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Solartex & Solarfilm - & other heat shrinks

Query about availability etc

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John Bisset03/07/2019 21:45:15
203 forum posts

As a returned builder/flier I have a question for the more up to date folk here.

I have some stocks of Solartex and Solarfilm, plus a little Litespan. Checking online just now, it seems that the manufacturers are closing down. (I recall reading of the family company that made the material in a magazine a while back.)

Am I correct that they are closing - one 'route' to their site appears to suggest I can still buy Solartex in 2m lengths, another suggests only 'factory seconds' are available now. I suspect the latter is the correct info - will check tomorrow by e-mail. Anyone got up to date info?

And the logical follow on - what do folk recommend instead? I have heard of but never used Oratex. Any good? (I liked Solartex because it would hold a thin coating of cellulose paint if I wanted to embellish a finish. Solarfilm wouldn't do that, but was handy for lightweight covering. I found some 'LighTex' in my store of coverings ; I don't recall where I got it. Has anybody used it?

Any other lightweight coverings around?

edgar03/07/2019 22:40:12
76 forum posts
25 photos

I visited the Solarfilm warehouse a few weeks ago, they are closing, manufacturing stopped some time ago but, at the time of my visit, there were stock of various covering and othe materals available (I bought Clearcoat, which isn't available by mail order). They had both normal (first?) quality and seconds available in various lengths. I was told they would be attending shows (i dont know which ones) this year and continuing to sell on line until everything was sold, I expect stocks will be reducing and some items will be sold out. It might be worth giving them a ring, i did and tge person i spoke to was very helpful.

Sorry I can't answer your other questions.

Percy Verance03/07/2019 22:48:31
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Solarfilm have closed down and ceased production some time ago John. There are some stocks remaining and being sold off though. Several alternatives exist. Profilm, also known as Oracover is one. It's produced in Germany, and is of good quality. They also produce Oratex, a sort of textured type covering in a similar style to Solartex. There are lots of Far Eastern offerings too John, and from what I've read they can vary in quality. The Lightex you have is a *tex* variant of the Far Eastern coverings. That particular one comes from Steve Webb Models.

There are other Tex type coverings as well John - one being Diacov - although I have no experience of these, and so can't really comment on them.

Airtek Hobbies in Yorkshire have good stocks of Oracover and Oratex.

Edited By Percy Verance on 03/07/2019 22:52:40

Geoff Parkes04/07/2019 08:06:03
107 forum posts

since solar products became unavailable i have been using the Hobby king alternative , good quality and at about £8 pounds for a 2 meter roll it cant be beat, but order when in stock as it sells out fast.

Cuban804/07/2019 09:15:24
2824 forum posts
1 photos

yes for Hobby King covering. Used on my big Precident Turbulent (cost of Oracover would have had us in the Poorhouse for such a large airframe) no problems at all. Doubt if I'd use any other brand of film now. Don't know about tex coverings - still have a few metres of Solartex that'll keep me going for a while.

Nigel R04/07/2019 09:47:08
3298 forum posts
508 photos

yes for Hobbyking film here, too.

Grab it while it is in stock - it sells quickly, as Geoff says.

FlyinBrian04/07/2019 11:36:53
531 forum posts

HobbyKing film is great but dont overheat as if it shrinks back at the edges it leaves a white deposit. This can be removed with cellulose thinner, white spirit etc.

Bob Cotsford04/07/2019 12:01:47
8127 forum posts
449 photos
Posted by FlyinBrian on 04/07/2019 11:36:53:

HobbyKing film is great but dont overheat as if it shrinks back at the edges it leaves a white deposit. This can be removed with cellulose thinner, white spirit etc.

I've had the same with other more up-market brands of film. I believe it's where they use a white base coat to improve the opacity of the final colour. This base layer might be a pigment added to the adhesive itself or it may be a seperate layer of pigment, however it is integrated it's left behind with the adhesive when the film shrinks back. As you say, easily cleaned off with a solvent.

Personally, I have a hard time detecting any significant difference between the generic Chinese films and Oracover, World's Models Toughlon or Solarfilm polyester.

John Bisset04/07/2019 20:36:52
203 forum posts

Thanks for the replies, all. Sad to see the Solartex/Solarfilm brand go.

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