For many parts that you want to chrome, there needs to be a division from what gets plated and what does not.
This is done by masking your part.
The tape you choose to do this with can play a big role in the efficiency and reliability of the work you produce, and can lead to unfavorable results depending on what you use. You may think paper tape can be a good option for Cosmichrome since it works well for many other paints out there. However, Cosmichrome is not a regular paint, and plating involves highly reactive water based chemicals that if absorbed by paper tape, will stain and ruin your chrome.
WHY USE ONLY VINYL TAPE
•WATER PROOF: Vinyl tape doesn’t absorb any liquids like paper tapes do.
•FLEXIBLE: You can stretch vinyl tape, unlike paper tape that rips easily.
•EASY TO SHAPE: Vinyl tape can wrap around objects easily, unlike paper tape that wrinkles and doesn’t bend.
•WILL NOT CONTAMINATE: Because vinyl tape doesn’t absorb liquids and seals well, it will not allow liquids to seep underneath it and create discolored bleeding onto your part.
•EASY TO PEEL OFF: Unlike paper tape, removing vinyl tape is simple and easy as it is flexible and does not rip, allowing it to be removed in one clean piece.
•LEAVES A CLEAN LINE: Because it seals properly, doesn’t rip, and doesn’t absorb liquids, vinyl tape will leave you with a clean line after removal. Paper tapes can result in discolored patches and often leave gummy residues on your parts.
PROPER MASKING PROCESS
1. Decide what section of your part you’d like to mask
Firmly and precisely apply your vinyl tape to section off the areas you want to plate and the sections you want to protect.
To prevent bleeding of chrome plating chemicals, ensure proper adhesion of tape by pressing down on it all along its surface area.
2. Protect your part
Cover the section you wish to protect from plating with your choice of plastic sheeting.
Use your vinyl tape to adhere plastic sheeting and ensure there are no gaps that give access to the external environment.
3. Apply Cosmichrome
Do as usual for the Cosmichrome plating process;
-Apply the Basecoat
-Perform the plasma treatment over the dried Basecoat
-Follow plating procedure
-Apply the Topcoat to seal the chrome
4. Remove Masking
Once the Topcoat is fully dry, use an X-Acto knife to help cut away the plastic sheeting and gently remove the vinyl tape.