Q. We use nylon, silicone and Teflon masking plugs and screws for electroless nickel on aluminum. Can you tell me what we can expect for aging? When are they at the point where we should discard? M.M.
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A. I don’t think I have a straightforward answer for you. Different materials age in different ways. All three of the materials that you are using will hold up reasonably well in the plating environment, but depending how long they are used and how they are handled will affect the life of the plugs, caps and screws. The best I can suggest is that you inspect these items on a regular basis and if they are torn, deformed or missing part of the plug, they should be replaced. You might also bounce this question off the vendor that supplies you with these components since they may have some basic guidelines that you can follow.