Masking Options for APS (Plasma Spray Masking)

Applications

Plasma Spray Coatings are part of the thermal spray coating family. Air plasma spray (APS) is a process used to produce high quality coatings by making use of a high energy source, very high temperatures, and inert spraying source (Argon) and high velocity particles. The result is a significantly pure coating. APS allows for the coating of some materials that would otherwise be impossible to melt such as TBC (ie. ceramic coatings).

Plasma spray coatings are commonly used in industries such as Aviation/Aerospace, Energy (Industrial Gas Turbines), Semiconductor (Parts Cleaning), Marine (corrosion resistance), and Gas & Oil (wear resistance). Common applications include thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), abradable coatings, wear resistant coatings, conductive coatings, and decorative (i.e. polymer spraying).

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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.

Masking Options...Finding the Better Way

  • Contamination Free Surface: Taconic plasma spray masking tapes, fabrics, and compounds are designed to leave no residual silicone adhesive nor fluid on the component surface.
  • High Abrasion Resistance: Taconic plasma 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 plasma 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.
  • Heat Resistance: Temperatures associated with plasma spray coatings are very high. For that reason Taconic plasma spray masking tapes, fabrics, and compounds are designed to withstand high temperatures with no burning or distortion of the maskant.

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.
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 an over.
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 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-HP: Basic single sided glass cloth tape suitable for non-critical masking. A good choice for single layer secondary masking.
  • 6615-07-HP: Double sided glass cloth tape that exhibits strong adhesion. Good for bonding masking layers together. 
  • 6525-08: All purpose Plasma 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 Plasma 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 APS masking – generally as a secondary mask.
  • 7322W: All Purpose thermal spray masking blanket constructed of silicone coated fiberglass fabric. This fabric is ideal for secondary masking of large components for most spray styles.
  • 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.

For more information:

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