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Masking Materials Selection Guide

clock 4.5 minutes | 13 Feb 2020

Masking Process

Masking is often an essential part of the production and finishing process for manufacturers and fabricators all over the world. Silicone tapered plugs, masking tape for painting, plastic end caps – with our extended product offering, you’re not short for choice.

However, mastering the masking process can be a challenge, particularly in ensuring that your masking solution behaves as required during wet painting, powder coating, e-coating, anodizing, plating, blasting and drying.

Each process involves a number of variables, which is why we strongly recommend that you request free samples of the caps and plugs you’re interested in. This will allow you to test them to ensure they’re exactly what you need.

The key to success revolves around selecting an appropriate material suited to your operating temperature and application process. The below application guide helps you choose the right solution depending on your intended processes.

Which material for your masking application?

Process Feature Powder coating E-coating Anodizing Plating Wet Painting Blasting Max Temp
Silicone Premium; reusable
+250°C
+482°F
Polyimide Tape Premium; excellent solvent
+260°C
+500°F
Silicone Tape Self bonding; perfect for irregular shapes
+204°C
+399°F
Glass Cloth Tape Durable; for blasting or thick coatings
+180°C
+356°F
EPDM Costs around 30% less than silicone
+150°C
+302°F
High-Temp Vinyl Low cost; not reusable
+170°C
+338°F
TPR Lightweight
+95°C
+203°F
Paper Low cost; recyclable
+120°C
+248°F
Polyester No shrinkage
+150°C
+302°F
High-Temp Crepe Special high-temp formula
+204°C
+399°F

We do not assume any liability for the materials, specifications or information provided. For complete temperature and other physical properties of our products’ material, please refer to the actual product material technical data sheet, available upon request.

Product Application Examples

Equipment Manufacturing: Data cabinet, rack mount cabinet and outdoor utility cabinet – when masking a hole where a cylindrical lock may fit, a High Temperature Masking Plug can be used to withstand demanding processes and keep the hole clean.

Masking Tapered Plugs

Masking Tapered Plugs

  • Plugs threaded or unthreaded holes
  • Economical solution for large diameter holes
  • Hollow core aids compression for improved sealing; also uses less material, so it’s cost effective

Available in:

  • Silicone: premium masking material; reusable
  • EPDM: economical material with reduced heat resistance; reusable
Masking Cones

Masking Cones

  • Tapered cone design plugs multiple inner diameters or caps multiple outside diameters

Available in:

  • Silicone: premium masking material; reusable
  • EPDM: economical material with reduced heat resistance; reusable
Masking Pull Plugs

Masking Pull Plugs

  • For mask threaded or non-threaded through holes
  • Used by pulling the thin end through the hole, stretching the larger end through the hole then releasing to let it compress and make a tight seal

Available in:

  • Silicone: premium masking material; reusable
  • EPDM: economical material with reduced heat resistance; reusable

Metal Fabrication: Sheet Metal – to economically mask a variety of areas when powder coating or e-coating sheet metal, try an easy-to-apply and remove Masking Tape, usable up to 260°C (500°F). Coloured masking tape is also available.

Masking Tape – Fibreglass

Recommended

Masking Tape – Fibreglass

Why

  • Ideal for awkward spaces
  • Quick adhesion
  • Clean removal; leaves no residue

Material

Woven Fibreglass with silicone adhesive

Self-Bonding Silicone Tape

Recommended

Self-Bonding Silicone Tape

Why

  • Self-bonding – no adhesive (sticks only to itself)
  • Form fitting; excellent solution for odd shapes
  • Waterproof seal after 24-hour self-bonding cure
  • Excellent electrical properties: dielectric strength of 300 VPM min at 204°C (399°F)

Material

Silicone

Polyester Tapes

Recommended

Polyester Tapes

Why

  • Excellent heat and solvent resistance
  • No shrinkage
  • Cleanly removes in one piece after use, without leaving residue
  • Available in discs

Material

Polyester

High Temperature Crepe Tapes

Recommended

High Temperature Crepe Tapes

Why

  • Thick pressure sensitive masking tape
  • Easy to apply and remove with clean lines
  • Best removed when warm or hot, but can also be removed when cold

Material

Crepe

Polyimide Tapes

Recommended

Polyimide Tapes

Why

  • Excellent heat and solvent resistance, dielectric strength (6500 volts) and highly conformable
  • Cleanly removes in one piece after use
  • Available in discs

Material

Polyimide

Commercial Vehicles: Tractor – many bolts and extrusions found on specialist vehicles often act as ground points. It’s essential to maintain safety requirements and retain functionality by using Masking Caps.

Flexible End Cap

Recommended

Flexible End Cap

Why

  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Flexible for stretching over onto larger dimensions
  • Economical solution for one-time uses

Material

PVC

Flexible End Cap - Acid Resistance

Recommended

Flexible End Cap - Acid Resistance

Why

  • Similar to rubber end caps, flexible TPR material can stretch onto larger diameters for snug fit
  • Good resistance to acids
  • Can be used with masking wire hooks, such as round wire hooks

Material

TPE

Easy Pull Masking Caps

Recommended

Easy Pull Masking Caps

Why

  • Wide flange design provides a positive seal and easy removal

Material

  • Silicone: premium masking material (higher-temperature masking properties); reusable
  • EPDM: economical material with reduced heat resistance; reusable

Automotive: Fuel pumps and engine blocks – protect threads and prevent contamination during blasting, powder coating and transit by using a High Temperature Cap/Plug.

Masking Straight Caps & Plugs

Recommended

Masking Straight Caps & Plugs

Why

  • Flexibility for excellent sealing
  • Masking for studs and tube ends
  • Dual design; use as caps or plugs

Material

  • Silicone for high-temperature rubber caps and plugs; premium masking material; reusable
  • EPDM: economical material with reduced heat resistance; reusable
Easy Pull Masking Cap

Recommended

Easy Pull Masking Cap

Why

  • Ergonomic finger pull tab for easy removal
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Economical solution for one-time uses

Material

High-temperature soft vinyl

Masking Flangeless Plug

Recommended

Masking Flangeless Plug

Why

  • Protects threaded or unthreaded holes without masking the surrounding areas
  • Easy pull plug has ergonomically friendly pull tab for easy installation and removal

Material

  • Silicone: premium masking material; reusable
  • EPDM: economical material with reduced heat resistance; reusable

Download free CADs and try before you buy

Free CADs are available for most solutions, which you can download for free. You can also request free samples to ensure the solutions you’ve chosen are exactly what you need. If you’re not quite sure which product will work best for your application, our experts are always happy to advise you.

Request your free samples or download free CADs now.

For more advice about our extensive range of masking solutions please call us on 0845 758 5070 or email sales@essentracomponents.co.uk

Masking Selection Guide PDF Download
Masking - A Quick Buyer's Guide