HVAC UL® tapes

ABI Tape; yearlong expertise in UL® tapes

Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is a large global test lab that certifies over 19,000 different products for safety and performance before manufacturers market and sell their products around the world.
Carrying a UL-listing or UL designation means that the product has been tested to a specific safety and/or performance standard. The vast majority of safety and performance standards were created by ASTM International.
ASTM International is a global company and leader in the development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards (over 12.000 standards are being used around the world).  
UL then tests and validates, following the manufacturers application, the presented products to these ASTM standards.
Other standards created by other companies, like e.g. BSI, DIN SAE, ANSI, etc., may also be included in the UL testing.
The many different UL numbers each represent a different material, application and test requirement.

Within the realm of UL (tape) listings, a whole variety of subcategories exists.

For HVAC the most important are:
  • UL181A-P for rigid ducts
  • UL181B-FX for flexible ducts
  • UL723 as a subcategory for flame/smoke ratings


UL Standard

UL 181A-P

UL 181A-P is a listing for a PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) tape product that has to meet very specific criteria and references (from ANSI) and several ASTM test methods such as:
  • Tensile strength
  • Minimum Adhesions
  • Mold and humidity resistance
  • Shear values
  • Burns tests for flame/smoke ratings
  • Temp/pressure cycling tests in assembly
  • Backing type with release liner (only a 2-mil dead soft 100% aluminum backing or an aluminum alloy (99% aluminum and 1% nickel, iron, magnesium) can be used as the backing and it must be on a release liner)
  • Roll widths

UL 181B-FX

UL 181B-FX is the standard for HVAC tapes used to seam, seal and join Class 1 Flex Duct.

Products meeting this listing are required to meet a minimum width of 1.825 inches, and can be made from a variety of materials such as foil, film or cloth.

UL723

UL723 - as a subcategory – implies that every tape carrying one of the above listings, also has a UL723 classification.

This classification is specifically intended for tapes who will be used in constructions where flame and smoke ratings are important.
A tape certified as meeting UL181A-P is used to seal rigid fiberglass ductwork/duct board and is typically sold as 6.35cm x 30 meter rolls. Whereas a product that meets UL181B-FX is typically used for class 1 flex duct and connections and sold in a variety of widths but typically in 110 meter lengths. A UL181A-P certified product is always certified to UL181B-FX and often carries the designation UL181A-P/B-FX. ABI Tape has both UL181A-P and UL181B-FX certified tapes. 
Steiner Tunnel
Steiner Tunnel
Steiner Tunnel flame behavior
UL iconic Steiner tunnel for testing tapes flame behavior

The difference between listing and classified

Every word has its own meaning. Also here, like any definition, every designation carries its own meaning.

UL Listed

UL Listing means that UL has tested representative samples of a product and determined that the product meets specific, defined requirements.
This can be easily recognized by the UL® trademark and UL file number for this product, printed on the tape.

UL Classified

UL Classified products have been evaluated only for specific properties, a limited range of hazards or suitability for use under limite conditions. If a product is Classified by UL, this can mean its testing meets the particular requirements for a single test with a published result but has nothing to do with all the other tests that may form part of a Standard (i.e., UL 181).

UL (723) Rated

UL 723 Surface Burning Characteristic of Building Materials test is a standard of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that measures the burning properties, or fire resistance, of building materials that may be exposed to flames.
Also try our Tape Matcher – here you filter at your own leisure through all our products, by selecting criteria that are important for your application.

FAQ

  • What does UL classified mean?
    • UL classified means the product has only been evaluated for specific properties or for use under certain conditions. UL certified products should only be used in certain situations.
  • What do UL numbers mean?
    • The UL number refers to the standard against which the product has been tested by UL.
  • What does UL listed mean?
    • UL Listing means that UL has tested representative samples of a product and determined that the product meets specific, defined requirements. This can be easily recognized by the UL® trademark and UL file number for this product, printed on the tape.
  • What are two types of UL certification?
    • There are two different categories: UL Listed and UL Classified.
  • How do you know if something is UL approved? Check the label!
    1. Look for the UL trademark!
    2. Right under the UL trademark, the word LISTED or CLASSIFIED will appear in all capital letters.
    3. Under LISTED/CLASSIFIED you will find what the product is.
    4. Most importantly, under the product identity is the control or issue number.
  • What is the difference between UL Listed and UL classified?
    • UL listed means the product passes all of UL's requirements under the applicable Standard. Thus, the product can bear the official UL Listed mark. UL classified means the product has only been evaluated for specific properties, with regard to a limited range of hazards, or for use under certain conditions.
  • Why UL listed tapes?
    • When a product is UL-listed, it means that the global safety certification company UL has confirmed that the product is safe for use and confirm to the standard it is tested against.
  • External info about the UL Certification Standards:

Questions? Get in touch with our product specialist directly!

Robrecht Van Vaerenbergh | Business Unit Manager | Technical, HVAC & double sided products
phone +32 55 23 51 58 | mobile +32 472 22 41 76 | mail robrecht.vanvaerenbergh@abitape.eu