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Testing Ultracote

Old 09-20-2016, 08:56 AM
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Default Testing Ultracote

I have some old (>10 years) rolls of Ultracote in various colors. Finally getting around to building that Kaos but want to make sure the covering is still good. Most of the rolls have not been opened. How do I test the Ultracote to make sure it is okay before using it to cover a plane? $$$ is in short supply these days so do not want to just trash it and buy new. What are the failure modes of old Ultracote?
Old 09-20-2016, 01:35 PM
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I used 10 year old monokote and solartex without a problem. But I don't use Ultracote.
Old 09-20-2016, 05:53 PM
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It should be fine. If you are worried, just iron a piece on to some wood and see if it sticks. Go ahead and make sure it still shrinks with heat too. Chances are you'll find it's no different than a new roll. When you peel it back off, the adhesive should mostly come off the wood instead of staying on and coming off from the film. The only things I can think of that would ruin covering would be chemical contamination in the form or oil or solvents that ruin the adhesive, UV breakdown of the polyester film, heat cycling that could cause the adhesive to lose some of its bond with the film, or physical damage. If the rolls are still in the package and haven't been stored in constant direct sunlight, I'm certain they'll be fine.
Old 09-21-2016, 04:34 AM
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Using any brand of film that is very old test #1 does the backing paper or plastic separate easily #2 build a simple frame that employs both and open bay section and a solid sheeted section then cover, If everything works to your satisfaction then use the stuff.

I have used stuff that was very old with no problems and only twice have I come across a couple of odd colors that were unusable.


John
Old 09-21-2016, 08:16 AM
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Thanks, guys. I'll build a couple of frames from 1/4 x3/8 balsa and see how it works. I need the practice anyways as I haven't covered open frames for a long time, and was not that good at it then! Time to look at the covering videos.
Old 09-24-2016, 05:15 PM
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I had some old stuff that didn't work, the backing fell off when I unrolled it, so that should be a sign it isnt any good.
Old 09-27-2016, 12:40 PM
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Hi!
I have 30 year old Oracover film (Ultracote to you americans) that is still like new!

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