When to Replace a Silicone Mask

Silicone masking issues

Not sure when you should be using a new silicone mask? There are multiple signs you can look for to tell if a mask needs to be replaced. Don’t let there be failures or quality defects/rework by overusing the mask. Look for the following signals and swap out masks to ensure a successful process each and every time.

Color

A silicone mask will lose its color when it needs to be replaced. Colored masks will fade, and clear masks will turn tan/brown

Firmness / Texture

A silicone mask may also become soft and spongy. The silicone mask becomes “gummy,” puckers, and is soft to the touch. This causes the mask to ineffectively mask the parts that need to be protected from paint, debris, etc. This is caused by overheating and the use of chemical cleaners. If the parts are used in a low-temperature cure or not run through the oven, this may not be an issue.

A silicone mask can also crack on the surface and increase in hardness, signaling overuse.

Excessive Paint Build-UP

Excessive paint build-up due to over reuse will affect the ability of the mask to accurately mask the desired (and only the desired) area. Many times, excess paint can flake off, causing quality defects.


Pro Tips:

After testing your mask, you know how many times you can run it through whatever process is needed. After that, scale the use down 10% to 20% of the time it took for the mask to completely run down. If you know you can run it 10 times before failure occurs, use it 8 to 9 times. This ensures that there won’t be failures or quality defects and rework.

Have different colored masks for different time periods. Say you know a mask will fail every month. Have a certain color for even months and a different color for odd months. This is a simple solution to ensure your masks do not fail due to overuse.

Still unsure about when to replace your silicone masks or want to set up an order schedule? Send us a message!


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