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"Adhesion Tape Testing of Plating"

Current question and answers:

May 2, 2021 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hello,

I have a question regarding Adhesion Testing of silver plating on copper and aluminium components. Can someone please suggest me which exact tape should be used for doing the Adhesion Tape Test of silver plating? I hear people using tapes from 3M Brand or Tesa brand but I don't know the exact product ID or code. If I am able to get that tape here in India then it's great; else I will just order it from the USA.


Shreyas Bhimani
- Baroda India

May 2021

A. Hi Shreyas. We added your posting to an existing thread on the topic, which suggests Permacel 99 or 3M 250 tape for certain applications, or going to thread 15518 for a discussion of sourcing. Please note Doug Hahn's reply though -- because asking what tape to use can be putting the cart before the horse -- because the first question has to be what specification are you plating to, and what adhesion testing does it specify?

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Closely related historical postings, oldest first:


Q. I am relatively new to the plating industry. We are an electroplating facility and twice over the past six months the question of "are we using the correct tape type" to perform a tape/adhesion test has come up.

Of course there are comments like "we have been using the same tape for X number of years" come up. But being new to the industry that does not provide me enough evidence to ensure we are using a correct type of tape to perform a tape/adhesion test.

Right now we are using an off the shelf invisible, 3/4" wide, tape distributed by OfficeMax.

Would appreciate any feedback - thanks.

Bob Kirwin
- Attleboro, Massachusetts


A. The tape test was developed for the paint industry, but it has been applied to plating industry to check adhesion as well. Tape comes in different strengths and have typical shelf life that manufacture guarantee the strength. My experience is that the strength of the tape is guaranteed for six months. The 3M company will be a good source of information. Their technical department can send you copies industry testing standards for paint adhesion. You have to take that information and apply it to your application.

Karl Weyermann
- Lebanon, Kentucky


A. If you are referring to ASTM D3359 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] Standard Test Method for Measuring Adhesion, we use Permacel 99.

Cynthia Meade
- Sylvania, Ohio, USA


A. The correct question is not if you are using the right tape for adhesion testing, but rather if you are using a tape that conforms to the testing specification. This is usually industry-specific. In aerospace specifications, the test references is usually defined by an ASTM specification, a government specification such as the FED-STD-141 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] (this spec. and the test methods are downloadable for the web, or within the customer's process specification. In practice, for our industry the most common tape specified is the 3M 250 tape (or equivalent). It is also equally important (if not more so) to use the tape in the manner as described in the test. Locating the correct equipment, such as rollers of specific weight and hardness, can be difficult. With the tape itself, the adhesive's strength is the critical value. Obviously, electroplating that comes off with duct tape could withstand a post-it note. There are other type of adhesion testing used, often on co-plated steel test panels, such as bend testing and chisel testing.

Doug Hahn
- Mason, Ohio


A. Tape tests rely on tape products that have strong bonds. This may be Masking tapes such as 234 or fiber type tapes. As mentioned earlier, tape comes in different strengths and have typical shelf life that manufacture guarantee the strength. If the tape doesn't not have good bonding, the test you perform is not much value. The important thing in these tests, is to have a good bonding tape, regardless of the type. The more the bond the better the test reliability.

bob utech
Bob Utech
Benson, Minnesota
utech book
A Guide to High Performance Powder Coating
by Bob Utech [affil. link to Amazon]


A. GM 9071P mentions 3M 610, 3M 670, or 3M 898.

Christa Shirey
-Sylvania, Ohio

2002 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Locating the correct equipment, such as rollers of specific weight and hardness, is difficult. Has anyone had success who is willing to share a source?

Dan Solomon
- Baltimore, Maryland

Shelf life of 3M 250


Q. Is there a shelf-life for a paint adhesion tape 3M 250?

W. Mc Nicoll
Aerospace - Montreal, Quebec, Canada


A. The company that I work for imposes a six month life on 3M 250 type tape with the possibility of re-life-ing for a further six months.
Other OEMs may recommend a different life, check with the OEM.
If this is for your own manufacture then speak to 3M and ask them what their recommended shelf life is and base your shelf life on that.

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK


A. Shelf life is not a total indicator of the tape quality. Temperature, moisture and UV light all have an effect.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

September 15, 2008

Q. How can I make the difference between two masking tapes: one with natural rubber and the other with synthetic rubber?

Adina Papancea
buyer - Brasov, Romania

October 8, 2010

Q. From my experience there should be testing of the zinc to the substrate and chromate to the zinc. The zinc adhesion test is per ASTM B633 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] and ASTM B571 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] using a burnish rod. The chromate adhesion test is made per ASTM B633 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] using a gum eraser. I have not been able to find any standardized adhesion test using tape other than the ASTM D3359 which is intended for use on painted surfaces.

Mike Davis
- Butner, North Carolina

October 20, 2010

A. The Permacel P-99 has been the most accepted tape for years. Since it is no longer available we have developed a direct replacement that an independent laboratory has shown to be similar to the P-99. Go to www.semicro.org
Hope that helps.

Myron Taylor
- Brookeville, Maryland, USA

Ed. note: For a full discussion of sourcing for these tapes for adhesion testing, please see thread 15518.

May 15, 2012

Q. We are trying to standardize most of the tests performed in our plant for Zinc and Nickel plating. We want to be able to do the test based in some specs.
We use spec ASTM B571 tape testing. Since the grid is done manually we looked for an equipment to do this. We found several from different equipment companies that advertise their test equipment mainly for paint, but the process is the same.
They sell a kit with multiple knifes or teeth, magnifying glass, brush and tape.
my question is, are this kits under any PLATING SPEC? The manufacturer only quotes with paint specs.
Is anyone using these kits to check adherence on plating?

ASTM B571 mentions a grid 5.0 mm apart, but most kits only use 1.0 to 3.0 mm, any comments?

Thank you for your help

Sergio Hernandez
- Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

December 7, 2012

Q. Can scribing a coupon too many times cause a failure? If so, why?

Bill Correa
- Citrus Heights, California

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