A variety of rigid adhesive strapping tape is used widely for the prevention and conservative management of musculoskeletal injuries. There is limited information regarding intrinsic mechanical properties of different brands of tape and no information is available about the effect of storage temperature on these mechanical properties. Hence, comparison of intrinsic mechanical properties of currently available tape is required to assist consumers in the selection of tape storage conditions according to specific mechanical properties of tape. Six adhesive rigid tapes commonly available in Australia were selected. Two configurations of tape were tested to mimic an ankle strapping configuration. All testing was conducted in a climate and humidity controlled laboratory. At initial testing, eight samples of each configuration, of each tape were loaded-to-failure using a densitometer. A roll of each tape was then stored for 1 month under two conditions; in the refrigerator and in a sports bag in a car. All tapes were then retested. The intrinsic ability of each configuration to resist vertical tensile force was assessed by measuring tensile load and elongation at failure. Tape stiffness was determined using Young's modulus, the modulus of elasticity. Significant differences in tensile load and elongation to failure existed at initial testing and after storage when comparing different tapes. Significant changes in mechanical properties also occurred within tapes when comparing initial and post storage measures. To ensure tape quality is maintained, further research is needed to establish if the intrinsic mechanical properties of tape alter on-field tape performance and to determine how environmental and climatic storage variables influence the physical and chemical components of tape to enable selection of optimal storage conditions to maximise on-field performance.
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