Vol. 10
May Issue
Year 2009


in Vol. 10 - May Issue - Year 2009
New Technology for Masking

Pic. 1: Nipple & Socket

Pic. 2: Thermal Spray Mask

Pic. 3: Skeleton and Boot Composite

Pic. 4: Clip Boot Composite

Pic. 5: Core Sleeve Composite

Pic. 6: Flow Path

As everyone looks for cost savings and increased quality, surface finishing providers must be able to reduce scrap and rework costs. Effective masking can impact the bottom line positively when used correctly to reduce scrap. Because of this, Maxol Studios LLC has developed new masking technologies by applying proven rapid prototyping/manufacturing techniques. These techniques are utilized to design and manufacture masking for shot peen, grit blast tumbling and thermal spray. Based primarily on the Precision Silicone tooling process developed to service the RP industry, Maxol Studios offers the best-of-class technology and continues to lead the masking industry with innovative masking technology development.

Precision Silicone Tooling provides the means for Maxol studios, LLC to duplicate its innovative and accurate mask engineering. Transforming artistic and precise forms into durable masking products is made possible by over 25 years experience in silicone molding and resin casting sciences. Not only precision and innovation are associated with silicone tooling but low cost and fast turn around are also benefits.   With low cost masking, customers can spread a higher quality masking system budget over a larger product family thus increasing profit.

Maxol Studios LLC innovative masking designs include newly developed technologies. These unique masking systems offer increased productivity while providing low cost tooling.  These new technologies include: Self Locking Geometry, Rigid Internal support Structures, Sleeve Seals, Compression Clips, and Flow Path Masks.
Self Locking geometry allows metal parts to be masked by assembling multi part masks onto and around the part to be processed.  The self locking features, like snaps and registration dams, securely hold the mask in place and keep parting lines shut during part processing. (see pic.1)

Some geometries require more compression of the parting/mask lines than is possible with self locking technologies. When this is the case, Maxol Studios clip technology can be used.  The technology is simple! Place part in mask, close and push a clip into molded in and protected holes to apply even U shaped pressure along the parting line.  The clip has a molded in compression set for a repeatable and controllable pressure mechanism. The clips are designed to be operator friendly and are simple, effective and easy to use. (see pic. 4)
Molded in-place internal structures create a rigid support inside a flexible masking device. This is a great way to keep parting lines closed tight and masking around corners and keeping edges straight. Maxol Studios chemically matches the rigid internal structure plastic with the flexible urethane outer mask to ensure no delamination between the two materials, even in very thin sections.  These intricate yet robust designs are possible when internal structures create secure “snap together” interlocking parts. Maxol Studios LLC designs and produces unique and effective multipart masking for all surface treatment processes. (see pic. 3)
Sleeve seals are thin flexible and reusable rubber gloves that cover sensitive areas of metal parts without any seams.  This is important to keep processing media from infiltrating into internal cavities.  Generally used in shot peening to cover turbine blade cooling vents, the sleeves are used in conjunction with a masking boot that holds the blade and sleeve in place during peening. (see pic. 5)

Flow Path masks allow processing directly on the blade section of a turbine blade. This is accomplished by holding the blade on the top and the bottom thus masking the blade roots.  Maxol Studios accomplishes this geometry by creating an internal rigid skeleton to hold the lower and upper mask areas during processing.  The masks snap together for easy operator handling and are quite effective. (see pic. 6)

All of these creative masking techniques are available for shot peening, thermal spray, grit blast and tumbling processes. Shot peen, grit blast and tumbling masks are produced from high performance urethanes that outperform typical heat vulcanized rubber and can be modified for individual processing requirements. Thermal masks are produced from industry standard high temp silicone that can be used as a grit blast mask also in preparation for spray application. (see pic. 2)

Maxol Studios LLC masking technologies enhance improvement processing by reducing labor costs.  This is accomplished by its effective design and improved operator ergonomics. Effective design not only cuts costs by increasing throughput but more importantly by not creating rework.

Author: Mark Schanze

For Information: Maxol Studios LLC
3215 N. Arizona Ave., Suite B-1, Chandler, AZ 85225, USA
Tel. +1.480 330 4639
Fax +1.480 393 3842
E-mail: mark@maxolstudios.com