Electric Arc Spray Masking Materials

Masking tapes, fabrics and compounds for Electric Arc Spray

Electric arc spray coatings, also known as twin wire arc spray coatings, are a form of thermal spraying whereby 2 feedstock/ consumable wires are fed into the spray gun. The wires are subsequently charged and an arc is created between the two wires. The heat generated from the arc melts the feedstock wire as it is “fed” into the gun. The melted wire droplets are propelled by an air jet through the nozzle of the gun. The particles impact (splat) on the surface of the component forming the coating

Arc spray coatings tend to have very wide plumes of coating which makes masking an important task.

Electric arc spray coatings are commonly used in industries such as Aviation/Aerospace, Energy (Industrial Gas Turbines), Semiconductor (Parts Cleaning), and Marine (corrosion resistance). Common applications corrosion resistant coatings from sprayed aluminum or zinc, conductive coatings, and coatings for wear resistance.

Masking tapes for electric arc spray


Why is Masking Necessary?

In most applications, the coating is targeted. When coating a component, the coating will serve a purpose in the target zone, but often the coating is not desirable in areas outside the target zone. Masking is used to prevent a build up of coating in areas where it can be detrimental. Proper masking also improves the precision of the placement of the coating allowing for clean coating lines, no
cracking, and no contamination. The plume of the arc spray is normally wide, which increases the need for critical and secondary masking.

Masking Options...Finding the Better Way

  • Contamination Free Surface: Taconic thermal spray masking tapes, fabrics, and compounds are designed to leave no residual silicone adhesive nor fluid on the component surface.
  • High Abrasion Resistance: Taconic thermal spray masking materials are designed to withstand the high abrasion associated with the surface prep blasting process as well as the spraying of abrasive coating particles (ie. Carbide particles).
  • Flexibility & Conformability: Taconic thermal spray masking tapes, fabrics, and compounds are designed to conform to challenging profiles without lifting, sagging, or moving. These traits make Taconic materials idea for critical masking tasks.
  • Peel Adhesion: Taconic pressure sensitive tapes offer industry leading adhesion to metal and face-to-back adhesion. The situation of tape lifting during coating can be catastrophic. For this reason, Taconic tapes are used to ensure the masking survives the coating process consistently.
  • Prevent Bridging or Cracking: Arc spray coatings are often applied thicker than other coating styles – the result is the potential for bridging of the coating over the maskant. Taconic tapes can avoid bridging and can also avoid the cracking of coatings when the masking is removed.

Finding a Better Way to Save Time & Money While Improving Masking Efficiency…

Use Strong Tape & Apply Fewer Layers of Tape – The stronger the masking tape, the fewer layers of tape that are required. Each layer of tape adds time and cost increasing the overall cost associated with a masking job. Using a strong tape allows you to mask in 1-2 layers which saves time and money.

Reusable Masking – Silicone coated Fabrics and silicone rubber compounds have the ability to speed up masking – to cover and/or large intricate areas quickly. Masking tapes are always single use – they are thrown in the garbage after use. Silicone fabrics and rubber compound molds can be used over and over. Fabrics are ideal for arc spray due to the large areas that can be protected quickly and economically.

Post Coating Properties – After the coating process is complete, the maskant must release as clean as possible. Removing adhesive residue, glass, and other unwanted potential contaminants adds extra time and cost to the entire process. Taconic masking materials will prevent chipping and cracking upon removal – saving time and money by avoiding rework. Taconic masking materials are designed to remove completely clean from component surfaces.

What does the above mean for coating shops?

  • Reduces time
  • Reduces tape consumption
  • Reduces overall spend
  • Improves throughput
  • Reduces clean up
  • Eliminate Rework

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Product Recommendations:

Taconic PSA Tapes:

  • 6605-07: Basic single sided glass cloth tape suitable for non-critical masking. A good choice for single layer secondary masking.
  • 6615-07: Double sided glass cloth tape that exhibits strong adhesion. Good for bonding masking layers together. 
  • 6525-08: All purpose Electric Arc Spray masking tape. Tape is suitable for grit blast and air plasma applications. Construction is silicone rubber coated fiberglass complete with silicone adhesive.
  • 6625-09: Aluminum foil masking tape suitable for masking against Plasma, Flame, and Electric Arc Spray coatings. 
  • 6525-16: Double layered Electric Arc Spray masking tape. Double layer allows for single layer application for each job. In cases where 2 layers of standard tapes are required, the 6525-16 can reduce masking times by up to 50%.

Taconic Coated Fabrics:

  • 7102W: Thin flexible silicone coated fiberglass fabric suitable for light duty masking – generally as a secondary mask.
  • 7322W: All Purpose thermal spray masking blanket constructed of silicone coated fiberglass fabric. This fabric is ideal for primary and secondary masking of large components for most electric arc spray.
  • 7422W: Heavy silicone coated fiberglass fabric for more demanding jobs requiring protection of large surfaces. This fabric is more abrasive resistant and more suitable for primary masking jobs (as well as secondary).

TacMold Masking Compounds:

  • TacMold (A2023-A / A2023-B) masking compound is a 2 part silicone putty which is designed to withstand all forms of thermal spray including GF-HVOF and LF-HVOF. This putty is intended to assist with masking holes or complicated intricate profiles. In some cases, the compound is reusable.
  • TacBloc - A soft, conformable, putty-like material for masking holes, grooves, key slots or any unique configuration. Unlike TacMold, TacBloc is formulated to adhere to metal in areas where anchorage is not possible. TacBloc is good for all forms of thermal spray.

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masking tapes, fabrics and compounds for electric arc spray