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Fuelproofing painted surfaces

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DaveyP31/01/2018 09:12:15
avatar
206 forum posts
47 photos

Hi all,

I've decided to paint the fuselage of my current build but I'm confused as to what to use as fuelproofer, also whether to use Humbrol enamel, thinned, or acrylic paint.

I had heard of Cleacoat but it says NOT to use it on painted surfaces.

So what are you experienced builders using ?

Jon - Laser Engines31/01/2018 09:39:14
4796 forum posts
179 photos

You can use clearcoat over enamel but you have to be VERY careful and literally dust it on. If you want a gloss finish then you are looking at building up about 10 coats very gradually.

I have done it successfully but equally i have pickled a few as well so proceed with extreme caution.

Beyond that i am yet to find the 'perfect' fuel proofer and it looks like i might have to sell a body part and cash out on the klass cote epoxy. Its expensive but in theory will work.

Cuban831/01/2018 10:28:22
2719 forum posts
13 photos

This was suggested in another recent fuelproofing discussion **LINK**

Haven't tried it yet, but being a two part material in a single aerosol can it sounds good. Being designed for alloy wheels I imagine it's pretty durable but can't vouch for it's resistance to our fuels at the moment.

Simon Feather31/01/2018 12:05:20
avatar
235 forum posts
170 photos

One option is a spray lacquer. I have done this recently on a Seagull Zero where I wanted to matt down the very shiny ARTF, and although I have yet to fly the model (waiting for the better weather) the tests I did prior to committing were promising. In my case, I also needed something that would stick to film, and I found a couple of products that do seem to achieve this very nicely.

It depends whether you really need "fuel proofing" as you would use on the inside of the engine bay, or "fuel resistance" where it's fine so long as you clean up after flying and don't leave the model soaking in fuel residue. My tests certainly showed some products have good fuel resistance.

I did my tests by making a small balsa box, covering it in film, spraying it with the products I was testing, let it dry thoroughly and then put some neat fuel on and leave it for a couple of days. (I used Optifuel 5%).

"Let it dry thoroughly" is very important as the fuel resistance can take some days (or even weeks!) to kick in. I'd strongly suggest you do your own tests to satisfy yourself the results will be adequate for your use, and if you do use these products, leave it at least 2 weeks to dry before running the engine.

I've tried Autotek gloss petrol resistant lacquer from my local independent car parts shop at around £7 a tin, which is quite fuel proof - in my tests it marked, but the fuel did not dissolve it. It's quite shiny, and sticks well to film.

I used Rustoleum Polyurethane Clear Matt Finish varnish on my Zero. This gives a lovely semi-matt finish, it seems to stick very well to film, and my Zero looks fantastic now. It's also available as a gloss finish. It comes in 400ml tins, I used about 3 tins to do the Zero (68" wingspan). You can get it in B&Q at about £9 a tin. That's a silly price, I got my stocks from sprayster.com at £4.15 a tin instead! And Sprayster have lots and lots of other very useful things like grey primer at good prices.

My tests showed that the Rustoleum stuff will mark after a couple of days soaking in fuel, but it doesn't appear to penetrate. Here's a link to the product on Sprayster: **LINK**

Hope this helps - as I say, your mileage may vary, and do your own tests!

regards

Simon

Peter Christy31/01/2018 12:23:59
1554 forum posts

I painted my "KingPin" with Solarlac about 2 /12 years ago now. Whilst it hasn't seen a lot of action - mostly due to the weather - it has held up quite well without requiring any additional fuel-proofing.

Two caveats: I use straight fuel in it - no nitro - and I always wipe the worst excess off after each flight, and clean it thoroughly at the end of each session.

It is advertised as "fuel-resistant" rather than "fuel-proof" - but so is everything else these days! The only really fuel-proof paint of which I'm aware is the two pack stuff - and that requires really careful use as the fumes are deadly!

