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Old Apr 26, 2002, 08:19 PM
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jason f's Avatar
Gainesville, FL USA
Joined Sep 2001
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Dyeing Clear Laminating Film

What is the proper way to do this. I just tried putting some of the film into a shallow container with enough water to cover it, and a whole packet of rit dye. I left it in the solution for about 7 hours and it didn't get dyed very much. Should i use 2 packets of dye? Use a darker color? Use warm water or what? Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old Apr 26, 2002, 08:47 PM
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Martin Irvine's Avatar
Canada, ON, Kingston
Joined Aug 2000
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I don't think you can dye laminating film. You can paint it however. Wipe it down with acetone first to get all oils off it and then use cotton gloves to handle it before painting. Dust on as thin a coat of laquer as you can to prevent flaking off later.

I have also heard of people painting the inside of the film before putting it on.

Cheers,
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Old Apr 26, 2002, 09:27 PM
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rpage53's Avatar
Victoria, BC, Canada
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It will work. Dark Rit colours and warm water for at least 24 hours. You can simmer just below boiling for an hour or 2.

Rick.
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Old Apr 26, 2002, 09:59 PM
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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PS Found this http://www.ezonemag.com/articles/199.../wiw0599.shtml and there is an article in RC MicroFlight if you are a subscriber.
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Old Apr 27, 2002, 10:19 AM
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Canada, ON, Kingston
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Interesting article Rick. I do wonder though if laminating film is Mylar. I had thought it was a polyethelene which, I would guess, wouldn't take the colour so well. I'll have to try myself as I have miles of the film.

Cheers,
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Old Apr 27, 2002, 11:59 AM
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Gainesville, FL USA
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Wouldn't putting the film in boiling water shrink the film since it is heat activated?
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Old Apr 27, 2002, 02:51 PM
Boffin
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Laminating film is polyester (same as Mylar) as long as we are talking Doculam and the like. 90oC (200oF) is too low to shrink it but it might mess up the glue. I haven't tried boiling the adhesive but I have a few hundred feet of it here I could experiment with.
Polyethylene is miserable to add any colour to without special treatment.

Rick.
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Old Apr 28, 2002, 01:21 AM
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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I boiled some up tonight. At a reasonable simmer of 80oC it was fine but at a full boil the Doculam shrank about 10%. It still has some shrink left in it and the adhesive survived, but anyone that wants to try this should test a sample first. Not all laminating films are identical.
I am at sea level so the temp was right on 100oC. Theoretically, it needs 150oC to shrink, but it may have contacted the pot enough to get warmer.

Rick.
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Old Apr 28, 2002, 02:46 PM
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New Milford CT 06776
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When I wrote the article in RCMF on dying the mylar I had also tried dolcum. I was unsuccessful at it though. What happened was the dye worked well but as Rick stated the covering shrunk. Mine did not shrink as much as his did though. Anyway the problem came in applying the covering onto the model after it was dyed. As it turns out laminating film is "laminated" There is a top layer of mylar type film and a bottom layer of the stuff that sticks when heat is applied. During the dying process water entered in between the two layers. It was not noticable until I used the iron on it. The iron caused the tiny amounts of water in the covering to turn to gas form while shrinking the covering. This caused bubbles and it made the covering look like, well let's just say the I tore it all of and aborted the dolcum dying effort.
There is some good news here though. About a year later I covered another plane with some of the left over dyed dolcum (yes I am a glutton for punishment) and it worked! The water had evaporated out over time. There is still a wrinkled or textured appearence to the covering and I will never use it again but I thought you all might be interested in my story. The plane in my avatar is covered with it. I put the flourecent stickers on it to help with orientation.
The truth is there are some very good coverings out there now that have excellent color choices as well as iron on capabilies that weigh very little. SO-LITE and NELSON LIGHT FILM are good example of these, but don't let that hinder the experimentation. John Tracey
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