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Build Surface Maintenance

Kapton Tape Application

You will need...

  • spray bottle of soapy water
  • 99% IPA
  • clean and dry rags
  • putty knife or plastic card to press tape down
  • razor, box cutter, or xacto blade

First, remove old Kapton tape by peeling it off. The adhesive layer should peel off nicely with the tape. Clean the surface of the plate with IPA and a clean rag. Spray the surface where you will apply the tape with soapy water.

Soapy water on bare aluminum plate

Carefully unroll enough tape to reach from side to side of the plate and gently lay the tape on the wetted surface. Place the tape close to the edges, but not fully overlapping. You will need a small distance (<1mm) around the edge of the tape to hold down the edges and remove all the water.

Kapton rolled out on soapy water

Using a dry rag, gently press the tape in place, smoothing it out and removing most of the water from underneath.

Pressing kapton into place-01

Use a knife to cut the end of the tape off the roll. Using a straight edge here can be helpful. It is recommended to secure the loose end of the tape on a smooth clean piece of material to keep it neat until the next application. Keeping it anchored like this can also make it easier to unroll the tape for your next application.

Cut Katon tape Anchor loose end of Kapton

Beginning in the centre of the tape, use a putty knife or plastic card to press the tape firmly against the surface, removing all remaining water. To avoid scratching the tape, cover the putty knife with another dry rag. This also catches the water as you press it out the edges of the tape.

Cover putty knife and use to squeeze out water

To cover the whole plate with tape, repeat this process twice more, leaving a small gap (<1mm) between the tape strips to remove all the water and hold down the edges. Leave the plate to dry fully overnight.

Completed Kapton application