Powder Coating and Painting both are similar processes but the use of heat to cure powder coating means that not all of the same products can be used for applying and curing the coating. While standard masking tape works just fine for liquid paint it won’t hold up to powder coating curing temperatures. Below we discuss the different types of masking tape and how they should be used.
Paper Crepe Masking Tape- Your traditional Crepe masking tape works great for liquid paint masking as there usually isn’t any or very little associate with the process. Most of these tapes can withstand 200-300F degrees before they begin to break down and wither. Another issue is when the tape gets to its limit for heat the adhesive on the tape begins to break down and ooze. This could contaminate your powder coated surface and be difficult to remove from the masked area. We suggest avoiding using paper crepe tape to mask for powder coating.
Polyester Masking Tape– High Temperature Polyester Masking Tape comes in many forms and has become an industry standard for powder coating. The heat rating of Polyester Tape varies depending on the width and thickness. For instance our fine line high temperature masking tape is good for masking curves and intricate areas, but it only has a 2.5 mil thickness. For this reason it can only withstand about 400F degrees. This means that some powder curing temperatures may be at the high end of what the tape can handle and it can lose adhesion. Some of our thicker Polyester Tape is thicker at 3.5 mil thickness and can handle up to 500F degrees. Polyester tape tends to be more flexible and can be stretched and manipulated to mask unusual areas. We suggest having a few widths of this one hand to cover most masking jobs.
Fiberglass Masking Tape- This tape is probably our thickest and most durable. With a 5 mil thickness this tape can withstand up to 500F degrees and can even be used during the blasting process to avoid damaging areas like bearing races, gasket surfaces, etc. This tape also leaves a crisp line in powder when removed which is great for doing custom color schemes like tri-coats or two-tone paint jobs. Fiberglass masking tape doesn’t work as well when doing intricate masking but it’s durability makes up for that shortcoming.
Silicone Masking Cones/Discs- Silicone is one of the more durable products you can use for masking or blocking powder when coating an item. While silicone doesn’t come in tape form we offer silicone discs that are magnetic for covering openings or holes. We also offer silicone plugs that can fill holes while still allowing powder to surround the area. These are all reusable and come in a variety of sizes.