How To Test Your Tapes - ZINC OXIDE

June 27, 2019 3 min read

Zinc Oxide tapes are an essential in any tapers medical bag. They form the foundation for most supportive applications and are heavily relied upon.

This blog post will help you choose the best Zinc Oxide tape for your club. We take into consideration the properties of the tape, performance and value for money.

Discover how to test the following and why they matter.

  • Tensile Strength & Stretch
  • Rip
  • Adhesion
  • Peel
  • Malleability


Zinc oxide tapes are used to immobilize, restrict range of motion, and provide support of a ligament or muscle. Consequently, they must withstand considerable force; up-to 4 x body weight.


A rough and ready test is to try and pull the tape apart by hand. Be careful to apply even pressure and see if you can stretch and rip the tape.

They should have absolutely NO STRETCH, you shouldn't even notice the smallest movement.

  • Zinc Oxide White is a lighter more malleable cotton fabric so it will rip by hand under considerable force
  • Zinc Oxide Tan is impossible to rip by hand. The man-made rayon fabric will withstand up to 200lbs of pressure.


It's crucial that Zinc Oxide tapes can be be ripped by hand easily and quickly. When you have a full changing room of players to tape, time is of the essence and scissors will only slow you down.


Check to see if the roll has a serrated edge. This makes the tape much easier to rip and allows for quick and convenient applications.

See how easily and neatly it can be torn, and if the edge is neat after you have done so. It should feel quick and crisp, leaving minimal fraying and require little effort.


Don't be mistaken. It's not a simple equation; stickier or more glue, doesn't equal a better tape.

A good glue should:

  • Be sticky but not overly aggressive (minimize skin irritation)
  • Be breathable (this improves longevity & reduces irritation)
  • Be hypoallergenic
  • Leave minimal or no residue on removal.


BREATHABILITY -Hold the tape up to the light. Visually, the layer of glue should be smooth and consistent, without any patches of excess or missing glue.

ADHESION -The glueshould feel tacky, stick quickly and strong. We would recommend performing an Ankle Lock to assess the performance.

RESIDUE & GLUE QUALITY - Fold the tape onto itself and try peeling it apart. It should be difficult but the adhesive should remain on the cloth and not separate from the fabric.


Overlook this at your peril. When you've got to perform multiple applications, a nice peel is a real forearm saver.


Peel the tape away from the roll it should come off the roll smoothly and with moderate resistance all the way down to the core.This makes it easier to apply your application with the same tension and use also use the entirety of the roll.


You want a tape that conforms to the body, making it easier to handle and ultimately more comfortable for your athlete.


Check the shear; peel a little tape from the roll and hold it vertically and taught in one hand whilst holding the roll in your other hand.

Check the sheer by moving your lower hand from side to side. You are looking for the point when the tape starts to fold and crease. Malleable Zinc Oxide tapes will allow for around 20-30 degrees of movement before creasing.

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