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Old Oct 06, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Sundrips's Avatar
Florence, Oregon
Joined Sep 2008
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Fuel Proof Paint

With a six digit AMA Number, Itís needless to say, I've been modeling for some time. Retired now with full time to build and fly RC Airplanes leads me to a new problem I unexpectedly ran into concerning fuel proof finishes needed to protect various enameled items such as Cowls and misc trimmings especially on glow fuel models. Seems even Testerís no longer sells such.

Iíve found some references suggesting using clear coating of various fuel resistant coatings to coat the otherwise vulnerable finishes. I donít like this idea due to failures occurring at small scratches or osmosis at edges or other missed unprotected areas. As a major player in the commercial painting contracting business (150 employees) in the Northwest. I had accounts with all the National Paint Manufactures. I wrote a letter to each mfg asking their specifications on their epoxy gloss enamels, such as viscosities, coverage per unit, gloss index, pigments used, and most importantly weight per unit.

Hands down, at that time, (1968) was won by a product sold under the Dutch Boy Brand called ďEXPO EPOXYĒ. Dutch Boy has since down sized their operations and the product dropped. The epoxy systems are by far superior by my judgement if it can be found.

My question for the modelers at RC Groups is: Does anyone know a good epoxy to use these days? A alternate finish idea is welcomed.

Karl
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Old Oct 06, 2008, 08:02 PM
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Port Macquarie, Australia
Joined Aug 2008
116 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundrips
With a six digit AMA Number, Itís needless to say, I've been modeling for some time. Retired now with full time to build and fly RC Airplanes leads me to a new problem I unexpectedly ran into concerning fuel proof finishes needed to protect various enameled items such as Cowls and misc trimmings especially on glow fuel models. Seems even Testerís no longer sells such.

Iíve found some references suggesting using clear coating of various fuel resistant coatings to coat the otherwise vulnerable finishes. I donít like this idea due to failures occurring at small scratches or osmosis at edges or other missed unprotected areas. As a major player in the commercial painting contracting business (150 employees) in the Northwest. I had accounts with all the National Paint Manufactures. I wrote a letter to each mfg asking their specifications on their epoxy gloss enamels, such as viscosities, coverage per unit, gloss index, pigments used, and most importantly weight per unit.

Hands down, at that time, (1968) was won by a product sold under the Dutch Boy Brand called ďEXPO EPOXYĒ. Dutch Boy has since down sized their operations and the product dropped. The epoxy systems are by far superior by my judgement if it can be found.

My question for the modelers at RC Groups is: Does anyone know a good epoxy to use these days? A alternate finish idea is welcomed.

Karl
Hi Karl,

If you can find it Hobbypoxy is great to use and fuel proof. I think it may have been discontinued in the USA. I was luck to get some old stock from a hobby shop that was going out of business here in Oz.
From trial and error, (lots of the latter), I have found two pack auto paints are fuel proof with 15% nitro and water based house paints (latex?) is also fuel resistant with 10% nitro if you don't let it sit on the surface for extended periods, the water based paint needs to cure for a couple of weeks before exposure to exhaust residue/fuel to be resistant.
Given your background I'm sure you can come up with heaps of other viable alternatives.

Cheers,

Colin
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Old Oct 07, 2008, 04:21 AM
Will fly for food
Maryland
Joined Sep 2004
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You can use automotive clear (urethane). PPG Omni line is reasonably cheap. You can add a flex agent for cowls and parts that might flex.

Nelson Hobby has a water cleanup paint line that when catalyzed is fuel proof over 50% nitro. I have some coming to try.
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Old Oct 07, 2008, 03:05 PM
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United States, TX, Round Rock
Joined Dec 2004
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Not epoxy but fuel proof - glossy clear spray and flat clear spray.

i.
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Old Oct 07, 2008, 07:03 PM
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Moline IL
Joined Sep 2007
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I havent found alot that is nitro proof. but believe it or not. rustolem is pretty darn good and has held up for alot of years, i use the spray cans white all of the time, and even takes raw nitro drips pretty well. To bad most places like top flight quit making it, i could use some matching paint. even 21st centry is long gone. trying to build kits suck now days, you cant even get a plane to match
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Old Oct 07, 2008, 07:52 PM
Will fly for food
Maryland
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The light color Rustoleums are fairly fuel proof, if left to dry for a couple of weeks. Lots of CL guys use them. Darker colors are not very fuel proof, and the metallics not at all.

