The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Are you aware of the different types of masking equipment used in powder coating applications and treatment processes? Plugs are common precision masks within the industry, and they protect surface holes and openings from accidental coating coverage. Read on to learn about different types of masking caps to determine the ideal material for manufacturing precision coating plugs.
Silicone is undoubtedly the most commonly used material for precision coating plugs in the liquid and powder coating industry. Silicone’s superior durability and extreme temperature resistance make it ideal for high-heat applications over and over again. Most silicones feature a heat capacity close to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, while surface coating treatments and the entire baking process rarely exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Manufacturing these caps and plugs is simple and only requires basic molds and silicone materials. They are affordable options for making precision coating plugs.
Fluoroelastomer, or FKM, is a synthetic rubber that shares many characteristics with silicone. FKM is extremely temperature resistant, highly moldable, and reusable. These precision coating plugs are most applicable for chemical treatments due to their superior chemical resistance. Abrasive chemical agents don’t affect fluoroelastomers; instead, FKM provides supreme durability for specific applications. Unlike silicone, FKM materials are relatively expensive and only ideal for masking chemical treatments.
Neoprene precision coating plugs and caps are low-temperature-resistant alternatives to silicone and FKM products. Neoprene masks are often applicable for wet paint and plating applications. Due to its natural resistance to abrasive materials, neoprene is also ideal for sandblasting, deburring, and polishing. Certain neoprene masks are helpful when applying dry film lubrications to an object’s surface. Neoprene plugs are quite affordable, like silicone, and color-codable!
Temporary Precision Coating Masks
Sometimes, permanent precision coating masks aren’t useful during application and treatment. Instead, temporary plugs are created to mask irregular or unique surface features. Common examples of the materials used for temporary precision coating plugs include wax, paint, and tape. These plugs are only good for one-time use, unlike silicone, FKM, and neoprene masks.
Precision coating plugs are imperative for many different surface treatments, regardless of your needs. Understanding the ideal material for manufacturing precision coating plugs ensures your business can easily find the right masking equipment for your application and treatment processes. You can use this information to guarantee you hire the absolute best powder coating services for your products.