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Masking for Electrocoating

Avoid Costly E-Coating Mistakes

At Great Dane’s new electrocoating facility, we immerse metal parts in a water-based solution where an electric charge causes a paint or resin emulsion to condense on the part.

The result is a protective coating with: superior corrosion resistance, a uniform, even coat, and extended part life.

What about masking? Just as with powder coating, masking may be necessary to prevent certain areas of a part, like threads or grounding surfaces, from being coated.

Electrocoating (also called e-coating) is great for parts with complex shapes, but those same parts may have challenging masking requirements. Mistakes in electrocoating can cause a production run to be started over, including stripping the old e-coat off the part.

Masking Tips for Electrocoating

Because e-coating takes place in an aqueous solution, special care must be taken if masking is necessary. Water, after all, is good at finding a way in to almost anything.

  • Masking tapes must be non-porous and impermeable to liquids. Polyester tape is a good choice.
  • Plugs must fit tightly and not pop out when submerged.
  • Use vented plugs when you know pressure buildup during curing is an issue.
  • Know your silicone. Liquid silicone lubricant contaminates the process. Cured silicone plugs can provide excellent masking.

Finally, since e-coats cure in an oven at temperatures similar to powder coating, all masking materials must withstand these temperatures too.

As you can see, electrocoating requires an experienced team. The advantages of the immersion process come with challenges that, if not addressed with the proper techniques, can ruin the job.

Is Masking Always Necessary?

Electrocoating is a unique process, one in which the thickness of the protective film can be precisely controlled. Not all parts, even ones with threads, tight tolerances, and grounding surfaces, need to be masked.

It’s possible to forego masking under certain circumstances, including:

  • When the e-coat thickness is within the part tolerance range.
  • The coating required is thin enough to provide electrical grounding, usually with self-tapping screws or star washers.
  • Internal and external threads still function with a thin e-coat.

When the tolerances of your part and its end-use are well understood, Great Dane can provide quick and affordable turnaround on high volume orders, with the job done right the first time.  Call us at call at 724-537-9709 or visit our Contact Us page today.

Experienced Electro Coating Professionals

At Great Dane Powder Coating, Inc., we’ve been in business for over 27 years. Our Electro coating specialists are trusted by fabrication facilities and manufactures across the country to deliver highly durable coatings on a wide variety of parts and components

When you choose Great Dane Powder Coating, Inc., our facility, methods, communications, and order fulfillment procedures have all been optimized to provide the best results.  Call us at call at 724-537-9709 or visit our Contact Us page today.


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