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The technical drawing for the component will stipulate the extent of the masking.
Where a mask is fixed securely to the part is preferable, rubber bungs to mask holes are the simplest devices, but far more complex masks may be designed to suit a particular feature.
Application of adhesive tapes.
Particularly useful on smooth flat surfaces.
To adequately shield surfaces from anodizing or plating electrolytes often requires polymer lacquers to be painted onto the part. In the case of anodizing, the layer of masking must have an electrical breakdown voltage higher than that of the anodizing process in question. In the case of relatively high-temperature plating processes, these must be temperature and chemically resistant. Both of which require painting a few layers in most cases.
Preliminary inspection of the parts is often necessary when judging what pre-treatments are required to ensure sufficient masking adhesion. It may be that the surface finish of an incoming part is so low that a good paint base, such as Alochrom 1200, Surtec 650V, or an Irridite (NCP or TCP), needs to be applied beforehand.
It is possible to apply such masking to drawing specification and having taken all precautions, only for it to entirely or partially fail, leaving anodizing or plating on a surface. The Possibility of masking failure is an important design consideration.
Defense, Formula One, and Aerospace level components require such masking. At Hard Anodising Limited, we have built up a considerable level of experience, allowing us to develop successful masking techniques.