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Thread: My Oratex experience

  1. #41

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    Have you looked at using a printed/vinyl graphic rather than paint??

  2. #42

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    Yes
    I am not painting the Oratex
    just stripes - for now

  3. #43
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Clay bar to the rescue.

    Quote Originally Posted by bda View Post
    I thought I would pass on to those that are thinking about Oratex:

    I used electrical tape to mock up a paint scheme and it left permanent marks (stains?) in the Oratex coating.
    I have tried every solvent I can think of and they will not come out.
    alcohol
    citrisolve
    wd-40
    magic eraser
    oratex cleaner
    3m adhesive remover
    acetone
    mek
    and others

    So DO NOT PUT ELECTRICAL TAPE ON ORATEX.

    on the bright side, Oratex can handle a lot of different chemicals.
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  4. #44
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #45
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    Oratex and vinyl stripes done in 12 days 2 guys 8 hr days

  6. #46

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    There is a spray cleaner called Greased Lightning. Seems to be a cross between Windex and paint stripper. I use it for gas stains on paint. Work fast. Test first.
    What's a go-around?
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  7. #47
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    GNTW, great looking plane. You must be pleased.
    Speedo

  8. #48

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    I'm planning an exp. build and have been researching fabric, paint and vinyl. My intent is oratex with vinyl emblems wanting to save labor and weight. Speaking to BAF they stated the vinyl should be breathable to avoid potential bubbling over time. Additionally the graphic shop stated their vinyl lifespan at 5-7 years. The vinyl lifespan concerns me as does potential bubbling. Any others with experience on the subject or a recommendation for a vinyl shop in anchorage ak?

  9. #49

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    On RC models, bubbles are something that happens only on installation. Pop with a pin, and the hole is barely noticeable on a 4 foot model. Probably invisible at full scale. My concern would be lifespan and pressing hard enough on unsupported fabric. Is breathable vinyl possible? Shiny on one side and adhesive on the other.
    I wonder if using solid color Monkote would work as trim. Much thinner and lighter. To use Monokote as trim you have to heat tack in a million places before an overall ironing. Otherwise it will shrink before it even touches the substrate. This is done routinely on models, Mono over Mono as trim. Would it stick to woven oratex? Monokote sticks pretty well to 400grit sanded wood.
    What's a go-around?

  10. #50
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vj88 View Post
    the graphic shop stated their vinyl lifespan at 5-7 years. The vinyl lifespan concerns me
    and that's why I only use vinyl for NNumbers (and I've had a few on different airplanes that I had to replace after only a few years...)

    the failure mode is they curl up from the edges... I will post a couple pictures of OLD vinyl failures locally(chugiak), not sure how old they are... (need to remember to take pictures)

    I doubt you save weight using vinyl.....

  11. #51
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    I have done 6 rebuild doing 2 super cubs this winter and that is all I use is vinyl numbers and strips.all are on aerothane paint .my cub was done 20 years ago with poly tone and vinyl stripes still looks great has 3000 hrs flying I all weather conditions up to - 35f.shows a little wear good for long time yet.one cub with aerothane all Mose as old less hrs .the 12we did with oretec is first one.
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  12. #52

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    I have put Vinyl auto striping on my test piece w Oratex, and left out in the weather, 6 months so far - no lift no bubbles

    Oratex makes their own “vinyl” striping and graphics, comes from Germany, and very expensive, but they will do custom.
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  13. #53
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    Is anyone doing Oratex "commercially"... As in, If I needed my wings rebuilt and recovered, are folks out there using Oratex?
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  14. #54
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    I'm sure any good all around fabrics guy would take it on, one who wanted to see what all the buzz was about. They could get educated on the stuff, on your nickel, why wouldn't they? Others, more conservative, may take a pass.
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  15. #55

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    There is a guy here in Alaska, Birchwood I have heard, that is covering w Oratex.

    After my experience, I would not hesitate to tell some one they could do it themselves.

    but,

    I would not pay someone to learn on my airplane. It is just too different from “regular” fabric precess.

  16. #56
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    ..others, more conservative, may take a pass.
    pass!!!!
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  17. #57
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    Mike, I remember you talking awhile back about someone that covered with Oratex and it was in rags the next season? I ask because I'll be recovering my cub in the near future and am considering Oratex but leaning towards Stitts. Would you elaborate on your observations of the Oratex?

    Thanks
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  18. #58
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herc View Post
    Mike, I remember you talking awhile back about someone that covered with Oratex and it was in rags the next season?
    Thanks
    i don't remember saying that.......

    but I much prefer stitts or dope, ZERO chance of me using this

  19. #59
    Herc's Avatar
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    My apologies. It's been a couple years, must have been someone else.

  20. #60
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    I can for sure see how someone who makes a living using traditional covering techniques, would not take on a Oratex job, why rock the boat? I also know there are shops out there, maybe a bit hungrier, that may be a bit more open to new techniques and material, that would welcome the chance to do an Oratex job. Maybe even at a discount, as it would be understood there would be a learning curve.

    My only personal fabric experience is 100% Stits/Polyfiber/Polytone, 5 planes, and I'm real happy with it. My current 13 year old plane, kept hangared, 2500 hr TT, still looks great with no issues. But I'm also a weight weenie, and saving maybe 15 to 30 (I've heard all kinds of numbers) pounds would for sure make me strongly consider the O option next time. I also don't really care about the cosmetics, more about ease of repair, light of a weight as possible, and longevity, in that order.

