Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Are You Confident You Have the Right Packing Tape?

Central® brand reinforced water-activated tape (kraft paper tape) has a strong, tamper-evident seal

Is your company using the right packing tape? That may not be a question you’ve considered, but it should be. There are a number of reasons to think carefully about the packing tape you use, and potential financial consequences for making the wrong decision.

For example, using a type of tape that creates a strong seal and prevents a shipping carton from opening unexpectedly in transit can keep your products from being damaged and eliminate the time and expense of dealing with returns. In other words, it is a choice that can have a direct impact on our bottom line.
“There are a number of reasons to think carefully about the packing tape you use, and potential financial consequences for making the wrong decision.” TWEET THIS
Types of Packing Tape
There are two primary types of packing tape: plastic pressure-sensitive tape (PST) and water-activated tape (WAT).
PST is also referred to as poly tape, plastic tape, or simply packing tape. It is a clear, petroleum-based tape that has a pressure sensitive adhesive on the back of the film. It adheres to a surface based on the pressure applied as the strip is put in place. How well it adheres is based on several factors including:
  • ✔ how much pressure is applied;
  • ✔ how clean the surface is;
  • ✔ and what environmental conditions are encountered in the packing and shipping process. 
In today’s market, this tape needs to work on recycled cartons and this presents a challenge. Recycled cartons have shorter fibers than new cartons, because they have gone through the production process multiple times.  As a result, recycled cartons require more binders and adhesives to keep the fibers together. The shorter fibers and adhesive binders increase packaging failures and put your product and your profits at risk.
WAT is also be called gummed tape, reinforced gummed tape (when fiberglass is embedded), Kraft tape, or paper tape. It is made of white or natural color paper and starch-based adhesive. Water is applied to the back of the tape (typically using a water-activated tape dispenser) before it is applied, and this activates the adhesive.
When the tape is placed on the carton surface, a blotting occurs between the adhesive and the carton surface. This process welds the tape to the surface of the box by penetrating the fibers and creating a permanent bond to the box. This happens with minimal pressure on new boxes as well as 100% recycled boxes and represents the most secure way to ensure your product makes it from point A to point B. A positive customer experience and your profit margin is preserved with WAT.
Strategies for Assessing Your Packing Tape
Before making your next packing tape purchase, it pays to assess your current tape to ensure that the product you select meets all your needs. Below are some questions to ask about the tape you are using today.
  • ✔ Does your tape create a strong seal? You want your tape to help protect the contents of a shipping carton and to deter thieves who are more likely to target a package with a questionable seal.
  • ✔ Does your tape create a tamper evident seal? If a thief does gain access to the contents of a shipping carton, you want that fact to be clear when the recipient examines the package, so they can take prompt action to address the situation.
  • ✔ Is your packing process safe? How your team seals cartons for shipping is important. Repetitive motion injuries can result in medical claims and lost productivity. Also, the use of electric WAT dispensers that aren’t UL listed can be a risk.
  • ✔ Is your tape strong enough to hold up to even the heaviest shipments? The failure of any seal on a carton is problematic. The failure of a bottom seal can be catastrophic.
  • ✔ Does your tape maximize your ROI? If you need to use more strips of a less-effective tape, your “cost per shipped package” may be much higher than it ought to be.
  • ✔ Is your packing process efficient? The time it takes to prepare a carton for shipping is important. A few extra minutes here and there, struggling to get a proper seal, can quickly add up.
  • ✔ Can your tape increase brand awareness? Printing your logo, tagline, or other brand-building information on your packing tape can make more people aware of your organization and your offerings. 
The answers to these questions will tell you if you need to consider switching to another type of tape. WAT meets all these criteria, making it a wise choice for any shipping operation.
Results from Independent Testing
While PST has its place in every business, WAT consistently scores higher in testing for adhesion, packing productivity, and tape integrity in different atmospheric conditions. This is according to independent research firm SGS North America and its independent testing of different types of tape.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products as you assess your shipping tape, we’re happy to share our insights. Please contact us at your convenience.

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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Friday, August 10, 2018

How to Prep Mattresses for Shipping: 5 Proven Tips

Mattress Shipping
Careful packaging of your mattresses is more than just "the right thing to do."

