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Why should tape not be used to cover flanges?

Sep 22, 2022

In the world of construction and industrial mintenance, proper handling and preservation of the equipment are crucial for safety and efficiency. One common practice that should be avoided is using masking tape to cover flanges. Since flanges are a critical part of a piping system, they should be properly protected and preserved to avoid re-work and project down time. Typically flanges are covered in a wide varitey of application such as coating, painting, welding, preservation, etc. to prevent them from rusting or getting damaged.

While masking tape may pose as a convenient and cost effective option for covering flanges, it is not an appropriate choice for several reasons. Masking tape absorbs water, and once it becomes saturated, the flange will begin to rust. It is also not designed to withstand high temperatures, which makes it unsuitable for applications where heat is involved, such as welding or in a laydown yard for long periods of time. Additionally, masking tape does not provide a secure seal around the flange face, which leaves it exposed to the outside elements making it an insufficient option for preservation. 

Glue composition of tapes such as polyethylene tape or duct tape have high chlorides in the adhesive, which causes the glue to break down over time and leave a sticky mess behind. The high chlorides in the glue cause the flange face to “blacken” making cleaning a chore. 

Flange with masking tape


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