Surface World May 2018 Surface World May 2018 - Page 38

More and more people are benefiting from custom masking. Custom masks can be manufactured quickly and at a reasonable cost, enabling the finisher to process repeating jobs efficiently and accurately. There is, however, an investment required for custom masking, so it is important to protect that investment by taking care of your masking. Here are a few preventative maintenance tips to ensure your masking is always performing at its best. Remove excess paint buildup –Masks should be cleaned on a regular basis, either in a chemical solution that is compatible with the mask material or in a tumbling machine to break the paint off. Layers of paint on a mask will reduce the flexibility of the mask and can mean that it stops masking correctly. Excess paint on the mask can also break off during the finishing process and fall onto a newly painted surface. If your process is prone to depositing an excessive amount of paint on the masks, then advise your masking supplier. A good masking supplier can provide samples in a different compound for you to try through your process. Often a different compound can mean the paint behaves differently on the mask. This different compound can also be provided in a different colour so you can easily evaluate the results of any trials you perform. Splits or cracks – Look carefully at splits and cracks to see if they are always in the same place; if they are, then contact your masking supplier. They may be able to redesign the mask to stop the splitting. Have the masking supplier visit you to review how you apply and remove the mask. If a mask is splitting at a corner when it is being removed from the part, it may be possible to change the design to add a radius corner instead of a square corner. If a mask is splitting because it is being stretched too tightly over a part, then your masking supplier can suggest modifications in either design or material. They can also review the tool that the masks are being made in to check there are no sharp edg