If you are an online furniture retailer, you are well aware that New York City-based online mattress company Casper completely disrupted the industry a few years back. The innovative organization took a product that had historically been marketed and sold exclusively in brick and mortar furniture store showrooms and began offering it online. Other companies, from startups to industry giants, soon followed suit. According to Forbes, dozens of companies have entered the rapidly growing online sales segment of the $15 billion mattress market.

For any company looking to capitalize on consumers’ increasing interest in purchasing mattresses online, proper packaging and shipping is critical. With so many providers to choose from, shoppers will quickly look elsewhere if you don’t take great care in how your product is protected on its journey.
Why Proper Mattress Packaging Pays Off
Careful packaging of your mattresses is more than just “the right thing to do.” It’s also a wise business strategy for many reasons. First, it helps create satisfied customers. People who receive a shipment that has been thoughtfully packaged are much more likely to have a positive opinion of your company.
There are also cost savings to realize from proper packaging, in part because when you use a proven process for boxing your mattresses, you minimize material waste and associated expenses. You also accelerate the packing process, decreasing labor costs. Further, you cut down on the expense of returned merchandise.
“Careful packaging of your mattresses is more than just ‘the right thing to do.’ It’s also a wise business strategy for a number of reasons.” TWEET THIS
How to Prepare Mattresses for Shipping
Follow the five tips below to help ensure that your mattresses withstand the rigors of shipping and arrive at their destination in excellent condition.
  1. Carefully select the right shipper. With all the tasks on your “To Do” list on a given day, it can be tempting to choose a shipper based on just a few general criteria, such as their proximity to your location or a recommendation from a colleague. However, taking the time to research several shippers can help you find the one that provides the best combination of proper handling of large items like mattresses and cost.
  2. Use durable, high-quality shipping materials. To protect your mattresses from damage, use a durable carton made of corrugated cardboard. When sealing the carton, use water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a powerful physical bond with the cardboard that is stronger than other types of tape. You only need one strip of WAT to seal your carton.  This efficient use of material saves you money. 
  3. Provide additional protection. Securing the material inside thick gauge shrink film not only reduces the profile of the mattress itself but allows for the smallest possible carton to be used. It also keeps the mattress clean in the process. In doing so, the material presents itself to the customer in a vacuum sealed package which is rolled tight and under tension. Securing the product, as well as the case, with additional strapping tape, like IPG’s RG300, provides additional security and peace of mind as the heavy package makes its way to the customer.
  4. Use custom-designed cartons. The capital you invest in having cartons designed to meet your shipping needs can be recouped very quickly in the form of reduced damage and returns. Using cartons that are too big, too small, or a shape mismatch for your shipments is a recipe for disaster.
  5. Brand your shipments. Having your logo, slogan, company colors, and other branding elements visible on the outside of your shipping cartons doesn’t help protect the contents. However, it does capitalize on these “moving billboards” to increase brand awareness which can help you grow sales in a competitive market. Be aware that WAT can be custom printed with your branding.
How to Prepare Mattresses for Shipping 
To be successful as an online mattress retailer you must, of course, have great products. However, the value of even the best products is greatly diminished if they don’t arrive to the consumer in attractive and pristine condition. Consequently, in many ways, your shipping processes are just as important as your mattress production processes.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products to help with our shipping, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Friday, August 3, 2018

Polyair Joins the IPG Family!

- Acquisition of protective packaging offering strengthens IPG's product bundle -

Press Release 

Intertape Polymer Group Completes Acquisition of Polyair Inter Pack (PDF)

About Polyair Inter Pack Inc.

Prior to the acquisition, Polyair Inter Pack Inc. was a privately-held company, having dual headquarters in both Toronto, Ontario and Chicago, Illinois. Polyair is one of the more significant manufacturers of protective packaging, operating seven manufacturing facilities and employing approximately 600 employees across North America. Its products include bubble cushioning, foam, mailers and air pillow systems. For more information, visit www.polyair.com.

About Intertape Polymer Group Inc.