--

Pete

FlyinBrian31/01/2018 13:25:21
520 forum posts
Posted by Cuban8 on 31/01/2018 10:28:22:

This was suggested in another recent fuelproofing discussion **LINK**

Haven't tried it yet, but being a two part material in a single aerosol can it sounds good. Being designed for alloy wheels I imagine it's pretty durable but can't vouch for it's resistance to our fuels at the moment.

I have obtained a can of this product but not used it yet. I'll update when I have tried it.

It is a one use only product as the hardener is mixed internally in the can so curing starts soon after!.

Anthony Scott 231/01/2018 14:03:23
75 forum posts
12 photos

I have used the Rustoleum gloss lacquer, from B&Q, on the cowling & spats of my Extra which had been painted with Lidl rattle can paint. After a full season of frequent flying using 10% nitro the cowling is no longer pristine but I am far from ashamed of its state.

I will certainly use this Rustoleum product again but will buy from Sprayster.

Tony

Cuban831/01/2018 15:20:25
2719 forum posts
13 photos
I wonder if the alloy wheels two part stuff is similar to the old toughcoat or aerokote that were pretty resistant against glow fuel?
Martin McIntosh31/01/2018 23:12:20
avatar
2931 forum posts
1073 photos

I have suggested on a different thread that you could try Sadolin PV67. It is two part, mixes, smells, goes on the same and even tastes just like Tufkote. It could even be the same product under a different name, the only difference being that you can leave a mixed pot of it in the fridge for several weeks before it becomes unusable. Would probably stand a flatting agent for a semi matt finish. Dulux Diamond glaze gives a good warbird finish also and is water based. Reasonably fuel proof if left long enough (I often use 20% nitro).

conrad taggart28/05/2019 14:36:17
90 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Simon Feather on 31/01/2018 12:05:20:

One option is a spray lacquer. I have done this recently on a Seagull Zero where I wanted to matt down the very shiny ARTF, and although I have yet to fly the model (waiting for the better weather) the tests I did prior to committing were promising. In my case, I also needed something that would stick to film, and I found a couple of products that do seem to achieve this very nicely.

It depends whether you really need "fuel proofing" as you would use on the inside of the engine bay, or "fuel resistance" where it's fine so long as you clean up after flying and don't leave the model soaking in fuel residue. My tests certainly showed some products have good fuel resistance.

I did my tests by making a small balsa box, covering it in film, spraying it with the products I was testing, let it dry thoroughly and then put some neat fuel on and leave it for a couple of days. (I used Optifuel 5%).

"Let it dry thoroughly" is very important as the fuel resistance can take some days (or even weeks!) to kick in. I'd strongly suggest you do your own tests to satisfy yourself the results will be adequate for your use, and if you do use these products, leave it at least 2 weeks to dry before running the engine.

I've tried Autotek gloss petrol resistant lacquer from my local independent car parts shop at around £7 a tin, which is quite fuel proof - in my tests it marked, but the fuel did not dissolve it. It's quite shiny, and sticks well to film.

I used Rustoleum Polyurethane Clear Matt Finish varnish on my Zero. This gives a lovely semi-matt finish, it seems to stick very well to film, and my Zero looks fantastic now. It's also available as a gloss finish. It comes in 400ml tins, I used about 3 tins to do the Zero (68" wingspan). You can get it in B&Q at about £9 a tin. That's a silly price, I got my stocks from sprayster.com at £4.15 a tin instead! And Sprayster have lots and lots of other very useful things like grey primer at good prices.

My tests showed that the Rustoleum stuff will mark after a couple of days soaking in fuel, but it doesn't appear to penetrate. Here's a link to the product on Sprayster: **LINK**

Hope this helps - as I say, your mileage may vary, and do your own tests!

regards

Simon

Simon thanks for the extremely useful write up and link - was off to B&Q before I seen this - Cheers Conrad

Stephen Smith 1428/05/2019 20:35:46
150 forum posts

2 pack lacquer completely fuel proff, cheap as chips, mixs with cheap standed thinners. I know it's not great for breathing in but neither is the aerosol solution mentioned earlier but is a fraction of the cost.

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