What is the CHEMICAL NAME of Dope..no one knows dope here... - RC Groups
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May 09, 2005, 04:43 PM
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What is the CHEMICAL NAME of Dope..no one knows dope here...

My question is simply as the title says.
Because aeromodelling, especially homebrew models, is not a popular here in China (I work here), and ARTF is almost the ONLY way to go so that nobody know what dope is. The only hope to get it is to have its CHEMICAL name,..I check the chemical dictionary to translate in Chinese and try to see if it is available from some paint/ chemical shops here.
I have bought many ancient kits from ebays and rc universe. Many of them is not look like what it should be with plastic coverings.
Hope to hear more from you. Thanks in Advance.

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May 09, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Andy W's Avatar
You need to find a (full-scale) aircraft maintenance facility.. they'll be able to help you..
May 09, 2005, 05:13 PM
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Dope is a solution of a cellulose ester, such as cellulose acetate or nitrate, or a cellulose ether, such as ethyl cellulose or benzyl cellulose, in a volatile solvent, such as acetone, amyl acetate, etc.

Does this help you?
May 09, 2005, 09:39 PM
Vintage Flyer
"volatile solvent, such as acetone, amyl acetate, etc"

most commonly Butyl Acetate these days....

May 09, 2005, 10:53 PM
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DougC's Avatar


The file is to big to attach (371kb), but you can download the MSDS for AeroGloss dope from this site (and perhaps others):


Just do a search on "DOPE".

I think I can make my own now
May 09, 2005, 11:48 PM
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westfw's Avatar
"nitrate dope" is nitrocellulose (aka gunpowder (but NOT "black powder")) disolved with
appropriate solvents, plasticizers, colorants, and so on. The exact formula is likely to
be somewhat secret, though you should be able to get pretty close. Nitrocellulose
laquers of one sort or another are widely used in industry because of their high gloss
and quick drying properties. The original use in the US was apparently as automotive
paint. "Nail polish" was derived from the auto-paint usage, and is probably still quite
similar in composition to "nitrate dope", although the available colors are likely to be
a bit skewed from what the average modeler would like to have :-)

That all said, I think most model 'dope' in the US is no longer "nitrate" based, probably
due to flamability issues...
May 10, 2005, 05:17 AM
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vintage1's Avatar
I believe that is what caught fire in the hindenburg arship disater - not the hydrogen itself - at first anyway.

Ethyl acetate springs to mind for some reason. as a dope constituent.

Solvents are not hugely important other than cost/flammability/carcinogenic properties.

I cannot believe that a suitable mixture does not exist in hong kong...

Butyrate is more common these days is it not? less shrink, less burnable.
May 10, 2005, 07:24 AM
Vintage Flyer
At my place of work, they use butyl-acetate as a thinner and cleaner for conductive silver paint used to "trim" precision potentiometers.... one stroll through the production area and your nose will tell you this is the solvent.... that is, if you remember what Ambroid glue and Perfect tanks are

May 10, 2005, 09:08 AM
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FFlover's Avatar
If you're looking for nitrate dope,it's often also sold(and labeled) as a wood grain filler(on a nitro cellulose basis).
May 11, 2005, 09:42 AM
Registered User
I live in Hong Kong and while not exactly "old school", I love the feel of dope on my fingers. ARF is the rage here and I spent countless hours looking for nitrate dope and it simply does not exist. I found some old SIG dope in a store but it was colored and a chance find. I smelt some "Giraffe" brand (don't laugh) floor sealer here and it smelt like dope so I bought some as well as a lot of thinner and it sort of worked but had very little tightening properties. An option (albeit expensive) is simply to mail order some from the States and as long as you are willing to pay the dangerous cargo premium, it will turn up on your door. As I said, there isn't much of a market here and while there is probably some industrial market for dope as we know it, the language barrier is simply impenetrable. You have to live here to understand!
May 12, 2005, 09:54 AM
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JimMcIntyre's Avatar
Originally Posted by vintage1
Butyrate is more common these days is it not? less shrink, less burnable.
Nitrate is used to glue the fabric the frame.
Butyrate is used to both shrink the fabric and provide a fuel proof finish.

Neither is a viable substitute for the other.
May 12, 2005, 04:54 PM
Partial MSDS for butyrate dope :



Methyl Ethyl Ketone.*(CAS# 78-93-3) 200 PPM
31.45 70mmHg .@200C Narcotic by inhalation

Ethyl Acetate.*(CAS# 141-78-6) 400 PPM
37.16 75mmHg @200C Mod.Inhalation.

Butyl Acetate.*(CAS# 123-86-4) 150 PPM
13.29 10mmHg @200C Mod.Skin irritant.

Diacetone Alcohol.*(CAS# 123-42-2) 50 PPM
10.18 .81mmHg @200C Mod.Skin irritant.
May 13, 2005, 06:35 AM
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DougC's Avatar

AeroGloss Dope MSDS ingredients

Made a jpg of the Adobe file.
May 16, 2005, 11:26 PM
Rocky Mountain High and Higher
PROACE's Avatar
You can buy it by the quart (US) or Gallon(US) from aircraft-spruce.com
May 17, 2005, 05:32 AM
Registered User
"I have bought many ancient kits from ebays and rc universe. Many of them is not look like what it should be with plastic coverings."

Use modern films like:

Use automotive spray paint (thin) other than dope.

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