painting dacron

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by mcurcio1989, Mar 16, 2015.

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  1. Apr 1, 2015 #61

    bmcj

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    Maybe good for the first paint job, but could be trouble if you wanted to strip or sand to change colors.
     
  2. Apr 1, 2015 #62

    mcurcio1989

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    I definitely see your point and I think this is a sort of compromise (airplanes are one big accumulation of compromises). If I had purchased colored fabric like most do on this kit I would have clear coated it which would add the same amount of weight, less uv protection, and no option to change color. If I paint it with just latex color, it is the same weight as clear (maybe less), superior uv protection, may be able to change color but will add weight. Latex paint provides excellent color coverage. You can't really sand down the socks much because of the sewing and features (pockets, zippers, etc.) sewn into them. That leaves chemical stripping and I here xylene melts off latex.

    I'm getting the colors and design I want, with no excess weight, superior uv protection, and a very small cost. I'll take that.

    If I were to paint it with three cross coats of primer and then 2 cross coats of color I would have a total of 5 cross coats. If I do decide to change color (after not using a primer) I have 2 cross coats of color on now so I could sand down as much of what I have, apply a cross coat of a white color, and then 2 cross coats of color. I'd end up with 5 cross coats of paint It would be the same as the original way just my primer was originally colored. My understanding is the primer is really just there to fill the weave and the colored latex paint isn't going to be very different in that regard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  3. Apr 1, 2015 #63

    StarJar

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    Thanks again for experimenting with this route. One question I have is flat vs. gloss. Many have said not to try latex gloss. Sounds like you are having no problem with the gloss. Do you think you would endorse the gloss over the flat for those who prefer a glossier finish?
     
  4. Apr 1, 2015 #64

    mcurcio1989

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    First of all just so you are aware, in case you haven't read through the entire thread. What I am using is Dacron Sailcloth which is different than plain Dacron. I have pretty much based everything I am trying on the experimentation that Malcom Morrison has done and his techniques. He uses the sherwin williams high gloss finish and that is what I am using. Check out his website Latex. I haven't experimented with flat but from what I am seeing and from what I have seen that Malcom has done I don't see any thing wrong with using high gloss.

    The only thing I have ever heard about gloss is that it doesn't provide a good gripping surface. Also gloss shows defects and flat is more forgiving

    Here is a picture from his website. [​IMG]
     
  5. Apr 1, 2015 #65

    bmcj

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    That picture shows a paint job on traditional Dacron covering, not sailcloth. Wasn't sure if you were aware of that.
     
  6. Apr 2, 2015 #66

    StarJar

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    Mercurio, thanks for the info and link.
    @bmcj I think he means he's using that guys Dacron techniques on sailcloth.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2015 #67

    bmcj

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    I suspected so, but wanted to point that out in case he thought it was on sailcloth.
     
  8. Apr 2, 2015 #68

    mcurcio1989

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    I am aware of that. . .I haven't been able to find any examples of people painting sailcloth with latex, other than me.
     
  9. Apr 2, 2015 #69

    bmcj

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    I think others have already suggested this, but after the UV clearcoat, you could add color with little weight gain by using vinyl.
     
  10. Apr 2, 2015 #70

    StarJar

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    Here's a far out idea. After the weave is encapsulated, use a coat of latex with micro balloons mixed in. This would be for lightness and a high build/smoothness.
    They use micro in featherweight automotive high build primers.
    I tried it once but on the initial coat, which wasn't smart, and I also put in too much micro.
     
  11. Apr 2, 2015 #71

    bmcj

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    I would think that microballoons would make it coarser, thicker, and more prone to cracking; it would also require more paint to encapsulate the beads, which would add weight. I've used micro, but only to fill, make sandable, or (on models) simulate the wing-walk 'sandpaper' tape.

    If you are adding beads, I think it would be neat to add the fine glass beads that they put in road paints to make the paint reflective/refractive. ;)
     
  12. Apr 2, 2015 #72

    StarJar

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    I don't know. Epoxy micro dries really smooth, even with a lot of micro. Flexibility? My jury is out, but curious.
    I'm thinking 10--20% micro, as where my epoxy "wet" micros started at about 50%.
     