    My only first hand knowledge of the stuff is that Hal Stockman, winner of the STOL Oshkosh event this year, and a long time experiential builder and pilot, and a fellow weight weenie, used it, and just said that after a bit of a learning curve (as compared to his previous Stits work) he liked it, and FOR SURE it paid off in the weight department.
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  21. #61
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    There is an IA in Wasilla that uses Oratex on his working Cub and installs it. Also an installer I know that does it for a living (has heat gun will travel). While I know both of them, I receive no compensation or perks of any kind by sending business there way. If anybody wishes to contact them, send me a pm.
    "Always looking up"
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  22. #62

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    Just an update,
    Have 2 years or so on the Oratex fabric.
    Had a bad fuel leak along the way, no damage, but there is a distinct blue stain from avgas, it seems to be fading tho.
    Everything is holding up very well. I did have a few small spots where I did not heat the tape enough to trigger the glue, and they lifted a little, but easy to fix with the heat gun.
    After the initial install, when I wheeled the plane out in the cold the fabric was too loose, it seems that it will only shrink so tight. So I "froze" the airframe and reshrunk when cold as the frame was smaller, it has stayed tight in all temps since then.
    I had a persistant oil leak for the first 10 hours or so, so the belly got pretty oily, no effect.
    I have also had some pretty hard "dings" that left an impression in the fabric that I thought I would have to shrink out, but they tightened up on their own - still not sure how that works. Very sure that one of those would have gone through "regular fabric"

    All in all I am very happy with it.
    It does not have that fancy airplane shine, but I don't wash my plane enough to care about that.
    It is VERY tough.
    I am going to do some mods in the near future that will require cutting and regluing, I will update after thatClick image for larger version. 

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  23. #63
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    I wonder if, instead of waxing Oratex, you used Aerospace 303? Maybe someone has tried this, Lars?

  24. #64

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    Nanook, I will try it when I get home.

    The beauty of Oratex is the ability to repair it with out mek and paint/silver/dope etc. You just paint the glue on, let it dry, then heat it up until the reaction happens, and then shrink.
    But
    If there is something weird on there, it can be hard to clean well enough to get the glue to stick. I have heard that the Ceramic coatings are really hard to get off.

    A word to the wise: do not think you will save some money by cutting Tapes out of your scrap fabric. Looks like crap. The Oratex tapes are really good now, and nearly disappear when done correctly. You can hide alot of ugly with them.
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  25. #65
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    A word to the wise: do not think you will save some money by cutting Tapes out of your scrap fabric. Looks like crap. The Oratex tapes are really good now, and nearly disappear when done correctly. You can hide alot of ugly with them.[/QUOTE]

    I made tapes once for one elevator and will never do it again. Far too much work and a horrible outcome.
    "Always looking up"
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  26. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    I wonder if, instead of waxing Oratex, you used Aerospace 303? Maybe someone has tried this, Lars?
    No data to back this up but, like Armorall, Aerospace 303 has silicone as an ingredient I’m fairly certain. If you ever want a prayer of ever repairing your (insert covering system here, including Oratex) and hope to have the patches stick and remain where you put them, DO NOT spray that stuff on your covering. Silicone is a wicked evil substance to remove once it’s on a surface when it MUST be removed for these purposes. Ever tried to paint where any RTV has been? Takes monumental effort to escape the fisheyes caused by the contamination that’s impossible to even see.

    That’s my nickels worth. Inflation has stricken the 2 cent info supply.
    Cheers, Oz
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  27. #67
    nanook's Avatar
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    Hey Oz, where are you seeing that 303 contains silicone?

    Likewise, people ask, does 303 Aerospace Protectant contain silicone?
    Unlike many products, 303 Aerospace Protectant does not contain silicone, oils, waxes, glycerin or petroleum distillates. Clear Vinyl Protection: 303 Aerospace Protectant provides effective UV protection for clear vinyl and leaves an optically enhanced finish for clearer vision.
    Quote off the internet from some expert...
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  28. #68

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    Nook, I humbly stand corrected, and in some sort of defense, I did say “no data to back this up” but should have dug into it a bit further before posting. I’ve used several products, like Armorall, that left me wishing I had tried something else. Like the time I used it on the seat on my snow machine back in high school. There are lessons we only have to learn once, that was one such…….
    I truly hope that the 303 is a good and better solution than the Oratex wax. It’s definitely a great product. In any case, I would still caution to do a test patch on a surface that’s been treated so you know the compatibility of the glue and the protectant and how easy it is to clean off etc.

    Cheers, Oz

  29. #69
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    Silicone removal can be a bear. If in doubt whether or not silicone is present I alway treat the surface with “Polycracker” first. Saves the messy removal of fish eyeing paint. You can get that at your paint store.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin
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  30. #70
    nanook's Avatar
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    Yeah Oz, I am impressed with 303s UV blocking properties but have never tried it on aircraft fabric topcoats. Mostly used on Royalex canoes and hypalon inflatable boats, works well on tires also...
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  31. #71

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    [QUOTE=gpepperd;825472]Silicone removal can be a bear. If in doubt whether or not silicone is present I alway treat the surface with “Polycracker” first. Saves the messy removal of fish eyeing paint. You can get that at your paint store.[QUOTE)

    I’ve fought the silicone/fisheye mess off and on for a long time. It truly is tough.
    Thanks so much for this info, I greatly appreciate this solution and also appreciate you and everyone else here that give so much to anyone seeking knowledge on so many subjects.
    Thanks Mr. Pepperd. Sent you a PM as well.

    Nook, it’s definitely good stuff, and your bringing it up has caused me to realize that it’s time for me to snag a new bottle as mine is about empty. Love it on tire sidewalls, bushwheels best friend and a myriad of other items also. Looks like it’ll get a test on this beast I’m working on after I get the Oratex on it.

    Cheers, Oz
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  32. #72
    nanook's Avatar
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    I have an Oretex test kit here somewhere…I’ll glue and shrink it to a frame, put 303 on and set it out in the sun for a bit.
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