Protective maskants for chemical milling

Paul Boughton

Spraylat International has been developing and manufacturing in-house liquid applied, protective maskants, named Protectapeel in the UK since 1992. The range of liquid maskants are designed for use during chemical milling or etching, and are available as water-based, solvent-based or UV cure maskants. These maskants have been used in the aerospace and engineering sector for over 22 years, and have been supplied to companies such as Standex, Mold Tech, GKN and BAE Systems.

Protectapeel is a liquid applied, temporary maskant that is easily applied by spray, dip or roller and is suitable for most metals including titanium and aluminium. Once dry the maskant forms a skin tight bond with the surface, providing protection from acid attack – allowing detailed and specific areas to be chemically milled immediately and precisely. When required, Protectapeel maskants are simply removed by hand peeling, revealing precisely etched surfaces. Advantages of Protectapeel liquid maskant:

•    Excellent acid resistance
•    Good adhesion properties
•    Removed by hand peeling
•    Simply cut to shape
•    Formulated and manufactured in the UK
•    No pull-back, acid creep or loss of adhesion at the cut edge

Spraylat International is committed to designing, manufacturing and providing environmentally smart water-based maskants. With increased pressure on companies to be more environmentally friendly, the need for water-based maskants has increased. However, water-based maskants have been associated with having a much longer drying time than solvent-based maskants. Microwave technology can help make the switch from solvent-based to water-based maskants; microwave dryers can also reduce the drying time from several hours to less than 15 minutes.

Investment in energy-efficient equipment makes sound business and environmental sense, along with the Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme (brought to users by Carbon Trust Implementation Services and Siemens Financial services) it has never been easier to reduce energy costs. Energy Efficiency Financing helps users save money, reduce energy waste and become greener. In addition, 100% of the capital cost of the microwave dryer can be offset against corporation tax, meaning the equipment should pay for itself. Advantages include:

•    80% less energy used
•    75% fewer carbon emissions
•    80% less drying time
•    Increased manufacturing efficiency and throughput
•    Off-set 100% of the capital cost against corporation tax
•    Reduced Co2 emissions