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Thread: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

  1. #1
    robertsailor's Avatar
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    Default Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    I need to make a repair and while I'm quite capable of dealing with fabric and dope I'm not sure where to start with Imron paint. It's 18 years old and still in near perfect condition. The area I need to repair can be done on original tape lines. So all you experienced Short Wingers how do I go about it??
    The fabric is Stitts. The plane was run into by a vehicle in a common hangar and it cracked a longeron. I need to peel back the fabric enough for the tig welder to do his thing. It's possible that the tube may have had a bit of corrosion as that's the first idea you get when you get a crack but checking all the tubing around it there doesn't appear to be any. Anyways there are tape joints that can be cut on that would ease the fabric repair. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, R

  2. #2
    51-pa22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    Replace the fabric panel. Follow AC43-13 and the Stits manual on seam overlap.. your glue seams & overlap can be on the Inside hidden from sight. Mask an paint along the original longerons..they make a natural shadow line...

  3. #3
    Frank Green's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    I would try paint remover to remove the imron from the tapes and then MEK to get the tapes off. Then after you replace the fabric and tighten reinstall the tapes per the polyfiber manual. Save a piece of the original fabric/color and hopefully a body shop supply can do a color scan to match the older faded paint color.
    -Super Stub-

  4. #4
    JPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    If you can get to the backside of the fabric, apply MEK to the area you want the paint to come off of. This will cause the "dope" players underneath the Imron to delaminate from the fabric and then you can scrape it of. Being g really careful with a razor to score the Imron will give you a clean line. Or you can just peel up the tape and leave the pinked edge in the Imron that's staying and lay your new tapes so that their pinked edge lies into the old one.
    I've had success where you couldn't get to the backside by getting the edge of a tape loose then rubbing MEK into that raw edge to get the tape to start to peel. Then rubbing MEK along the raw edge of the paint and scraping it off along the edge until you've cleared enough to do what you need.
    Use a putty knife that has a smooth edge and rounded corners but not too sharp. That way there's less chance of tearing or gouging the fabric. And it will reshrink some when your repair is done when you put an iron to it so don't worry if the fabric that's staying gets a little floppy.

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    Jason Perkins

  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    Can you post a picture of the area/ I have scored the paint with a sharp razor blade but not the fabric, then as Jason posted, put a rag soaked in MEK on the back side and it released the paint and coating to raw fabric. Another option is the slit the fabric, make your structural repair and then patch with Stewarts. Their STC allows glueing over paint, scuff, patch and paint to match.

  6. #6
    robertsailor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    Here is a pic of the area. You won't see much but there is an aluminum former that the fabric wraps around. It had a big ding in it and the fabric was wrinkled but I pushed it back so it's hard to see unless your a foot away. Anyway my wife is pointing at the area that the longeron was bent
    IMG_2551.jpg

  7. #7
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    You will be removing quite a bit of fabric or peeling it back for this welding job. Since matching 18 year old paint is going to be a trick you might repaint the side of the plane to a seem or brake in the fabric line. Welding could get complicated if you get into clusters, good luck. This does not look like a simple job. I would use Stewart's up to white primer or shoot one light coat of Stewart's top coat in white (but, only if the person signing off insists), then try and match your color in your original paint. This way you don't use mek to remove paint, which will make it very difficult to get smooth edges in your finished product. I find Stewart's much easier to get a good finished patch. You don't need experience with Stewart's just watch the video. Although, I heard as of a couple of years ago, no one was signing off on Stewart's in your area, make sure that is not the case if you go this way.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    Did it do structural damage or just bend the aluminum fairing under the fabric?

  9. #9
    robertsailor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    It cracked that longeron in the middle where it was bent up and it cracked at the rear cluster joint. It was hit quite hard.

  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing fabric with Imron paint

    Darn, was hoping it was simpler than that. Good thing about a fabric airplane is it is easy to access and repair, only issue is making the fabric repair look good and paint match.

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