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How to Prevent Canopy Heat Distortion from Sun

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How to Prevent Canopy Heat Distortion from Sun

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Old 07-10-2014, 03:12 PM
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dasintex
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Default How to Prevent Canopy Heat Distortion from Sun

I have a Hanger 9 Twist 60 that had a clear Canopy, I'm not a fan of clear Canopies, so I painted it Black(used flat black paint on the inside surface of the canopy), unfortunately, the canopy got distorted when exposed to the hot direct sun recently down here in Texas, the first time I have ever seen that happen, I guess the black color soaked up a bunch of sun and it over heated and distorted it, in the event I replace the canopy and I wanted to color it, any suggestions that would prevent it from getting heat distortion from the Hot Texas sun?
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:01 PM
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JohnBuckner
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Since you don't like the transparent canopy that widens the options and gives you many choices. Go old school and whittle on out of a solid block and hollow it then paint any color. Or build one up partially combined with some carved portions.

Go open cockpit and cut a windscreen out any kind of plastic or just cut the front portion of any other canopy.

Its a good investment of a few hours and you may enjoy the experience knowing you have something that is unique

John
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:12 PM
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More than likely the solvents in the paint reacted with the canopy plastic and caused the problem. I haven't had any problems here with super hot sun and temperatures, but I leave them clear. Solvents in paint can be disastrous to carbon fiber parts by the way as we had an avionics pressure vessel literally explode when tested at altitude at a firm I worked for a while ago. It had been painted with an unapproved paint that greatly weakened the structure of the enclosure.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:08 PM
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I live in Houston Texas and deal with the same problem. Every canopy I've ever painted has gotten distorted by our summer heat and sun, some on their first trip to the field. Clear canopies don't have this problem but I still just have to have painted canopies on a few of my planes.

What I do is to always cover the canopy at the field with a towel. Remove the towel to fly and replace it as soon as you're done. Weights help as our gulf coast wind often blows the cover away and distorts the canopy before you know it.

Yes, a painted canopy absorbs lots more heat than a clear one and they bend, buckle, balloon and all kinds of other bad things. Keep them covered and all will be cool. Until you forget to cover them or the wind helps you out. But sometimes, I'd rather know that I'll have to replace a canopy from time to time and enjoy a cool paint job.

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Old 07-10-2014, 08:58 PM
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I would go more along with Thail on this. After painting one I let the paint set up for at least 10 days just like I do with fuel proof paint.I have a couple of them done in silver without any problems. Years ago I was also taught to drill a couple small holes in the aft part of the canopy to allow the heat inside to release/vent. There are several canopy tints you can spray to color them too. I get the tints at Hobby Town, they have a good paint selection.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:07 AM
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It wasn't a reaction with the paint. It was simply a matter of a painted canopy getting hot enough to melt.
If want a black canopy I agree with carving one and covering it in black
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:18 AM
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RBACONS
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Another option would be to use the clear canopy (pre-deformation) as a plug to make a mold from. Then you could lay one up in fiberglass and paint it any color you want. If your used to fiberglassing, its an easier way to get a good looking replica of the existing canopy than carving one would be and the fiberglass would be more durable. Plus, if you ever damaged the canopy, you would still have the mold to lay up a new one from.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:22 PM
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dbacque
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Silver canopies reflect the heat. Black canopies absorb the heat. It's all about radiant energy and other physics type junk.

My canopy had been painted and cured for months before it ever saw the sun. One day in the Texas gulf coast August sun had it warped. I do like the black canopy on some planes but now I know to keep them covered when I'm not flying. It's all great until a gust comes up and throws the towel off your plane. Oops!

Dave

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:12 PM
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dasintex
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Appreciate all the replys and suggestions; the paint on the canopy was well cured, painted it last fall; I may remove it and get another one and either leave it Clear, Paint it Silver or Paint it Black but keep it covered when in the Sun like others have suggested; again thanks for the replys and suggestions!
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RBACONS View Post
Another option would be to use the clear canopy (pre-deformation) as a plug to make a mold from. Then you could lay one up in fiberglass and paint it any color you want. If your used to fiberglassing, its an easier way to get a good looking replica of the existing canopy than carving one would be and the fiberglass would be more durable. Plus, if you ever damaged the canopy, you would still have the mold to lay up a new one from.
IMO this is the best option but there is an easier way. Take the new canopy, wax it up with some mold release wax on the inside, shoot some fuel proof paint (not black) like Klass Koat and then lay a couple plies of 3 oz cloth with epoxy resin inside. Let cure and then pop,out your pre painted, fiberglass canopy. Trim and mount like you would normally. This is what I did on my new Extra.
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