Cleaning Paint Plugs
Paint plugs and masks are used in paint lines to protect areas of a part against being painted. It is often undesirable to get paint inside threaded holes or on areas of a part where the metal or plastic surface needs to be exposed. Of course, instead of the part getting painted, the plug or mask receives the paint.
In any painting operation, the plugs are re-used multiple times before they need to be replaced due to the build-up of the paint or coating. Sometimes the plugs are inexpensive enough that they can simply be tossed and replaced. In other cases, the plugs or masks are specially designed (see the shape of the mask in this picture) and can be very expensive to replace.
To re-use and clean the masks and, there are a couple of options. Abrasive blasting can be used with plug or mask materials that are more rigid. Softer materials like rubber or vinyl do not respond well to blasting. In these cases, tumbling the plugs in a tumbling media and a wet process is needed. These plugs were tumbled in a Ceramic Media for a few hours to clean and be ready for re-use.