Intertape Polymer Group Inc. is a recognized leader in the development, manufacture and sale of a variety of paper- and film- based pressure sensitive and water-activated tapes, polyethylene and specialized polyolefin films, protective packaging, woven coated fabrics and complementary packaging systems for industrial and retail use. Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec and Sarasota, Florida, IPG employs approximately 3,400 employees with operations in 27 locations, including 20 manufacturing facilities in North America, two in Asia and one in Europe. For more information about IPG, visit www.itape.com.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Important Tips: How to Protect Your Next Furniture Shipment

When the furniture that a customer purchased arrives intact and undamaged, it is positive experience both for them and for you. When the opposite occurs, and merchandise is damaged on its way to a customer, it can be costly in more ways than one.

First, there is the expense of returning and/or replacing the damaged item. That includes staff time, materials, shipping costs, etc. Second, disappointing a customer can also tarnish your reputation. Especially in the age of social media, you don’t want a shipping incident to be publicized and affect your standing in the market and impact future sales. Consequently, it pays to take the necessary action to ensure your furniture merchandise shipments are properly protected.
While reviewing shipping practices is one of those things that is easy to move to the back burner, the time to address them is now. Revising your procedures today can prevent a damaged shipment and the associated repercussions tomorrow.
“When merchandise is damaged on its way to a customer, it can be costly in more ways than one. It pays to take the necessary action to ensure your furniture shipments are adequately protected.” TWEET THIS
Strategies for Protecting Your Products
There’s low-hanging fruit to be had changing your shipping processes and procedures.  Below are some simple steps you can take immediately to better protect your furniture merchandise shipments.
  • ✔ Use the right shipper. Some shipping companies have a reputation for being more careful with packages than others. Do some research about potential providers and then choose wisely. It may be that a more conscientious shipper charges a slightly higher rate, but if the result is undamaged products and happy customers, it may be worth it.
  • ✔ Employ blocking and bracing.  Fragile and or high value items need to be immobilized and protected so they do not move around during shipping and handling and get damaged. Alternative product protection materials include air pillows, paper packaging systems, bubble wrap and protective foam. 
  • ✔ Pack in corrugated cartons. With their multilayer design, corrugated cartons provide both exceptional strength and a higher strength to weight ratio than other types of boxes. Corrugated cartons also tend to be very cost-effective.
  • ✔ Use water-activated tape (WAT). Water-activated tape creates a strong and secure seal with just one strip. This can help keep heavy items from popping open a carton’s flaps and exposing the shipment to damage. The seal created with WAT is also tamper-evident, which makes shipments, especially of smaller items like accessories, more secure.
  • ✔ Secure items properly. Make sure that items shipped on a palette are securely fastened to it with straps and/or stretch film.  Also, inspect the palette before you begin the packaging process to ensure it is structurally sound and big enough to accommodate the items.
  • ✔ Remove components that can be taken off and wrap them separately. Legs, drawers, and other items should be removed if possible and wrapped separately. Legs in particular are subjected to major stress during shipping and a primary source of customer complaints when they arrive cracked or broken.
Assess and Enhance Your Furniture Shipping Practices
Finally, it is important to track and compile data on damages. Doing so can help you identify problem areas, whether that is a certain item or a particular shipper that is involved in more damage claims than others. With that information, you can modify your shipping practices to help prevent future incidents.
And, of course, if despite your best efforts a customer receives damaged merchandise, be sure to take action promptly to turn an unfortunate incident into an example of exceptional customer service.
How can water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers play a key role in helping you get your merchandise to consumers in pristine condition? Contact us at your convenience to learn about these and other products we offer.

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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Packaging Furniture: How to Stay on Brand

For online furniture retailers, branding is more critical now than ever before. Why? There are a couple reasons. First, according to Forbes, e-commerce furniture sales are expected to reach $32 billion by 2018. As the market expands, new furniture retailers will surely be entering the fray looking to cash in. This means it will be more challenging to stand out in a rapidly growing crowd.

According to Forbes, e-commerce furniture sales are expected
to reach $32 billion by 2018.
Second, Forbes also quotes the Consumer Buying Trends Survey conducted by Furniture Today, which shows that millennials are now the largest consumer group in the U.S. furniture market. Millennials are notoriously hard for brands to win over, so staying top-of-mind with them is crucial to your success.

