is a variety of adhesive tape that is recommended for the temporary concealment of surfaces not intended for a finishing process. Masking tapes temporarily protect areas from painting, soldering, blasting, spraying, coating, plating, and polishing while these procedures are administered to nearby surfaces. The composition of masking tape depends on the activity for which it is designed.
Masking tapes operate in the exact fashion as other adhesive tapes: a single-piece backing is wound around itself, which holds an adhesive on one side of the backing. Masking tape is applied to surfaces that the operator desires to keep in its existing condition while surface treatments occur in proximity.
Most masking tapes are applied by the use of a pressure sensitive adhesive; since most masking tapes are applied by hand, masking tapes are tearable and easily dispensed. Products are rated by the tackiness of the adhesive used (on a scale of 1—100), as well as how long the tape can remain before the adhesion hardens and becomes permanent. Tape removal should be executed as soon as the tape has outlived its usefulness to prevent the adhesive from leaving residue or damaging the surface it was meant to protect.
Masking tapes find their most common usage in painting operations to contrast colors and components. Masking tapesare common for high-intensity processes, such as thermal spraying, shot peening, and electroplating, and these tapes find design variants for their unique jobs.
Masking Tape Specifications
For tapes, there are two important geometrical aspects to consider, width and thickness. Length is unimportant because this is determined by the user at the point of application.
- Width is the measurement across predetermined edges of the tape. Tapes can be cut by the customer to smaller widths.
- Thickness is the distance between the two, flattened surfaces of the tape (carrier and adhesive). It is usually expressed in mils or thousandths of an inch and is measured under pressure with a gauge.