Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

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skelly
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:15 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by skelly » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:13 pm

Hi.

In a few months time I will be completely recovering my aircraft which is a kitfox mk2.
Now you must bear in mind that I have not tackled a job like this before although I have done 'bits' in the past.
So treat me as a newbie.
As far as hands on stuff goes, I'm an experienced engineer and can do pretty much anything mechanical, but this is a bit different..

So, I am faced with a choice of products, mainly (I think): Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre and Seconite.
What I would like to know is:
Which one is lightest ?
Which one looks best ?
Which is easiest to apply ?
Which is most durable ?
Which is easily fixable ?
Which one will sit tightest against the aircrafts structure ?
How do they stack up pricewise once I have factored in time, dopes, primers, thinners, glue, heat gun, iron, paint ?

Would be really interested to read first hand experiences with this kinda thing as I am feeling a bit stumped.

Cheers.
Skelly.
Jon Skelson
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Ian Law
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:00 pm
Location: Devon

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by Ian Law » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:21 pm

I'm in a similar position except I need to emphasise that I am not an engineer, so can't offer advice, but I shall be interested in any responses.

At present my intention is to cover the wings and other "flying" surfaces with Oratex, for lightness, which is critical for my "Boredom Fighter" biplane project.
The fuselage may be covered with Ceconite, to avoid any complications that might otherwise arise with zippered access points etc, if Oratex were to be used. I understand superglue of some sort has to be used to secure inspection rings, of which there are quite a few along with drainage grommets and so on. Superglue/cyanoacrylate has also been used for installing zips.

I have used Ceconite in the past for covering some control surfaces ( Taylor monoplane ) and found this easy to use.

Ian Law

coxargus
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by coxargus » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:04 pm

Ceconite and Poly Fibre fabric are one and the same product off the same loom with different stamps on them.

I, a first time restorer, used Ceconite fabric and Poly fibre thereafter following the 'idiot proof' Manual for Poly Fibre - with excellent results.

One big advantage of PF is it does not burn.

Chris or Alex at http://www.aircraftcoverings.co.uk/main.htm are the folk to speak with if you are interested.

Good luck

Frank
Frank Cox
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tnowak
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:00 pm

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by tnowak » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:09 am

Skelly,

Having recently recovered the fuselage of my vintage Piper using Ceconite, here are my comments regarding Ceconite and Oratex. I can't comment on the others:

So, I am faced with a choice of products, mainly (I think): Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre and Ceconite.
What I would like to know is:
Which one is lightest ? Probably Oratex
Which one looks best ? Oratex is translucent (in certain lighting conditions); Ceconite isn't.
Which is easiest to apply ? Oratex
Which is most durable ? Probably similar regarding strength
Which is easily fixable ? Oratex. You just glue on a patch
Which one will sit tightest against the aircraft's structure ? Both do.
How do they stack up pricewise once I have factored in time, dopes, primers, thinners, glue, heat gun, iron, paint ? Oratex

Ceconite is very time consuming to apply but, in my opinion, when compared with Ceconite, you get a better "classical looking" fabric finish. Oratex is basically pre-coloured film that you glue on and shrink with an iron.

As previously commented on, Ceconite and Polyfibre use exactly the same fabric. It is the dopes used afterwards that differ.
Ceconite uses nitrate and butyrate dopes. Polyfibre uses a different non-flammable range of dopes.
I have been told that, when recovering a complete aircraft, the Polyfibre process weights a few lb less than the equivalent Ceconite process.

Hope this helps.
Tony
Tony Nowak
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skelly
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:15 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by skelly » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:04 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the comments.
I have also done some googling and have asked friends for their thoughts.
the conclusion I have arrived at is, I'm going to use Oratex 6000.
I know that under certain light conditions the Oratex 600 can be translucent especially if its a light colour.
The Oratex 6000 in the colours I need is not (as far as I can make out).
I spoke to the guys at the light aircraft company who are the Oratex suppliers, they run a one day training course, the cost of which is refunded on your first purchase.
The time saving with Oratex is huge and that can only be a good thing, I have enough on my plate with rebuilding the whole thing without having to spend another 4oo or so hours inhaling orrible chemicals and having to spray the various coats on.
I don't have anywhere to do spraying anyhow unless I want to totally mask off an area of my workshop which will just be a pain.
I know that Oratex is more expensive to purchase but after weighing up all of the costs and time, I think it makes economic sense.
Cheers.
Skelly.
Jon Skelson
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Ian Law
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:00 pm
Location: Devon

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by Ian Law » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:19 pm

My thanks also for the very helpful comments and advice and to skelly for raising the question.

Ian

tnowak
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:00 pm

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by tnowak » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:56 am

Skelly,

No doubt you will learn how to apply Oratex successfully during your training course.
However, I believe that surface cleaning/cleanliness is paramount when applying Oratex tapes to Oratex fabric as you don't want to find the tape edges lifting after a few years.
I have seen that issue on one aircraft and fixing it was tricky after a few years of oil mist etc. on the Oratex.
Tony
Tony Nowak
008249

skelly
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:15 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Mylar, Oratex, X-lam, Diatex, Poly fibre, Seconite aaaaagh

Post by skelly » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:25 pm

Nice one,
Cheers.
Skelly.
Jon Skelson
043254

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