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Thread: to powder coat or not ?

  1. #1
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    Default to powder coat or not ?

    Looking around the web, I see many detractors to powder coating. However, I have to believe it will vary with who applies what coating for use in which service.

    So, how's the factory applied powder coating been holding up? I'm told they've doing it for decades now. Has anyone found any surprises? Of course, if the fabric hasn't been replaced, one might not be able to evaluate this, but perhaps somebody has had to so.

    I'll note I'm not quibbling about the price, which seems quite reasonable for the effort saved, but I am curious if it's the best route in the long run.

    Karl

  2. #2
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    Hi Karl,

    It is all about prep. Powder coat is by far tougher than paint, but by far harder to repair if the prep isn't done right. Take your pick, done right in the first place or easy to do over. It comes down to those two choices.

    Dale

  3. #3
    Premium Member (Donated) s19flyer's Avatar
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    Rans subs out some of the powder coating. Fuselages are done by a third party. As mentioned the prep is the key.

    Not done right it will rust

    That's all I got to say about that......
    Glenn
    Avid Flyer, S6ES, S19, S20
    Remember, I am not immune to mistakes!
    What works for me may not work for you.

  4. #4
    Basic Member Denali's Avatar
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    S19flyer wrote:

    Not done right it will rust
    +1

    I had read somewhere that spraying a mist of oil inside the frames can prove helpful. I also read about people using nitrogen purging of what I suppose is an airtight and sealed fuselage cage made of welded tubing.

    If anyone has any information on the oil and nitrogen procedures, please comment.
    " It's Always Something" - Gilda Radner (1946-1989)

    " I love Horsepower, but love love love Torque "

    " Nothings says poor workmanship like uneven duct tape "

  5. #5
    Premium Member (Donated) s19flyer's Avatar
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    Rans does have an interior corrosion option.

    The drill various holes in the tubing, pour in mineral oil, rotate fuselage to distribute and then seal the holes.

    Was $300 when I ordered my kit.

    Not familiar with the N2 option. Seems like that would be difficult to do and maintain any kind of pressure in the tubing.
    Glenn
    Avid Flyer, S6ES, S19, S20
    Remember, I am not immune to mistakes!
    What works for me may not work for you.

  6. #6
    Basic Member Denali's Avatar
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    S19Flyer wrote :

    Rans does have an interior corrosion option.

    The drill various holes in the tubing, pour in mineral oil, rotate fuselage to distribute and then seal the holes.

    Was $300 when I ordered my kit.
    Looking back, is that something that maybe is relatively easy to do thereby saving $300 ? Doing it all over again, would you pay 300 dollars or do it yourself? I mean, given that you'll be delivering that S-20 Raven to WWHunter soon and starting your S-21 Outbound this fall.....
    " It's Always Something" - Gilda Radner (1946-1989)

    " I love Horsepower, but love love love Torque "

    " Nothings says poor workmanship like uneven duct tape "

  7. #7
    Premium Member (Donated) s19flyer's Avatar
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    It's done before the powder coating.

    After the fact I found out that our local Metal Depot has a 21ft oven so I could have done the corrosion protection and then took it there for powder coating. They do an excellent job.
    Glenn
    Avid Flyer, S6ES, S19, S20
    Remember, I am not immune to mistakes!
    What works for me may not work for you.

  8. #8
    Basic Member Chris Hoek's Avatar
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    I purchased my kit second hand, but the original purchaser opted for powder coating. I would say that was a wise decision.

    I wouldn't be able to tell you as to whether Rans did the powder coating or if they subbed it out, but whoever did it did an excellent job. This was a while back though, probably over 15 years ago.

    The powder coating is very durable and a good uniform finish. I have had to make a few minor repairs due to my own fault and the powder coating can be a pain to repair. The hardest part was finding a good color match. I think I bought about 10 cans of grey spray paint before I found the right color.

    Bottom line, if I ever buy a brand new kit of my own I would be willing to fork out the extra money for this option.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denali View Post
    S19flyer wrote:



    +1

    I had read somewhere that spraying a mist of oil inside the frames can prove helpful. I also read about people using nitrogen purging of what I suppose is an airtight and sealed fuselage cage made of welded tubing.

    If anyone has any information on the oil and nitrogen procedures, please comment.
    Interesting. Doing some Google research I see that when the structure is completed, purging with an inert gas will work. One link I found talks about this method using a pressure gauge permanently affixed and occasionally monitoring to insure positive pressure.
    Im new to aircraft and experimentals but this seems like a plausible and pretty slick idea?

  10. #10
    Premium Member (Donated) pouellette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s19flyer View Post

    Not familiar with the N2 option. Seems like that would be difficult to do and maintain any kind of pressure in the tubing.

    The pressurized nitrogen process is used mostly in high end aerobatic airplanes. The reason is not for corrosion protection but to detect any cracks in the airframe that would compromise structural integrity. A pressure gage is mounted in the frame in the cockpit. Any pressure loss would indicate a crack in the frame.

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