Caps, Plugs and Other Saviors

Lest anyone think that masking is all about tape, I wanted to follow up my previous masking blog with a note about the non-tape masking resources we use regularly.

Tape is ideal for large, flat surfaces. However, if we’re blasting a part that has threads, pins, handles, or parts that stick out, we’re more likely to mask those areas with a silicone plug or cap. This saves time, and creates a solid, reliable barrier between the blasting medium and the part.

We have a variety of silicone plugs and caps, in all shapes and sizes, ensuring that we’re able to quickly and efficiently mask most pins and threads. If we don’t have the right sized cap, we’ll use tape instead.

We’ve worked with a number of masking suppliers over the years, but Viadon, LLC is our main supplier at the moment. We’re proud to partner with another small business in our industry, and they offer a great selection of materials that make our lives a lot easier.

While blasting a threaded part typically doesn’t cause serious structural damage to the threading, we are well aware that blast texture on threads can cause some unpleasantness when the part is being fastened or reassembled. So as much as possible, we mask threads during blasting to keep them grit-free.

Since they’re made of silicone, these plugs and caps hold up well in the oven, making them ideal for masking parts we’re powder coating as well.  It’s doubly important to mask male and female threads while powder coating – left un-masked, the threads will trap the powder and, once cured, the powder coating will render the threads virtually unusable. Customers don’t appreciate unusable parts.

Masking is not easy, but we’re thankful for the quick fixes that help simplify the process.

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