Of course, there is always dope.
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Old Oct 08, 2008, 06:01 PM
Senior moments always
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Florence, Oregon
Joined Sep 2008
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I thank you gentlemen for your response and related commemts. I think the need for positive fuel proof enamels is important enough that I think I'll write a few letters to R&D chemist within several major paint manufactures that, I'm familar with, such as Sherwin Williams, PPG, and a few others and seek some helpful answers, I hope. Should I discover anythink worth while, I'll share with you all. Deep tone accent in full gloss is important to have available. I'm sure some of you know what a mess can develope when nitro goes to work on fugitive paints.
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Old Oct 09, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Western KY
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Butyrate is still available, either through Brodak or several of the full scale aircraft supply houses.
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Old Oct 09, 2008, 07:18 PM
Will fly for food
Maryland
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Also Sig. And my LHS carries Pactra AeroGloss like the old days. Brodak is supposedly made by Randolph (maker of full scale dope), but to Brodak specs.

I just got the Nelson paint and the comprehensive instructions are an interesting read. It was designed as a paint for full scale boats.

But water thinned and cleanup, good for over 50% nitro by using a catalyst, that goes in at 8 drops per ounce. And you can keep catalyzed paint and recatalyze it once again, so less waste.
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Old Oct 11, 2008, 08:51 PM
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Florence, Oregon
Joined Sep 2008
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Good information Pinecone, thank you...Ill check that out.

I think one of the priorities concerning model aircraft final finishes, hinges largely on ones need for such. I remember not so long ago in the mid 60s, that I was building six or seven glow airplanes every year. Armed with great light weight high hiding epoxy enamels in forty-two gloss colors being available, I would order all in quarts. I would select my most commonly used colors and mix the catalyst well ahead of time with what I thought I might use without any concern about waste for I kept a spare refrigerator in my shop where I stored the mixed epoxy at 33 F. As much as a year or two later I could set the mixture in warm water and use it like it was new.

Other very important priority concerning finishes for our models is the consistence of the paint finish material or better said, its viscosity. Here is where the use of the spirts (thinner) becomes very import also. Most users will error on getting the paint to thin thereby causing a need to recoat with as much as three or four coats, adding more weight. I, without exception always plan on using two coats of paint and Iíve rarely had a failure.

Donít get me wrong here, those of you that have established paint finishes that are working to your satisfaction, donít change a thing.

I have a couple leads working in the epoxy line, Iíll keep those of you interested posted.
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 03:17 AM
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Traverse City, Michigan
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Many scale modelers use this product, with great success. http://www.klasskote.com/
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 07:35 AM
Will fly for food
Maryland
Joined Sep 2004
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Yes, KlassKote looks really good. I forgot that one.

As for the number of coats, READ THE DIRECTIONS. The Nelson paint is painted like a lacquer, thinner coats, but more coats for teh same ending film thickness. But you can recoat in like 10 minutes.

The urethanes, like auto clear goes on witha tack coat, wiat a few minutes, then a wet coat.

And my smistake, AeroGloss is now Midwest, not Pactra.

And BTW Nelson also has a two part primer that is supposedly very good. It is actually recommended by Sig for their field boxes.
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Old Feb 05, 2010, 10:17 PM
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Formerly Denver. Now West Bend, WI
Joined Dec 2005
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Resurrecting an old thread, but....

This looks like a promising product. 2 Part Urethane Aerosol Clear Coat

http://www.repaintsupply.com/pd_2_part_2k_aerosol.cfm
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Old Feb 08, 2010, 05:46 AM
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kent, uk
Joined Jun 2008
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2k paint is very good and fuel proof, i use it when airbrushing rc heli canopys however this stuff is nasty and quite toxic and should only be used in a booth when you have an air fed mask on
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Old Feb 08, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Formerly Denver. Now West Bend, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen_j View Post
2k paint is very good and fuel proof, i use it when airbrushing rc heli canopys however this stuff is nasty and quite toxic and should only be used in a booth when you have an air fed mask on
Thanks for the safety tip.

I will not be painting until the temps outside get much warmer... June most likely I intend to use a charcoal respirator(rated for paint), and do it outdoors as I don't have an air fed mask or a heated/ventilated booth.
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