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Up until now, I thought dryer tape and foil tape were the same thing. So when I bought the first roll I didn't think too much of it.

The first roll I bought was looked like silvery metallic coloured tape which I assumed was real metal, but while working with it I noticed it was a very slightly translucent if you looked carefully. And that's when I started noticing that it actually felt, handled, folded, crinkled, and cut just like clear packing tape. Except it had a metallic silver colour. It comes on a roll just like normal tape. Maybe it has an adhesive better suited for duct work, I'm not sure. It was labelled as dryer tape. I ended up finding the datasheet and it indeed appears to be plastic tape.

https://images.homedepot.ca/s7viewers/html5/eCatalogViewer.html?config=Scene7SharedAssets/Universal_HTML5_eCatalog&asset=homedepotcanada/TDS_DryerVent_EN_070119-pdf.pdf

Then later I encountered some tape that was clearly made of foil. It looks, feels, and tears like aluminum foil with an adhesive backing that you have to peel off.

Is there a functional difference between the two? Or maybe even a different purpose?

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The issue with non-metallic tape and conduits for dryer vents is static electricity and the accumulation of lint.

Flammability and emission of toxic fumes in the event of a fire is also a reason for using metallic tape.

Code (in my area) prescribes metallic tape for this reason.

Plastic is not allowed. Also, no screws allowed, again due to lint capture.

(I don't see how plastic tape wrapped around fitted metallic piping/conduits -on the outside- would become electrostaticaly charged, so I appreciate doubts around that argument)

Since metallic tape rips easily, and screwing is not allowed, the piping must be supported very well.

Plastic tape would be stronger. If it is fire rated (FR for conduits) then perhaps it could be allowed.

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  • Yes, I actually bought the tape connect (not just seal) a fume extractor nozzle with leverage on it and if it had been the foil tape instead of the plastic stuff I did get, it would just been torn away. So there's a potential difference between tape used for dryers and tape used for other ducting (then again the plastic roll was actually labelled as dryer tape).
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 21, 2020 at 21:15
  • Hmmm. The datasheet says the plastic tape is hand tearable. It certainly doesn't feel hand tearable. I will go and try.
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 21, 2020 at 21:20

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