Thread masks are used in applications in which hardware is installed before painting. In particular, these masks are frequently used in the automotive industry. During automotive assembly processes, the threads of mating hardware will often strip paint and other substances used in garages and shops — such as undercoating and weld splatter — upon application of torque. But the use of specially coated fasteners eliminates the need to manually mask threads before applying paints or primers.

Recently, the team at M&P Manufacturing was tasked with designing a robotic-assembly-friendly thread-masking system for a client who had read about M&P’s advanced plastic injection molding capabilities on our website. We needed to create a fully automated device that would mask threads free of paint in a powder coating environment. 

The Solution

After collaborating closely with the customer to discuss all of their specific needs and concerns, we created a 1.25” x 5” semi-rigid, high-temperature silicone hex-head bolt to solve the client’s problem. The process didn’t come without some hurdles, however. For instance, M&P Manufacturing had to find a material that could withstand a temperature of 450° F for at least 30 minutes, as well as 30 inch-pounds of torque when hot. Plus, the material needed to be strong enough to resist bending or breaking off in the threaded hole during removal.

And, of course, the solution had to allow for full automation. With a team of sales engineers, design engineers, materials engineers, and tool makers, M&P Manufacturing was able to devise a high-quality, reliable part that was not overly complex to make. Plus, the thread mask is very cost-effective, ensuring optimal savings for the customer.

The Result

The customer was completely satisfied with the high-temperature silicone hex-head bolt devised by M&P Manufacturing, and we now turn out 250,000 of these pieces per month, with a delivery and turnaround time of 90 days. The part easily meets ANSI/ISO standards.

Learn More

Our cutting-edge injection molding facility allows us to complete all toolmaking in-house, with molding machines ranging from 50 tons to 2,000 tons. Key capabilities include multi-cavity and hot runner molds, regrind solutions, thin wall parts, insert molding, overmolding, and two-shot molding, as well as secondary operations such as ultrasonic inserts. Finishing services include painting, metallization, and silk screen and pad printing.

To learn more about our past work or discuss options for your unique plastic injection molding needs, contact the team at M&P Manufacturing today.