Make a Bold Statement by Branding Your Furniture Shipments

Your company has likely spent significant time, effort, and capital to develop and refine a strong, polished, recognizable brand that reflects who you are as an organization and draws attention to your offerings. Unfortunately, without ongoing support, today’s “go to” brand can quickly fall out of favor. Miss out on an opportunity to reinforce your status as a market leader, and you may find your products and your company being relegated to “irrelevant” status. 
Branding your furniture shipments is one of those opportunities. Proudly displaying your logo, tagline, and color palette, both on the outside and the inside of a shipping carton, makes a bold statement about your pride in your products that will instill confidence in your customers…and maybe a bit of fear in your competitors.
“Today’s ‘go to’ brand can quickly fall out of favor. Miss out on an opportunity to reinforce your status as a market leader, and you may find your products and your company being viewed as irrelevant.” TWEET THIS
How to Showcase Your Brand Through Packaging
Successful companies of all kinds, including furniture retailers, are increasingly seeing a boxed product as a sort of “mobile billboard.” How can you turn this blank slate into an effective form of advertising? Here are some proven tactics:
  • ✔ Use water-activated tape (WAT) branded with your logo or tagline. Not only is WAT exceptionally strong and cost-effective as a one-strip sealing solution, it can be printed with anything you feel will be informative or engaging to recipients.
  • ✔ Use the color scheme from the visual identity you’ve established in your packaging. Everything from cartons to packing materials can take on your signature hue.
  • ✔ Ship in boxes customized with your branding and sealed with WAT printed with promotional material. Entice recipients to make a future purchase with WAT that touts special offers. Incentives only available to existing customers (like the recipient) can produce a feeling of exclusivity that serves as an even more powerful motivator.
  • ✔ Ensure that stickers and tags reflect your brand. Items adhered to the carton or the product itself should reflect your brand through colors, images, or text.
  • ✔ Include branded flyers and other promotional materials in the carton. Not only are they another visual reminder of your company, the satisfied recipient may share them with friends and family, thereby extending your reach to additional potential customers.
  • ✔ Use on-brand stretch film. If you wrap items—to hold cushions in place on chairs or sofas, for example—consider using custom-colored plastic film. It works just like transparent film but continues the color theme you’ve established on the outside of the carton.   
Whatever strategy or strategies you use, you are helping to create a buzz around your products.
General Packaging Best Practices
In addition to using branded packaging for shipping your products, below are some other helpful tips for ensuring your merchandise arrives undamaged.
  • ✔ Pack in strong, lightweight corrugated cartons.
  • ✔ Use custom foam inserts designed specifically for the item. Not only will this provide optimal protection, it can increase packing efficiency.
  • ✔ Remove doors, legs, and other fragile components and wrap them securely.
  • ✔ Use multiple cartons if necessary. If including all an item’s components in one carton makes that carton especially heavy and hard to handle, you are better off shipping in multiple cartons.
  • ✔ Give cartons the rattle test. After you have packed an item, give the carton a series of progressively more vigorous shakes. It at any point it starts to rattle, open it up and make padding modifications as needed. The additional work is much better than having to deal with broken merchandise and an unhappy customer.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape and how it can be printed with your branding or would like to know more about our water-activated tape dispensers and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Case Study: ArmorLiner 40


The Details 

  • Application: Installation of geomembrane as an environmental protective liner for coal and byproducts used to extract it. Addition of two freshwater lagoons.
  • Product: AquaMaster® ArmorLiner™ 40 geomembrane liner
  • Quantity: 717,000 ft² (66,600 m²) installed of ArmorLiner 40. Also installed was 1,200,000 ft² (111,500 m²) of 16 oz/yd² (450 gsm) Non-woven Geotextile.
  • Contractor: BTL™ Liners
  • Install Time: 9 days (September 2012)
Large quantities of coal extracted from the mining site

The Background

A coal mining operation near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia needed an environmentally responsible solution for housing large quantities of coal extracted from the mining site. The primary site is approximately 454,500 ft² (42,224 m²) and has been designed to prevent the infiltration of toxic chemicals from coal and byproducts into the soil.

