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Old 09-26-2008, 05:50 AM   #1
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Fuel proofing

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Hi, Can I use a standard grade polyurethane to fuel proof engine bay area ?

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Old 09-26-2008, 06:36 AM   #2
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Re: Fuel proofing

"Standard grade Polyurithane"? - I don't know.

Whenever I fuel proof an engine bay, I mix up some 30 minute Zpoxy blend in some methal hydrate (from CTC) to thin it down and then use a disposable paint brush to paint it onto the area to be covered.

The Methyl Hydrate acts to thin out the Zpoxy and alows it to soak into the wood, then it evaporates to allow the zpoxy to dry normally - very tough and fuel proof.

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Old 09-26-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Re: Fuel proofing

bbbair's above mentioned method is about the best, Polyurethane is porous when it dries, and is not sufficiently fuel proof to seal wood. You can also use CA to fuel proof, its fairly fast curing so if you are in hurry is an acceptable substitute, the problem is it can spall with age, for me that's not a real problem as my planes rarely live long enough for it to become an issue.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Fuel proofing

Hey Dave,
In my experience, Poly is fuel proof to exaust residue to about 10% nitro. Any more and it turns to goo. I wouldn't expect it to hold up to raw fuel. I had to strip and repaint a very nice Ivan Kristenson pattern plane because of this. Since you're wanting to fuel proof a fuel bay (sensible idea by the way, saved me a plane once when a YS pressure line split), I would go with the thinned epoxy. You can thin as mentioned above or with rubbing alcohol. 99% is best. If it's hard to get at all the areas in there, try sticking an acid brish on a stick and bend it so you can reach the areas that are, well, hard to reach. Good luck,
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: Fuel proofing

I use poly eurothane for up to 15%. Never tried any higher nitro percentage. What I look for on the can is the ingrediants. If it has acetone, toluene in it then I use it. If it mentions petrolium distalate then it stays on the shelf. Been doing it this way for years. I miss the cans of varithane as it worked very well.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: Fuel proofing

I've never seen any of that stuff fuel proof no matter what nitro percentage. It has always softened to a sticky mess on any plane I've used it on.

the last use was clear to seal vinyl graphics. a friend assured me it would be fuel proof. he was wrong!

I should have gone with my experience from 20 years ago. it wasn't fuel proof back then either.

use thinned epoxy.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: Fuel proofing

I too have use epoxy glue, usually the 12 to 30 minute stuff to fuel proof fuel tank and firewall areas of my nitro model planes.

Something I also like to do is, once the epoxy is applied and just before it sets, is to use my heat gun and go over the area I applied the epoxy to. It makes the epoxy very thin and it flows into every crack and crevice. It also make the epoxy look like glass...very smooth once it fully dries/cures and its a lighter method as you don't need a lot of epoxy to get the job done properly.

As with the thinning, it really helps the epoxy to soak into the wood BUT the heat does cause it to set up somewhat faster. Not really a problem but just make sure you have your surface covered the way you wanted it before applying the heat. You will love the finish this way!

I have tried other methods but alway come back to this application. Has always worked best for me! And its a relatively cheep method of fuel proofing your plane!
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:35 PM   #8
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Re: Fuel proofing

Thanks to all who provided advice.


p.s. what would we do without Jason and the RCCanada site !!
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