Masking is an essential part of the metal finishing or metal electroplating process. Metal part masking refers to the process of masking part of the surface of a metal before performing an anodising or electroplating service. There are several reasons why you would want to utilise anodising or electroplating masking. Masking part of a metal prevents it from exposure to the electroplating process. Masking an object before metal electroplating will maintain its integrity and function. Before metal finishing it’s important that you choose the right type and method of electroplating and anodizing masking. Read our guide to understand the most common types of metal part masking and why it’s used in the metal finishing process.
Why is metal part masking used?
There are several reasons why we use metal part masking in our anodising and electroplating services. These are just a few scenarios where we would use electroplating masking.
Threading – Metal part masking is commonly used in the manufacturing industry because it preserves threading, allowing components to fit together even after metal electroplating. Without electroplating masking, the integrity of precise dimensions becomes compromised. Any anodising service will increase the thickness of an object by a fraction, enough to prevent threading from operating properly. Metal part masking ensures each component will work as intended.
Electrical contacts – For electrical contacts to work correctly there needs to be direct contact between metal components. Anodizing masking prevents the process from insulating the metal and stopping the electrical contact from working properly. This is a very important part of the anodising service we provide.
Precise finished results – Metal part masking is very useful in creating a high quality and precise finish in the metal electroplating process. When providing an electroplating service sometimes we apply multiple layers to an object, in this case electroplating masking is ideal.
Adding design elements – During the electroplating service we provide we often have to create certain design elements. Using metal part masking to create design elements or logos ensures that the finished aesthetic of an object stays consistent throughout the metal electroplating process.
Types of metal part masking
There are numerous products to use when metal part masking. To achieve a high quality finish when metal electroplating, it is important to use the right masking products. Each of these metal part masking products is suitable for different metal electroplating and anodising processes.
High temperature masking tape and dots – Masking tape is a crucial product in the metal finishing process. High temperature masking tape comes in two varieties, metallic and non-metallic. Before starting metal electroplating, you should check the suitability of the tape you’re using.
Silicone plugs – For masking threading and other holes, silicone plugs come in a variety of sizes suitable for any project. Silicone plugs are reusable so are ideal when providing an electroplating service.
Lacquers and thinners – Stop-off lacquers are commonly used in the hard anodising process. Lacquers have strong resistance to alkaline cleaners. Once the anodising service is complete, the lacquer is simply peeled off.
If you’re interested in an anodising or electroplating service, speak to a member of our team today. We offer a range of metal finishing services including metal electroplating and anodising. To speak to one of our specialists at Dorsetware, call us on 01202 677939 or fill out our contact form.