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Thread: Removing old protective film from plexi-glass ??

  1. #1
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Removing old protective film from plexi-glass ??

    Does anyone have a good technique for removing the blue film from plexi-glass windows? I've got some that were installed with the protective blue film, then stored. Trying to peel the blue film off, but it has aged and difficult to get off without drastic methods that mark up the windows. Any ideas?

    Jim W
    Dillingham, AK

  2. #2
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    From the archives of another forum I participate in...

    If it's SprayLat coating, WD-40 seems to do a reasonable job of working the stuff free. Naptha is also good. But, be sure you know whether it is plexi or polycarbonate as poly is easily damaged by petroleum distilates.

    With the blue plastic film, it can be softened and removed using a hair dryer. Gently warm to soften it. Just be careful not to get your plexi too hot.

    -CubBuilder

  3. #3
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    General Purpose Adhesive Remover... from 3M...

    worked great on the paper/old plexi... I was amazed when someone showed me it, as i struggled tiny piece by piece to get paper off a sky light...

    not sure how it will do/penitrate on blue

    red can, mine was liquid, but i also se aerosol cans doing google search... bought it at auto store B&C Carquest

    i think this is it, will look when i get to shop

    Thanks ak49flyer thanked for this post

  4. #4
    dougsappllc's Avatar
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    did you try playing a bit of gentle heat on it? I do know that works for the old paper type covering.

  5. #5
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    that was the right stuff, 08984

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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I tried warming the film before asking for help, but it didn't work very well. It was softened only slightly, and about all I could do was scrape off very small amounts with my thumbnail. Not a good solution for the amount of film that was still on 4 Cessna windows. I would have tried the adhesive cleaner suggested by Mike, but I didn't have ready access to it.

    In desperation this afternoon, I tried rubbing on Stoddard's solvent and scraping with a small piece of similar plexi-glass. It actually worked pretty well and left minimal, if any marks on the windows. The solvent softened the blue film and the sharp edge of the plexi-glass "scraper" peeled strips off. The solvent also seemed to lubricate the plexi-glass while scraping. I think they'll clean up pretty well with some plexi-glass cleaner and polish.

    While this seemed to work, the take-home message is to remove the blue film before it has a chance to age and become a problem.

    Jim W

  7. #7
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    General Purpose Adhesive Remover... from 3M...

    worked great on the paper/old plexi... I was amazed when someone showed me it, as i struggled tiny piece by piece to get paper off a sky light...

    not sure how it will do/penitrate on blue

    red can, mine was liquid, but i also se aerosol cans doing google search... bought it at auto store B&C Carquest

    i think this is it, will look when i get to shop

    FYI for local people, I see Reeve Airmotive has this in stock also....

  8. #8
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Mike - Thanks for posting that info. Folks like you make this site a great place.

    Bill
    Very Blessed. "It's not an obsession, it's a passion"
    Likes toklat$1 liked this post

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    Removing old Blue film from Skylight

    Hello, Plastic scraper and wd-40 works !

    After trying all methods in this blog (none worked) I tried the scraper end of my caulk application tool below. It took about an hour to remove the blue film, and then clean off the adhesive and marks left from the scrapper using wd-40. My skylight had been stored for about 6months before install and then after install it sat outside over the winter and summer so the blue film was impossible to remove without scrapping it off.

    Now my skylight is totally clean and clear of all marks!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the olden days, benzene would make quick work of adhesives. No longer available.

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    Hey I am late to the party on this! I have a new windshield for my cub. It’s poly. Same thing, bought the sheet of poly from a guy who had it sitting for a few years and now the film is caked on. All the suggestions above seem to be petroleum based. Does anyone have a suggestion for poly? Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Paper masking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    Paper masking?
    I believe so, but could be wrong. This is my first time working with lexan


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    In the early days, paper was stuck on as a protectant. Benzene would work. Might try some Stoddard solvent to soften it? It is really tough when it gets old - like masking tape only worse.

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustinjames View Post
    I believe so, but could be wrong. This is my first time working with lexan


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    You can try to heat it with a heat gun. Not too much, or it will melt.

    Tim

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    Hot water, as hot as you can stand, has worked for me on old paper backing.

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    Pressure washer?


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    I have had excellent results on the old paper/layered plastic film in the past using regular DuPont enamel thinner used for their original Dulux Enamel paint. It had no ill effects on plexiglass but have no idea what it will do on polycarbonate. Likely not good and not sure about the blue film.

    Oz

  19. #19

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    My last airplane used 3 windshields and 2 backlites in 4 years, due to lexan not able to tolerate even mogas fumes. Huge cracks, same day if touched by liquid. The first set had been stored carefully wrapped for 20 years but I was able to very slowly pull it off. Over an hour per piece. If the film strength has been reduced I can't think of anything else, as lexan cannot be polished after scraping. Try powerwashing, I'm curious.
    What's a go-around?

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