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Why Having the Right Tape for Low Surface Energy Materials is Critical

by | Jun 7, 2023 | Paint & Masking

Low surface energy (LSE) materials, such as mold release wax, Teflon® and polyethylene are inherently difficult to adhere to — choosing a tape that performs well in LSE applications can make or break your boat-building process right from the start.

Proper mold preparation is an important step for the exterior finish of a boat build. During this step, the mold is checked for any imperfections that may impact the final finish and is prepped for production by applying a layer of mold release or wax. Mold release products are used to prep and lubricate the surface so that the hull, deck or any of the accompanying component parts will easily release from mold once finished, but they create a slick and slippery surface that can be hard to stick to when applying tape.

Masking inside of the molds is really important, as molds tend to develop imperfections after multiple uses. It is a common practice to wipe off some of the mold release before the tape is applied so that it will stick; otherwise, the tape has a tendency to lift or blow off when attempting to apply the gel coat, which can result in gel coat edge or boot stripe imperfections and costly, time-consuming rework.

To achieve the desired pattern or color configuration during gel coat application, tape is applied to the mold by hand by a tenured craftsman. The application of the tape to create the design is considered to be the most artisan process in the entire production process.

So, which tape is the right one?

Choose a quality performance masking tape that will yield best results – saving you time and money. Look for tape solutions that:

  • Are engineered to adhere to and result in crisp, clean lines in LSE applications
  • Conform to irregular surfaces and corner in molds without lifting
  • Can withstand extreme conditions like exothermic heat and weather

As a professional, you’re looking for precise perfection. And the tape you choose could stand between a job well done – and a job redone.

Looking for the right solution for your boat building applications? Check out Tape Solutions for the Marine Market for a full portfolio of tapes built with the features you demand to execute each step of the boat-building process.

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