Saturday, October 29, 2016

Repairing "China Film" with Clear Monokote

I've used clear Monokote for years in a variety of repairs. With so many ARFs now being covered in low temp "China Film", despite the mfg's claiming it to be a name brand covering, many pilots find the covering coming loose on glow fuel powered aircraft. The fuel residue from glow fuel will find it's way under the edge of the covering, soften the adhesive, and resealing with a covering iron is only a temporary fix. I've had this happen a number of times and have found a permanent fix for the problem... Clear Monokote covering!

I recently pulled my old ERC Spoiler down from my storage racks and discovered the clear outer layer of covering had let go, leaving only the white pasty color layer behind. The clear outer layer was peeling off, and could not be reattached over the color. I pulled the clear layer back in place and tacked it down to the wing with the sealing iron on low temp (abt 250 deg), cut a thin strip of clear Monokote, and applied is across the edge of the failing China-film joint. I sealed the Monokote at 300 degrees, and the repair is complete and permanent. You have to be careful where your iron touches the China-film, some of that stuff melts very easily and at a very low temp, but overall I've found this to be my best way to repair China-film, short of recovering the aircraft.

Here I've cut a strip of clear Monokote and have peeled the backing away, in preparation for sealing to to the repair area on my wing.

There's nothing special about the clear Monokote,  you could use any color of iron on covering, but the clear doesn't smear color onto the original covering, and the original covering can be seen through it... it's almost invisible.

Here, the clear strip has been ironed into place over the failing China-film joint, and is only seen when looking up close.

My spoiler, ready to go, with no visible covering repairs from the china-film problem. I've had the airplane several years, so there are several small repairs with clear Monokote on it!

Dave AMA119484