Skip to main content

Masking Tapes for Anodization and Powder Coating

Across a multitude of industries, metal surface treatments are used to provide protection and decoration to components. Aerospace, automotive, general industry and appliance manufacturers have been using these processes for years, but innovative new products are about to make this process easier, quicker and cheaper.

Anodization

Anodization generally occurs on aluminium substrates, but can also be done on magnesium and titanium. Anodization is an electrochemical conversion process that can increase the hardness of the substrate, provide electrical insulation, resist corrosion and add colour as a decorative feature.

There are three common types of anodization processes:

  • Type I – Chromic – using chromic acid in a very thin coating, primarily in the aerospace industry.
  • Type II – Regular – using sulphuric acid at room temperature, this relatively inexpensive process provides a harder finish than chromic anodization.
  • Type III – Hardcoat – again using sulphuric acid but at lower temperatures and in thicker coatings to provide extreme durability and corrosion resistance.

 

Close up of tape being laid

Why is masking an essential part of these processes?

While the effects of anodization or powder coating are of benefit to the end user, there are parts of the component being treated that may need to be masked to prevent the coating being applied.

  • Electrical contact is required – anodization works as an electrical insulator.
  • Prior to assembly –anodization adds a layer, and so can change the dimensions of components.
  • Prior to bonding – it is not easy to bond to a powder coated or anodized surface.
  • Prior to welding – it is difficult to weld to a powder coated surface.
  • Aesthetic reasons – where colour is added to the process, some areas may need to be masked.

 

Powder coating machine

Masking Products for Anodization

3M provide a range of tapes ideal for use in the anodization process. These tapes exhibit good initial tack and holding strength, chemical resistance, sharp paint lines to reduce rework from seepage and can be removed in one piece with no residue.

3M 8985L Anodization Masking Tape

3M 8985L Anodization Tape

  • Only tape suitable for use with chromic acid, as well as all other common anodization acids
  • Non silicone, rubber adhesive
  • Transparent for easy application

3M 8992 Polyester Tape

3M 8992 Polyester Tape

  • Suitable for use with boric-sulphuric, phosphoric, tartaric and sulphuric & hardcoat acids
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Transparent for easy application

3M 425 Aluminium Foil Tape Silver

3M 425 Aluminium Foil Tape

  • Suitable for use with boric-sulphuric, phosphoric, tartaric and sulphuric & hardcoat acids
  • Non silicone, acrylic adhesive
  • Available with a liner as 3M 427 Tape

3M 471 Vinyl Tape

3M 471 Vinyl Tape

  • Suitable for use with boric-sulphuric, phosphoric, tartaric and sulphuric & hardcoat acids
  • Non silicone, rubber adhesive
  • Available with a liner as 3M 4712 Tape

Masking Tapes for Anodization and Powder Coating

Across a multitude of industries, metal surface treatments are used to provide protection and decoration to components. Aerospace, automotive, general industry and appliance manufacturers have been using these processes for years, but innovative new products are about to make this process easier, quicker and cheaper.

Powder Coating

Powder coating is a finishing process that is applied as a dry powder, melted, and then hardened into an even coating. This provides a functional and decorative finish not available from conventional liquid coating processes, which is safer for the environment and durable in the toughest environments.
There are a number of different powder types available for use in this process, all of which have their own benefits and typical applications. These include epoxy, polyester and urethane.


Close up plastic being taped

Why is masking an essential part of these processes?

While the effects of anodization or powder coating are of benefit to the end user, there are parts of the component being treated that may need to be masked to prevent the coating being applied.

  • Electrical contact is required – anodization works as an electrical insulator.
  • Prior to assembly – powder coating adds a layer, and so can change the dimensions of components.
  • Prior to bonding – it is not easy to bond to a powder coated or anodized surface.
  • Prior to welding – it is difficult to weld to a powder coated surface.
  • Aesthetic reasons – where colour is added to the process, some areas may need to be masked

 

Green tape being applied close up

Masking Products for Powder Coating

3M provide a range of tapes ideal for use in the powder coating process. These tapes exhibit good initial tack and holding strength, high temperature resistance, sharp paint lines to reduce rework from seepage and can be removed in one piece with no residue.

3M 8992 Polyester Tape

3M 8992 Polyester Tape

  • Silicone adhesive
  • Transparent for easy application
  • Temperature resistance up to 204°C
  • 0.082mm thickness

3M 8991 Polyester Tape

3M 8991 Polyester Tape

  • Silicone adhesive
  • Transparent for easy application
  • Temperature resistance up to 204°C
  • 0.061mm thickness

3M 875 Polyester Tape

3M 875 Polyester Tape

  • Non silicone, rubber adhesive
  • Temperature resistance up to 204°C
  • 0.052mm thickness

3M 876 Polyester Tape

3M 876 Polyester Tape

  • Non silicone, rubber adhesive
  • Temperature resistance up to 204°C
  • 0.078mm thickness