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Aircraft Paint  
User currently offlineAlitalia7e7 From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 185 posts, RR: 4
Posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3425 times:

Can someone please explain what in the air makes the paint chip off aircraft?

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3400 times:

It doesnt chip off, it peels off inflight after so long if you dont wax it regularly. You will notice most of the peelings around the cockpit windows. Thats normal wear and tear providing that the a/c gets a regular wax job once every 4-6 months.


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineAlitalia7e7 From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 185 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3385 times:

Thanks AirframeAS, on average how long does it take for an airline to repaint its airplanes?

Do airlines wax their planes, is this done manually? Wouldn't they have a better cruising performance if they were waxed regularly. I know JAL washes its planes monthly as a clean plane uses a slight percent of less fuel which saves them a little cash each year on fuel costs!


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

On repainting:

It depends on how many colors the aircraft would require, depends on the airline and the aircraft type.

How waxing is done:

aircraft waxing is done...well put it this way..depending on the airline. WN does it by hand as well as AS does it by hand. It takes 1 night to do it by hand at WN. At AS, its done during all checks only and generally takes 2-3 days to do since its still in a check but its one of the last tasks in a check. Before a C or D check happens, all aircraft go through a wash..EVERYTHING gets cleaned.

As for cruising performance, it has nothing to do with it at all. It just helps protect the paint as much as it can but it wears off real fast compared to a car. I wax my car once a year or year and a half and it doesnt make my car go any faster or slower...just looking a little bit cleaner.  Big thumbs up



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineDalmd88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2614 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3298 times:

Air at 300+mph is very abrasive. All the little dirt particals act like a sandblaster. Most of the leading on the wings and the tail are heated so they are unpainted but near the top of the vertical and the wing tips it gets painted. These are prime areas of paint erosion. Also any thing that sticks up into the windstream on the fuselage is subject to erosion. Some times a poor paint job will fail due to cracks in the paint. The fuselage expands a great deal under pressure. If the paint isn't elastic enough it cracks and begins to flake off. A lot of times when you see a 'dirty' airplane it's really a failed paint job. You can wash it every day, but it will still look bad.

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User currently offlineKEESJE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3239 times:

Quality of the paint also determens how long it will stay on.

E.g mica coatings, electrostatical painting and climate control of the painting facility play a rol, as well as the environtment the aircraft operates in, deicing every day doesn't help ...


http://www.klm-em.com see airframes, aircraft painting..


User currently offlineTechspec From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

Paint peeling or chipping is directly related to the time, effort and quality of the surface prep that took place prior to the application of the primer and paint. This is a classic case of "you get what you pay for". When you see bare metal this is a bad prep job.

User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1248 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3104 times:

We here in the automotive finishing industry like to take our time in surface prep, it is extremely important to put a great deal of care into prepping and it is something that does not want to be rushed. Peeling or cracking can be associated with sun damage (that's why all those poor aircrafts sitting out at the EverGreen Facility have there paint peeling), improper gun use can also contribute, improper material application, improper surface prep and using the wrong reducer or thinner for the present air temp. There are a million ways for a paint job to have problems and with that there are a million ways to fix it. Now I know for a fact that Boeing uses electo - magnetic spray guns that help the paint adhere better to the aluminum which this process can be compared to powder coating, yet in the process for powder coating you bake the material at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. The thing is nor Boeing or Airbus use spray booths AKA paint booths like OEM's do (Toyota, Honda, Chevy, Ford and so on). Body shops also use booths to produce that beautiful quality finish. Booths help ensure a proper temp for application because it has a built in climate control and they have a filtration system so it provides dust, dirt free clean air, if the air is not clean these impurities can lift the paint from the substrate as you were wondering. As for what AirframeAS, said about waxing to protect the finish. They do wax them for protection, but that's what clear coat is for protection and appearance. But of course just like automobiles, aircrafts finishes wear out, It's inevitable. I can imagine that Carriers are given a great deal of options as for materials, if it will be an Acrylic lacquer or Urethane Enamel Paint. I'm sure most carriers would go with the Urethane Enamel as that is what the our cars clearcoats are applied with because of its extremely strong durability. Now with the aircaft manufactures they prep everything, hand abrade everything and manually paint everything. Unlike the Worlds OEM's (Auto manufactures) they have their process all automatic, booth that may stretch as long as 5 to 6 football fields long and the new booths have a built in bake cycle for the clearcoats, automatic spray guns and automatic washing arms much like a car wash that would prep the body for the next coat or step. LOL, I could go all day long on this, so to just sum it up Boeing and Airbus could have paint jobs that could last a carrier 10 - 12 years if they only had spray booths. Most body and paint shops are equipped with the new booths that can be as high priced as $100,000 USD that's how much our booth at tech school is. So I can imagine for an aircraft spray booth it can reach in amounts of about $80,000,000 USD and that's why they may not want to build one. I can't believe AS and WN hand wax their a/c, thanks for that info AirframeAS. I bet most carriers wax their a/c with machine polishers AKA buffers.

User currently offlineAlitalia7e7 From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 185 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2999 times:

Does any airline, spray their planes in a spray booth?

User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1248 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2968 times:

Pretty good question, Boeing does not. But I think the A380 will be sprayed in a booth which is amazing cause of the size the booth will have to be.

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2864 times:

I can't believe AS and WN hand wax their a/c, thanks for that info AirframeAS. I bet most carriers wax their a/c with machine polishers AKA buffers.

You're welcome for the info. Ive only done waxing on 737s. At AS we waxed the check a/c section by section using rags and sticks. There were only 2 Technician Helpers per shift and since the check a/c was still in the check, we could only wax the sections that are completed maintenance wise. Thats why it takes 2-3 days. At WN, when I was a Aircraft Apperance Technician in PHX, we had 5-6 sometimes 7 Appearance Technicians waxing 2 planes a night after those planes come back from a B-check/intermediate C-check in PHX. It takes about 2-3 hours per plane because of the needed manpower in order to get the aircraft waxed and complete the check. Waxing at WN is always done at the gate in PHX.

Ive heard rumors that AA buffs their a/c with a special machine, but I am not sure about that.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineGREATANSETT From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 509 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2839 times:

QF has two tones of paint on one their aircraft making it ther heviest airplane of its type in the world I think.


Ron Paul 2012
User currently offlineDalmd88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2614 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2749 times:

Yes, aircraft are painted in a paint booth. The EPA regs in the US do not allow painting of entire aircraft any other way. DL has one hangar that has three paint bays. Only two of them are currently up to spec for painting. One is a narrow body bay and the other is a widebody. The third is currently used for other aircraft maintenance. The third bay isn't used for paint due to EPA limits on how much paint we can use in ATL. The area has been on the non-containment list for a number of years so large VOC emitters like Delta have been restricted on VOC processes like paint.

The bays look like any other hangar but have large filter systems and large platforms that extend down from the ceiling that painters can ride around the airplane with.

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User currently offlineBlackbird1331 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2684 times:

Nice thread. Very informative. Thank you, contributors.


Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2627 times:

That is an awesome picture. DL 757, and then behind that a sister ship in Subsidiary SONG colors. I like that pic for some reason.

User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1248 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

Dalmd88 - What is the VOC for the paint DL uses and do they use SS or BC/CC.

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