Metal component masking protects non-electroplated sections of an item, ensuring their continued use. By carefully masking off areas, you can make sure the coating goes in its precise location. There are three masking methods, so let this quick guide to choosing a powder coating masking method select the best option.
The Tale of the Tape
The masking method most rely on before powder coating is taping. The tape involved isn’t an ordinary one that allows you to wrap presents or fix broken glasses. Instead, masking tape covers large, flat areas that can withstand hot temperatures.
Cleaning the area thoroughly before applying tape is a must. It’s best to wear gloves to protect the tape and the surface area. Apply the adhesive to the metal surface carefully—but firmly—to ensure that it has a good bond and prevent any leaks.
Once the baking process of the component is complete, you can peel off the tape. Powder coating requires special high-temperature masking tape, with green poly tape at 400°F being the most popular option. Glass cloth tape is ideal for thick coats and even higher temperatures. In contrast, blue poly tape is most useful for intricate patterns or textured surfaces.
Put a Plug Into It
Tape isn’t going to work all that well when threaded holes are on the agenda, so you must try another method. Plugging is effective for preventing subsequent operations requiring taps or thread chasers. You can either mask blind holes or through holes.
Masking blind holes with a silicone tapered plug is the standard solution for blind holes. High-temperature push plugs are the only practical solution for filling blind holes. Silicone pull plugs are good for through holes because they provide end-to-end masking.
Regardless of the method, a tight seal is necessary to ensure proper masking.
Tip of the Cap
Tube ends and exposed fasteners of certain pieces are vulnerable during the powder coating process. Fortunately, you can cap these areas to ensure they receive the appropriate treatment. The perfect cap is .030” less than the outside diameter of the part. Silicone tubing will suffice if any of your masking components are larger and longer.
This quick guide to choosing a powder coating masking method provides the best answers depending on the situation. Professional Finishing’s precision masking service has plenty of experience with this trio of masking procedures. When you want the job done right the first time, contact Professional Finishing!