Ultracote Plus -- Arrrgh - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:14 AM   #1
Claude Paradis
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Ultracote Plus -- Arrrgh

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I have finished up the repairs to the Kougar and am now covering over the patchworks. For the original build I used ultracote. For the repairs, the purple ultracote wasn't available, just this ultracote Plus. The difference is the plus is sticky back like decal or tape.

For starters I find this stuff very difficult to work with. The sticky back hinders more than helps. I have been getting by, but my major beef is I just can't get it to stick down and seal. Arrgh!. I've tried low heat, I've tried high heat, I've tried lots of pressure. All the edges just sit there all loose and/or goopy. It is a real mess. It isn't going to last more than 30-40 flights. I am really close to just stripping the whole plane and going with an entirely different scheme in the monocote colors that I have on hand. But I do not want to spend any more time on this airframe.

I have used ultracote lots in the past with good results - for a time I preferred it to monokote. Especially for covering jobs that had lots of curved surfaces.

This "plus" version is, well ... I do not have and decent typable words to use for it.
Whoever invented it should have been presented with their sign
Is it just me or this "Plus" stuff absolute s ? The edges do not stick down and it doesn't shrink very well either.

Just for clarification --> I love Ultracote. It is the "Plus" version that I have nothing good to say about.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:45 AM   #2
Cecil Marshall
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I don't think they make the "plus" anymore, at least I haven't seen it advertised..Of course there could be some old stock around..
I have some around and only use it for small repairs..It is a "pain" to use, but so far I've had success with it "sticking and not lifting" but I sure wouldn't want to do a whole plane in it
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Old 03-19-2005, 10:25 AM   #3
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I bought one roll of the stuff a few years back. Covered one wing panel, peeled it all off and threw the rest of the roll away. The stuff is, IMO, real cr@p. However I do like the original Ultracote. The 'plus' stuff might be okay for small repairs though. I can't attest to that because like I said I was so fed up I chucked the roll!!
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:30 PM   #4
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Most of the problems when trying to recover or repair over old covering or even wood is the fact the surface are not clean enough. Believe me when I tell you that cleaning it with alcohol or other solvents will not get it clean enough. I have tried everything in my arsenal including MEK, and other industrial grade thinners and ended up with limited success.

The only thing I have ever found that will clean the oils and other stuff from the surfaces is Monokote Trim Solvent. Even oil soaked wood can be repeatedly cleaned to the point you will be able to iron on your covering. I am asked this many times at the club level on how best to repair and patch iron on films. If you read the tip below it will give you the general idea what has worked for me over the years.

If you want to repair iron on film simply and fast here is what you do. First you must have a bottle of Monokote Trim Solvent get it at the hobby shop. NOTHING else works as well and it lasts a very long time so get a bottle.

Look at the tear are there any loose edges that are flapping around. If yes just trim them back so they do not get in the way. If itís just a small split in the covering you do not have to trim back to any solid surface as long as the covering is not wrinkled. It does not even have to be all that tight so long as itís not loose.

Cut the patch so it overlaps onto solid covering by 3/4 of an inch. Round off any sharp corners on the patch as sharp corners tend to lift and be harder to seal down. With the backing still on the patch test fit it. Does it lay nice and flat?

Now use the trim solvent and just dampen the end of a paper towel and gently so you don't damage any more of the covering wipe and clean all areas where the patch will be placed this will clean the oil residue from the original covering and supporting wood. You might even see it dissolving some of the color as you clean this is ok. Wipe dry with paper towel. This time barely dampen a fresh paper towel with the trim solvent and wipe the same area again. For small manageable patches you can remove the backing from the covering and place the patch while the solvent is still slightly damp. This forms an instant patch and you get one shot at placing the patch. Now gently use a dry paper towel and wipe dry any solvent and at the same time try and seal the edges of the patch when you wipe it with the paper towel. If on the other hand the repair patch is larger and not easily managed let the second or even third cleaning completely dry. Once completely dry place the patch and set your iron on the low side and work at the edges sealing them down. Once you have sealed the edges of the patch you will be able to shrink the whole thing just like undamaged covering without worrying about a lifting edge. If an edge proves to be difficult to seal down stop ironing and try using a bit of trim solvent on a paper towel slid between the two surfaces to soften the glue and seal by rubbing the edge down. Do not use an iron on this area until the solvent is completely dry or it will bubble and wrinkle. Take what ever time you need to slowly make sure all edges are sealed down and all the solvent is completely dry then you can iron as per covering instructions.

I have patched holes at the field on fuel covered sections just by cleaning the area first with Windex then wiping it with the trim solvent and placing a patch on the damage. The trim solvent literally welds the two surfaces together and I have never had an edge lift.
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:37 PM   #5
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Laquer thinner and acetone work as well.
Dennis is right, alcohol WILL NOT do the job!
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Old 03-19-2005, 01:12 PM   #6
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Great advise Dennis!

As Ron suggests, I have used acetone and have had good success but I cannot compare it to the trim solvent because I have never used the stuff!

I think I have purchased just about everything else available for this hobby though!! LOL. I will definitely have to give it a try! I usually pick up my supply of these types of items on my Toledo trip each year and that is only a couple of weeks away.

Personally, I have used Ultracote pretty much exclusively since I discovered it a few years back. Nothing wrong with Monocote but Ultracote has a couple very distinct advantages. First off, I find that its stronger when heated and stretched even the most compound curves, and it doesn't melt as easy a Monocote when using more heat to accomplish this.

Secondly, I use to live in Northern Ontario and we would fly all year round, even down to minus 15 C. I have found that Monocote is very very brittle in the cold. Even where you would normally only get a small puncture in Ultracote, the Monocote shatters like glass and major recovering repairs are in order. Ultracote does not do this.

Another thing that I have personally found is that if you stretch it tight while tacking it to the airframe AND THEN shrink it, Ultracote will not ever sag and wrinkle while sitting in the heat at the field. And speaking about repairs or trimming a plane, I have found that Ultracote does not release a gas as does other coverings when ironing it over itself, causing a million little bubbles under the second layer of covering. As Dennis says, take your time and slowly work the iron over the patch or trim and you will not get this happening to you with Ultracote. This is definitely my covering of choice!

Now as far as Ultracote Plus is concerned, I hate the stuff! Will never use it again!
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Old 03-19-2005, 09:38 PM   #7
Claude Paradis
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Thanks for the tip and method of using the trim solvent.
Rest assured the surfaces are thoroughly clean and residue is not my problem.
I will try the method outlined with trim solvent in leu of heat, but I will use acetone instead. Essentially the same stuff.

As per Gary, Ultracote is my preferred covering for all the same reasons. Particularly when laying over another color. No bubbles.

As far as the "plus" goes - as soon as I am done, whatever is left of this roll which will be about 4 feet is getting ceremonially burned! Unless somewhat wants some free covering. The only use I can think of for this crap is for a foam plane - just put it on like contact paper and expect nothing more.
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