Shrink Wrap Wings !

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

lr27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
3,822
I have seen Ceconite (heavy Dacron) and aircraft dope last 25 years with minor maintenance touch up in Alaska.
Latex is unknown. Depends on the quality, I think some brands have a warranty of twenty years on homes.
It depends on how much flexing.
I painted a windsock with yellow latex to test the paint adhesion. Of course it cracked and flaked off in less than a year. But that was extreme flexing in constant wind.
Not so much UV up in Alaska, and not as much heat. Still, I've heard that dacron with latex is indeed durable.
 

proppastie

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
4,533
Location
NJ
There are a lot of people that do some amazing things with airplanes and are justifiably proud of their accomplishments. However often we see the initial positive results and never hear anything negative down the road. My experience with Latex paint, and linseed color stain, on my deck/porch is 5 years at the most and looking poorly after 2-3 years in direct sunlight southern exposure. Also the Latex has mold all over it. The color stain would chalk up after the linseed oil evaporated. The good thing about this site is people often reveal problems they have had or heard about and if you question the positive results you might find the aircraft is kept in a temperature controlled hanger. That is a far different story than the aircraft on the asphalt 100 % of the time.
 

BBerson

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,107
Location
Port Townsend WA
You can rent a hangar 10 years for $200 a month ($24000).
Or recover in 5-10 years, it's your choice.
The internal structure might need a thorough rebuild anyway. Tube frames need rust removal, cable replacement etc.
Even aluminum planes outside need new paint at 5 years to look new.

The best option might be an enclosed storage trailer. ($6000used, good condition)
 

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
If anybody wants a sample of this to test, Fred in Wisconsin sent me the pictured roll of 14" blue scraps from his boat trailer build. PM or email me your address and length and I'll mail you a test piece in an envelope, 14"x14" or 14"x28" unless you ask for more. Frame it on a 1'x1' frame if you like and go to town on it, or poke and pull on it like it was tough silly putty.

If you want to know how strong this is and it's qualities, it's almost exactly like this stuff:



I don't know how many mil the soft drink thing is but it may be a 2x-3x thicker, but when in a boat cover sheet you have the surrounding sheet adding strength. It's tough stuff. It will stretch quite a bit before it will tear. I see no serious concern about integrity plummeting just because it gets a hole in it... it's still tough and requires the same amount of force to tear as it did to put a hole through it.

I think the only real concern to me is gluing itself to itself and alluminum. If the aforementioned methods work, I'm good with it for my low speed application. It's not perfect but it has merit worth testing.

The Ugly:

When raw unheated material is cut to 1' strips, and pulled like a rubber band, it will deform each time a little more and stay stretched out. That probably will be the main concern as an aircraft covering. You can touch it up with a heat gun sure back at base but not mid-flight. Stretched material that is loose probably will be prone to flutter more and cause drag and turbulence, which then exacerbates the stretching further in a feedback loop :-/ (?) Note this is just my observations on raw unshrunk material not under tension.. the only tension I'm putting on it is me pulling on it like Taffy.

The Bonus:

It's non-porous, so you literally would not have to dope or paint it at all or mess with any chemicals other than glue. I think some of the fabric covering processes have a slew of nasty chemicals and coatings you have to spray gun mess with and not inhale.

Also, the main attraction, it's 10x cheaper than painted Dacron. 30x cheaper than Oratex.

-

I would like to see a video of it tested side by side with dacron, with weights progressively added then removed and the effects on both measured and observed. I don't have any new Dacron scraps handy or I'd make one.
 
Last edited:

Fred in Wisc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
89
Location
Milwaukee WI
I've got another observation after having my trailer for a couple years. This stuff is affected pretty strongly by temperature. When it's cold or cool out, mu trailer has a really nice tight wrap job. When it gets hot out, especially in the sun, the material softens and loosens considerably. Maybe the white colored film would be less affected but with the blue the difference is pretty dramatic. Also the tape doesn't shrink and stretch as much as the film, so it loosens up after enough thermal cycles.

I'm real happy with how this has held up for my trailer but I don't think I would use it on flight control surfaces. Maybe on a fuselage or other non- "keep you up in the air so you don't die in a horrible fiery crash" type parts, but no wings and tail use for this guy.
 

Authmion

Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
28
Location
Leland, NC USA
I'm real happy with how this has held up for my trailer but I don't think I would use it on flight control surfaces. Maybe on a fuselage or other non- "keep you up in the air so you don't die in a horrible fiery crash" type parts, but no wings and tail use for this guy.
So more useful for covering, let say the fuselage of a legal eagle or something where it's typically open. Or just fuselage covering in general. Makes sense. Definitely would be cool to see how the white holds on a wing like structure in differing temps

Actually may be interested in testing. And may know how I can.

I have an Acura Integra, and I always thought a wing on the back would be cool. (Its a dumb ricer thing, but whatever :p) I could maybe build a wing like structure, and cover it like this and see what happens. Worse case, I look dumb and we now know lol
 

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
Comparing the latex against my 30 year old rudder (held vertically, but out in the elements) yellow latex painted Dacron where the Dacron is still "strong" (I can't even put my thumb through it so it was maybe in the shade protected by paint), the old (protected) Dacron is *significantly* stronger than Latex. There is no give to the Dacron. The places covered by rip stop tape... is something else... you want a solid plane that can take a bullet, cover it in ripstop tape everywhere... :-D

Other places where the paint is long gone and it's nothing but hanging white Dacron fabric, the Dacron fails easily to my thumb test, you could even say crumbles... truely showing it's age. Lesson: paint doesn't add really any strength, but it goes a lonnng way to perpetuating Dacron's strength. (we already knew this).

~

Latex probably would be something you might only consider for a very, very slow flying plane or a slow glider or homebuilt hang glider type application, or like fuselage covering where you just want to reduce drag, and it's not critical for holding you up in the air or if things "stretch" or where you don't need the full strength of Dacron.

What is needed is to deflection test an identical length (1 meter x X cm?) strip of them both side by side, and post some numbers... like of how much weight they will bear before failing, how much deflection they can take before they no longer rebound to their former shape, etc.

Dacron would smoke Latex's ass, *but*, you now would have a known alternative with known qualities and limitations to it which you can use when and where you don't need all the strength or cost of Dacron.

I would say the stretchyness of Latex is it's main limitation, and not returning to it's former shape once deformed (unlike a rubber band)... and not it's UV qualities or rip stop protection. You push on it so far, and it returns... but not all the way... or not at all. This happens at a much lower threshold than Dacron.

If temperature changes its stretchiness, you've got another problem there. What happens when you stretch it to a nice tightness in hot weather, and then cold weather comes along and tigthens it even more? And then hot weather returns? Is it now still tight as the first hot weather, or has it not returned and looks like a stretched baggy...


All my opinions above are subjective observations, just playing with the two materials side by side.
 
Last edited:

pictsidhe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
7,427
Location
North Carolina
Latex sheet? That'd cost a pretty penny. Latex paint works fine on many homebuilts, it's probably the budget finishing option of choice. Latex paint actually contains zero latex...
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,209
Location
CT, USA
CG, methinks you misunderstand... nobody's using latex sheet, but many people are using acrylic latex house paint (which actually contains no latex) to paint over fabric for a cheap covering system.

Dana
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,209
Location
CT, USA
CG, methinks you misunderstand... nobody's using latex sheet, but many people are using acrylic latex house paint (which actually contains no latex) to paint over fabric for a cheap covering system.

Dana
 
Top