Because of site specific requirements the mine required two additional large lagoons approximately 140,000 ft² (13,000 m²). The first lagoon is designed to house fresh water used in the mining process and the second lagoon is used for holding excessive groundwater created from the horizontal shaft being drilled in the side of the mountain.

The Challenge 

The site would experience extreme environmental conditions
The intended lifespan of the project is ten years and the unique location of the mine meant that the installation site would be exposed to wide ranging environmental conditions. In Northern British Columbia the site would experience temperatures ranging from a high of 95°F in the Summer months (35°C) and lows of -60°F (-51°C) in Winter months. Additionally, the site may experience up to 120 inches (300 cm) of snow load during heavy snow periods. These requirements meant that Intertape Polymer Group®’s (IPG®) AquaMaster® ArmorLiner™40 would be the perfect product for the job.

The Solution

For the coal containment pond, the design involved a detailed layering process. First the subgrade was smooth drum rolled and a 16oz/yd² (450 gsm) non-woven geotextile was installed with ArmorLiner 40 on top of it. Above the geomembrane was an additional 16 oz/yd² (450 gsm) non-woven geotextile and finally 18” (46 cm) of soil was placed on top.

For the freshwater lagoons, the subgrade was smooth drum rolled with ArmorLiner 40 geomembrane installed on top, but in these areas the geomembrane was left exposed. Each pond included two turbidity curtains across the 200' length to help settle out silt and solids in the water.

The IPG Advantage

The project was initially specified with the use of 40 mil HDPE. The ArmorLiner 40 was ultimately selected because of its superior physical properties, low cold crack numbers, and expedited installation.

ArmorLiner 40 was selected because of its
superior physical properties
By using ArmorLiner 40, approximately 90% of the seaming could be completed in advance at the BTL™ facility in Bend, Oregon. This translated to exceptional savings for the customer by reducing the amount of work that had to be completed in the field. The truckload quantities of prefabricated panels were being delivered sequentially while installation technicians were on site.

Moreover, Northern British Columbia is prone to snowfalls in September so the expedited installation reduced the risk of prolonged weather delays.*

*Over two feet of snow fell a few days after the installation!

Learn more about IPG’s AquaMaster products: Call 1-800-565-2000 or visit itape.com/aquamaster.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Case Study: ArmorPad 3NWLD

Aquamaster Geomembrane - Basin Irrigation

The Background

Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID) is one of three irrigation districts operating the Columbia Basin Project, which brings water resources to the Columbia Basin.

In 1902, Congress passed the Reclamation Act which authorized the construction of irrigation storage and delivery systems. This included projects for the Columbia Basin region. The Columbia Basin Project was set in motion by President Roosevelt with the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, which began in 1933. A railroad was built to move materials and workers to the building site. Congress then authorized the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project in 1943 and the first water deliveries started in 1948.

The Project

Longer lasting, sustainable canals minimize the loss of water
Extending the Longevity of Critical Irrigation Canals and Reducing Costly Seepage

Today, because of canal expansions and additional pumping plants, the number of irrigated acres is over 680,000 in the Columbia Basin. In addition, the Columbia Basin Project provides power for millions of homes, controls flooding in the lower Columbia region, creates habitat for endangered species, and provides areas of recreation.  With water being such a vital component of life in the Columbia Basin, the QCBID has taken it upon themselves to provide longer lasting sustainable canals which will minimize the loss of this precious water and deliver it to the farmlands that need it. In 2009, QCBID entered into a coordinated water conservation plan with the East and South Columbia Basin Irrigation Districts and the Washington State Department of Ecology to conserve water and alleviate canal capacity.

The Challenge & IPG's Solution 

“Having a single piece of liner which covered the width
of the canal saved us time and money.”

–Halme Construction, Spokane, WA
When the project first began, QCBID was using a costly geomembrane, which was composed of a thin liner with a heavyweight non-woven glued to each side. QCBID approached Intertape Polymer Group’s (IPG®) ECP Division for a more cost effective and stronger solution. The solution was ArmorPad™ 3NWLD geomembrane liner.

