nitto is a fine company and we continue to sell their product at this time, but we’re very happy to have an American partner for the high-end quality of the (protective tape) spectrum,” said Craig Bouchard, chief executive officer of Schiller Park, Ill.-based Shale-Inland.

Nitto did not respond to a request for comment.

That the new line of tapes will be manufactured domestically is a positive, particularly when it comes to lead times, said Shale-Inland and St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M.

Market participants expressed some concern about the new product’s water-based nature as “water-based products are usually not as stable as solvent-based products,” according to one East Coast source.

But Shale-Inland said it has “solved those problems” with the new tape.