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Thread: Supercub cloth material?

  1. #1
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default Supercub cloth material?

    I'm doing some research into various composite materials, and I can't remember the material that they use for Piper aircraft. If I remember it's applied with a "heat shrink" method, correct? Is it named Cokonite or something similar? Getting old, and the memory is fading...

    Are there several different types?

    Thanks for ANY help.

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    Default ceconite

    is a brand name. Nonheat stabilized dacron fabric is used to cover "cloth" airplanes. After it is glued in place it is heated to specific temps to tighten it, Then UV protectors are applied and paint after.

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    Thank you Tom! I knew someone here would remember it's name.

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    Hey, saltwatertom, my mechanics always used a "hair dryer" type hand-held blower. How did this heat to a "specific temperature?" Seemed pretty causal to me. My guys just shrank the fabric and called that good . . . . .

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    Exclamation No hair dryers!!

    Then they did it wrong. Not just my opinion, but that of the manufacturer and those that really know what they are doing. The fabric needs to get to, and not beyong a specific temp for proper application. A calibrated iron is the tool to use. Heatgun/ hairdryers are NOT precise enuf or controlable enuf. I have plenty of experience doing this and have made the mistakes myself.

    The published manual has all the info in it, and the why's and why nots. Not sure if it is online but it probobly is. My system of choce is Poly Fiber.

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    I'm painting my wings right now that I just did in the Poly Fiber method. Simple and comes out great if you take your time and do it the correct way the first time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltwatertom View Post
    The published manual has all the info in it, and the why's and why nots. Not sure if it is online but it probobly is. My system of choce is Poly Fiber.
    Tom, I found what looks like a pretty good manual here:
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo.../cecmanual.php

    Now, let me ask another dumb question...What's poly fiber?
    Is it a heat shrink application also?

    This thread is getting better than I had expected! Thanks, folks!

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    I used Ceconite (see-con-ite) to do mine. It comes with various weights. I used an iron to tighten it. Someplace around the house I have a photo essay of the process.
    It is glued and laced to the metal tubing.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Wink

    Poly Fiber and Ceonite are just two of many brand names of aircraft covering methods. All are very similar, some use a water base, Ceconite and Poly Fiber use an MEK base. All use dacron fabric with heat shrinking to make it tight. An older way to cover is grade A cotton that uses a differnt type of "dope" that does the shrinking instead of shrinking the fabric before painting.

    If you really want to learn about aircraft covering then buy a manual ( I would recomend Poly fiber) and read it (esp before attempting any actuall work). The manual will explain almost anythong you could ask about covering and the materials.

    The process is easy (esp if you follow the directions) it just takes alot of time and patience.

    http://www.polyfiber.com/

    http://www.polyfiber.com/products/pr...emanualno1.htm



    Now, let me ask another dumb question...What's poly fiber?
    Is it a heat shrink application also?

    This thread is getting better than I had expected! Thanks, folks! [/QUOTE]

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    Yup, I'm ordering this one from Aircraft Spruce.
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo.../cecmanual.php

    Thanks folks! Don't worry, I'm just playing around with the material, not doing any A/C repair or anything. Just doing a little learning. I may be using it for another application, so I need to fully understand it's properties and materials/related chemicals.

    I do some composite material (carbon fiber/kevlar/glass) work, and I've always wanted to learn more about the "heat shrink" fabric technology. The fact that the fabric can be put under "tension" to hold a shape (with the heat shrinking) may be VERY useful to me.

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    AHA!!! So my mechanics were doing it wrong. I guess I'm not too surprised. Though my last cover job was back in about 1976, I don't think much has changed. Next time, I'll know to watch over the process to make sure it's done right.

    Thanks!

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    Poly fiber representative normally has a class twice a year for like 150$, I have the guys number in my old phone, I could look it up if your interested.

    Terry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Poly fiber representative normally has a class twice a year for like 150$, I have the guys number in my old phone, I could look it up if your interested.

    Terry
    Terry, I'm interested also.
    Please post the number, or PM it, if you will. Thanks.

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    Another system you might take a look at is the Stewart System, http://www.stewartsystems.aero/default.aspx

    They use water borne non toxic materials. I know a couple of experienced aircraft rebuilders who swear by it now. Vicki at Tamarack Air in Fairbanks has hosted a couple of Stewart System workshops. I walked into her hangar at the tail end of a workshop and it was strange to see a bunch of freshly covered and painted control surfaces without smelling any fumes.

    I covered my Aeronca Sedan with Poly-Fiber (I'm still in the process of assembly). Despite a steep learning curve, that went fairly well. My wife and I attended one of their workshops in Anchorage and that was really a good experience. They also have an excellent maunuel and video. This ihttp://www.polyfiber.com/index.htms their website:
    Louis Knapp

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    PolyFiber and Ceconite are two brand names owned by the same manufacturer. Thay also own Randolph Coatings. The PolyFiber and Ceconite fabrics come off the same loom but are stamped with one brand name or the other to identify the covering procedure. PolyFiber used to be known as Stits. It uses brand specific coatings. Ceconite usually is coated with dope and top coated with either dope or an approved polyurethane paint. The STCd processes are very specific these days and leave little room to introduce other paints. If viewed from the inside PolyFiber will be pink and Ceconite will be blue, as determined by the initial fabric coating. As for the hair dryer? Guys who've been covering planes for a living for any length of time will all use a heat gun at some point of the process. There are situations where an iron isn't the best choice. I know what the manuals say and what the instructors say, but I've watched the best professionals in the business and they all have heat guns in their tool boxes.

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    Louis, thanks for the links!

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    Default Class

    I believe his name is Pete and his number is 907-276-2046

    Terr7

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