Masking is an essential step of the powder coating process. Before applying primers, powders and finishes to a metal surface, high-temperature silicone plugs and/or tapes should block off areas so that they are not powder coated. Masking off sections of an original product does not take long to complete, and this makes all the difference in delivering pristine results.
Acquiring the Right Supplies
Powder coating masking involves a variety of supplies, including:
- High-temperature tapes: Polyester masking tapes help create straight lines across a metal surface. These products are thicker than household tapes, and can survive extreme cure temperatures near 400 degrees Fahrenheit. These tapes are used primarily on machined areas that do not receive powder coating.
- Powder coating masking plugs: Threaded holes for hardware are no place for powder coat sprays. Silicone plugs close off the openings where screws and bolts will go during assembly of your product.
Preparing for the Masking Process
For powder coating to adhere properly to the substrate, metal materials need to be cleaned. Abrasive blasting procedures should take place long before masking begins. Smoothing metal surfaces ensures a strong bond, so blasting procedures may be performed to eliminate traces of laser oxide scale, dirt, oils and more.
Cleaning the surfaces of industrial equipment, automotive parts and outdoor furniture is necessary for a long-lasting powder coat finish. At Keystone Koating, we follow a proprietary 8 Stage Pretreatment process to prepare your product.
Powder Coating Masking Techniques
Every powder coating job is different. However, there are certain procedures to ensure fewer messes when it’s time to prime and apply a powder coat finish.
Flat metal surfaces designed with brand logos benefit from high-temperature tapes. Keystone Koating utilizes tape products in various widths for the task at hand.
A small roller or squeegee releases air trapped below the tape before applying the powder coat. It is recommended to remove tape from a metal surface when the item has reached a temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents any powder coating materials from flaking onto newly finished surfaces.
Plugging Holes for Hardware
Powder coating masking plugs close off sections where hardware will be installed during assembly. Silicone-based solutions come in several different styles that require users to push, pull or twist units into position. Powder coating teams simply have to identify the size of the threaded or unthreaded hole and select a plug with corresponding dimensions.
The type of hardware a product needs for assembly influences which type of powder coating masking plugs are right for the job. Select styles are engineered to close off blind holes, while others are compatible with through-holes.
Benefits of Masking Before Applying Powder Coats
Masking during the preparation stage is essential for any powder coat project for the following reasons:
- Installation hardware fastens correctly.
- Decorative lines are perfectly straight.
- Stops powders from entering electrical ports and gaskets.
Contact Keystone Koating for Powder Coating Services in Pennsylvania
Keystone Koating is your full-service powder coating provider, with two locations in central Pennsylvania. Our team has more than three decades of experience to ensure your orders exceed your expectations. From abrasive blasting services to powder coating with custom textures, we can meet your needs with impressive turnaround times that keep production on schedule.
For more information about our services, get a quote today!