  13. Apr 2, 2015 #73

    Dana

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    I'm not overfond of super high gloss finishes on fabric personally, but latex on fabric is generally a low budget technique used by people who are even less concerned with a perfect glossy finish than those who use dope or Stits. Furthermore one of the main reasons for sailcloth covering on planes is to avoid the weight of paint... all this talk of multiple primer coats or micro balloons filling seems to be missing the point.

    My plane has automotive gloss lacquer over Ceconite 7600. I'm sure it was beautiful at first, but now has ringworm cracking everywhere (the fabric itself is still OK). Fortunately I care more about flying than appearance. It's still beautiful if you don't get too close.

    Dana
     
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  14. Apr 2, 2015 #74

    StarJar

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    Geez Dana, Just trying to get the most best, for least money. The Latex link shows great results with gloss latex on Dacron. Sort of a split thread here; Dacron/Sail cloth.
     
  15. Apr 4, 2015 #75

    Aesquire

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    "Sort of a split thread here; Dacron/Sail cloth."

    I'll take the blame on that.

    Dacron cloth as used on a Kitfox, is a whole different animal than Sail cloth.

    It starts out the same polyester thread, and woven on the same kinds of looms, then it's pre-shrunk ( by giant heated rollers ) calendered, ( by giant heated rollers )
    and coated and or laminated with....um.... stuff. ( using giant heated rollers, probably! ) :ponder:

    Sailcloth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Calendering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Which stuff, is proprietary to the cloth maker, and high end racing sail cloth may have kevlar ripstop woven in, or a blend of unobtanium and rarite! ;)

    Painting the finished product with Latex paint is, well, experimental. I'm quite curious how well it works, since it opens a new option for other sock-type covered planes, like some of the Rans series.

    If latex paint can do the UV blocking job, provide color choice & custom patterns, and hold up nearly as good as UV blocking clear coat, that's great.
     
  16. Apr 6, 2015 #76

    mcurcio1989

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    I would definitely consider just applying vinyl decals (that is what I am doing on the fiberglass fuselage) but the fabric I have is white and about 20% of my wing is going to be white. Also there are no colors that have any more than about 35% coverage. If I were just adding some stripes or something than I would definitely just clear coat and add vinyl.

    I think Aesquire summed this up pretty well. As I understand it, in the past the pre-sewn sailcloth socks have been to save cost, build time, and primarily for WEIGHT. It tends to be used on basic ultralights and extensively on hang gliders. There are some kits (like mine) where a few pounds from paint is not a significant concern and the socks are used primarily for builder simplicity / build time rather than the weight. In my case I wanted to do a very elaborate graphic pattern with lots of color and any additional UV resistance I can get over clear is a plus.

    This is very experimental but from what I have seen the paint grips very well on sailcloth. I have determined not to try and fill the weave and just use the latex for the color. I'm using high gloss paint but it won't really be a high gloss finish since the weave won't be filled.
     
  17. Apr 6, 2015 #77

    bmcj

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    I'd like to see a measured comparison of weight. My (unmeasured) perception is that sailcloth is quite a bit heavier than aircraft dacron, and might even outweigh painted dacron.
     
  18. Apr 7, 2015 #78

    Aesquire

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    Depends. Heavier than unshrunk dacron to start..

    How much dope & paint? Which brand?

    Vs. Which coatings or laminate? How many seams?

    My wag is sail cloth runs from the same to twice the weight, if the dope job is minimal to multiple coats of car paint.

    Strength is close, but stiffness is different.

    The biggest difference is time. Even with the same time for the UV block vs. Final color coats there's much less installation time. Much less if any hand sanding.

    Amount of swearing is about the same. ;)
     
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  19. Apr 14, 2015 #79

    mcurcio1989

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    IMG_2746.jpg

    Finished up a Horizontal Stabilizer. Definitely pleased with how it turned out. Unfortunately I'm going to be traveling the next week or so and once I get back I should be able to do the rest of the empennage as well as the ailerons and flaps. Then I need to do a little work to take some wrinkles out of the wings and paint those up.
     
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  20. Apr 15, 2015 #80

    Aesquire

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    That's quite striking.

    You weren't kidding about the complex patterns.

    Keep the pics coming and keep us informed.
     

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