IPG manufactures a wide range of woven reinforced geomembranes. ArmorPad 3NWLD is composed of a 5-layer system which is thermally bonded to provide some of the highest shear strength amongst liners on the market. It begins with strong, reinforcing scrim. Both sides of the scrim are bonded with impearmeable coatings creating a strong geomembrane  liner that is both durable and flexible. ArmorPad then has a unique non-woven bonded to both outside surfaces, providing higher puncture resistance and extended durability.

In the case of this project for QCBID, the non-woven also acts as a bonding surface for the concrete which is applied directly onto the geomembrane composite.

Repairing the QCBID canals is a tricky operation as work must be completed in a short time frame. The water is shut off in mid-October and the water needs to be turned back on in early spring. The time frame for the work to be completed is reduced further, because the winter snow and rain season make it difficult to schedule access to the site and install concrete. This was a major factor QCBID wanted to overcome and IPG delivered with their fabricated liner which is made to the exact dimensions of the canal, thus reducing the amount of time consuming field seams by more than 90%. The liner was also made easy to install with a hot melt adhesive to bond the large panels together. This was a huge advantage for Halme Construction who won this phase of the project, since they were able to complete the installation themselves and did not have to schedule another installer for the liner.

The Installation

3-bead hot melt adhesive applicator
Repair of the canal began in November, 2016 with the reshaping of the canal. Once the canal was reshaped the ArmorPad 3NWLD was installed. The liner was delivered to the site in rolls which were just over 40 feet wide and 300 feet long. The rolls were made to fit into the canal easily, with enough slack left for burying it in the anchor trench. First the contractor placed one side into an anchor trench on the edge of the canal and rolled the entire 300 feet of ArmorPad 3NWLD out. Once the liner was placed into the anchor trench a small amount of soil was backfilled into the first anchor trench to hold the liner in place and protect it from wind.

Installers then pulled the other side across the bottom of the canal and placed it in the adjacant anchor trench. The ArmorPad 3NWLD composite is flexible enough to fit around most corners, however on some of the corners which were closer to 90-degrees, the contractor left enough slack material to make a cut and fold it over. The panels of liner were overlapped approximately 1 foot and each overlap was shingled downstream. The direction of overlap is commonly overlooked when placing liners in canals and is one of the easiest mistakes to overcome! Halme construction had no issues with installing the liner in this manner. The next step was to connect each seam of the large panels together. A hot melt adhesive applicator was utilized. Each seam was completed with more than the recommended adhesive because of the ease at which the adhesive was applied. The hot melt adhesive unit heats the adhesive and pumps it through a nozzle, delivering three beads. The contractor would make 2-3 passes using this applicator for a strong, long lasting seam. Quality control was done on several of the seams and yielded higher peel and shear strength than most welded seams.

4” of concrete was applied over the top of the
ArmorPad Geomembrane Liner
The final step to extending the life of these canals was to apply 4” of concrete over the top of the ArmorPad 3NWLD. The durability of the ArmorPad with the special combination of non-woven and liner for this project allowed the contractor to install the concrete directly into the canal without damaging the liner. The non-woven also provides an excellent bonding surface for the concrete. Halme Construction developed a unique concrete application technique for the exact dimensions of the QCBID canal network. They built a concrete buggy which allowed them to install the concrete quicker than doing it manually. The concrete trucks could pull up to the buggy and dump their concrete. As the concrete was fed down into the canal the buggy was moved along with a single track hoe. The entire operation was completed ahead of schedule and is now helping to save water throughout the Columbia Basin.

So far, the QCBID has installed more than six miles of rehabiliated canals with an estimated water savings of more than 1,257,786,517 gallons - the equivalent of 1,904 Olympic swimming pools.

For more information on this project, and the benefits that IPG ArmorPad can provide for your site, you can visit IPG’s website at www.itape.com or speak with one of your local IPG representatives.

QCBID - Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District
Halme Construction-Spokane, WA
Western Ag. Tolleson, AZ

Learn more about IPG’s AquaMaster products: Call 1-800-565-2000 or visit itape.com/aquamaster.

ArmorPad Geomembrane Liner