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What is Thermal Tadpole Tape?

Although the name may be amusing, Thermal Tadpole Tape can be found in many domestic and industrial applications and often you may not even notice it…until you need to replace it! To help with this, AG has put together this guide that explains what tadpole tape is, where it is used, how to measure it and what forms it can be made in.

What is Tadpole Tape?

Generally, tadpole tape is used as a thermal seal for doors and access ports on high temperature equipment such as the door of a domestic combustion heater or an industrial baking oven, furnace or boiler. Thermal Tadpole Tape consists of a bulb and a tail section (see Fig. A below). When the bulb section is compressed under light pressure it forms a thermally insulating seal, while the purpose of the tail section is for fixing the tape in place.Tadpole Tape - Fig. A

Where is it used?

As previously mentioned, there are many applications in which thermal tadpole tape can be found. Wherever there are high temperature environments such as ovens, heaters, furnaces, kilns and boilers there will generally be a door that is sealed with tadpole tape.

Measuring Tadpole Tape.

Before measuring your tadpole tape you must first determine which style of tadpole tape you require (see Fig. B below), there are three main styles. Conventional which features a centered tail, tangential tail which as the name suggest has a tail that is positioned on a tangent and double tail which has a tail on both sides.

Tadpole Tape Style Diagram(Fig. B)


After you have decided on the style, we generally require you to supply us with three measurements, bulb diameter (a) tail length (b) and tail thickness (c).  Figure B shows where to find these three measurements for each style of tape. Please note that standard sizes for bulb diameter and tail thickness do exist and are explained further below, however we are always happy to try to accommodate your specific needs.

What forms of Tadpole Tape can I order from AG?

Because we manufacture our Thermal Tadpole Tape in-house, we are able to provide our customers with a large selection of materials from which we can construct many different styles of Tadpole Tape to meet individual customer specifications. Having said that, for many applications up to 500ºC, our standard fibreglass tadpole tape is often sufficient. This tape consists of a premium grade fibreglass insulation tape wrapped and sewn around a fibreglass rope bulb.

Thermal Grade Fibreglass Tadpole Tape is available in a combination of the range of standard sizes listed below:

Thermal Grade Fibreglass Tadpole Tape Standard Sizes
Bulb Size Tail Length Tail Thickness
6mm 25mm 1.5mm
10mm 30mm 3mm
12mm 40mm 6mm
16mm 50mm
20mm 75mm


As mentioned before however, sometimes more exacting specifications are required of the tape. These can include chemical compatibility, flame resistance,  mechanical strength and other factors that are influenced by the application. AG also has experience manufacturing specialized grades of tadpole tape constructed from a wide range of materials such as:

Bulb Materials: Fibreglass, Stainless Steel/Inconel Mesh, Silicone, Nitrile, EPDM and more

Tail Materials: Fibreglass, Vertex, PTFE Impregnated Fibreglass, Aluminium Foil Coated Fibreglass and more

Tadpole Tape Bulb Materials

Tadpole Tape Bulb Material Examples


We hope this guide has given you a bit of insight into Tadpole Tape and you now feel more confident replacing it in the future. As always, our experienced sales staff are on hand if you require further assistance, simply contact your local branch.