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Weight Of Paint/Paint?s  
User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2795 posts, RR: 15
Posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2977 times:

How much does the paint on airliners weigh? I know the rudders are painted before being attached because the paint has a noticable weight, but does anyone know how many pounds/gallons of paint go onto a good size airplane? Also, is there a difference between one color and the next (i.e., does American have an advantage/disadvantage with silver paint). Also, if anyone knows anything in general that's interesting about painting airliners, that'd be nice. Finally, why don't they paint the wings?
Thank you all much!


"Mental health is reality at all cost." -- M. Scott Peck, 'The Road Less Traveled'
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11418 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

I don't know how much paint weighs, but I know it costs $70,000 to paint a 737.   Or was that a 747. Anyways, it's not cheap, and then there is a weight penalty. American actually doesn't paint their planes at all. The silver is actually the color of aluminum. However, they do a lot of polishing of that aluminum. That requires chemical solvents and elbow grease from what I understand. (Probably has the same pricetag as painting.) AA claims the weight savings is immense, but I'm not so sure since no other airline does it. You'd think that they would all follow if the savings were so good.

Some people have claimed there are advantages of having different colors. Like, white reflects more heat in the summer. (What people don't realize is that black while absorbing heat also releases heat much faster than things painted white. That's why things like computer chips are black.) I have heard some people complain about US Airways' F100s getting too hot now that they have dark paint. I've also heard that ATCs at different airports complained about UA's new scheme because they blend in with the horizon if the ground is not flat and are very hard to see. A maintenance truck crashed into a jet at IAD once because he simply couldn't see it at night.


Why don't they paint the wings? Why add extra weight that nobody will see? Also, don't the wings have to be as smooth as possible to generate lift efficiently? I have a feeling that little bumps from inconsistencies in the paint could wreck that, but you'd have to ask an aeronautical engineer to be sure.



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User currently onlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2863 times:

AA once claimed an average fuel savings of $40,000+ per aircraft per year by not painting the fuselage.

AA A300-600R aircraft came painted as Airbus refused to provide matched aluminum skin panels to AA. A few years ago Airbus provided that option at no charge. Quid-pro-quo for AA announcement it was retaining A-300-600R fleet and retiring its DC-10s (by end of this year I believe).

Cleaning is done with commercial grade soap and water about once per week. SAN has traditionally seen acft routed there specifically for the overnight wash jobs. Polishing is done during maintenance station visits --about every 60 days I'm told for most acft. Long poles with rotating buffing pads does the job for most acft. Supposedly very little chemical agents required.

Additional maintenance savings claimed by no requirement to remove paint for closer inspections. I've never seen numbers on that though.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2855 times:

The paint on a 757 sized jet, IIRC weighs around 300kgs p/aircraft.

Don't know too much more about paint.

Cheers,

Justin


User currently offlineBigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

Airbus told Eastern the warranty would be void if they didn't paint the aircraft, and that is why EAL's latter color scheme had bare metal aircraft except for the A300.

The USAF insists on painting an entire aircraft claiming they will corrode if that is not done. But AA is a prime example that polished panels are just as good, and maybe better.


User currently offlineFlygirl From Canada, joined Jun 2011, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

I can add that the paint applied recently to the 767-300er involved 90 gallons of paint and it was estimated that the paint weight was 300lbs. I don't have confirmation but I remember asking a mechanic why was white used for the belly and he said that white paint is lighter in weight than dark colours and is more cost effective.

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

From a Canadian Airlines press release:

" How long?

The time required for the painting of each aircraft type: B767 - 9 days B737 - 7 days A320 - 8 days B747 - 11 days

It takes an average of 1200 work-hours to paint a B767 aircraft from roll in to roll out.

How much paint?
The painting of a B767-300 ER requires:
- 30 gallons of primer
- 45 gallons of white
- 15 gallons of green

That's enough paint for 18 houses, or 360 cars! The paint alone on this aircraft weighs approximately 300 pounds."

I highly doubt there is any real operational advantage to either painting or not. Weight savings, cleaning costs, paint as a protectant to the aircraft from the environment and from any aviation fluids, it probably all evens out. It's just a matter of an airline choosing a look it likes.


User currently onlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11418 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2825 times:

Two points. Aluminum planes (don't know about composites) don't need to worry so much about corrosion of the skin from what I understand. Aluminum, like many metals oxidizes (rusts) when exposed to air. However, unlike steel rusting, aluminum rust is very thin and malleable. More importantly, it is also transparent, and shielding. That means that once the metal has rusted a little (fractions of millimeters thick), it will stop, not rusting all the way through and actually protecting from further erosion.


But, here's a question. Why does it take so long to paint an aircraft? From visiting the Boeing plant, I got the impression that they use both high-tech paints, and high-tech methods to get the paint on the plane. Instead of having someone with a brush painting like you do a house, the airframe is charged electrically to one polarity, the paint is charged oppositely, and electrostatics apply the paint to the plane. It seemed like all that was required was for the paint to be aimed in the general direction of the plane, and the whole plane would end up evenly coated. Is this wrong?



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User currently offlineTurbulence From Spain, joined Nov 1999, 963 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

1.-Don't know too much about it, but I saw a documentary about 744 and there is said that there's 200 kgs of paint.
2.-About why to paint, it is a protection for the metal: just remember the rust guarantee of car makers for six years and so.
3.-About the electrostatic painting, it could be useful provided 1st: the airplane is just one color scheme; 2nd: the color has a big contain of metal. As far as I know, only some psgr planes used by armies are all white. What about all the rest? And the only colour containing metal is white containing powder titanium
4.-There's differences of weight between colors. The heaviest one is white, and the lightest one is brown. Why do NASA paint the hughe fuel tank of the shuttle brown? The reason is... 900 kgs lighter!!!


User currently onlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11418 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2823 times:

2) Don't forget that planes and cars are made from much different materials. Planes are designed to be very light and cohesive. Cars are designed to not kill the driver when he does something stupid. As I said, Aluminum rust is actually a good thing for the skin of an airplane as long as it is kept polished.

3) I understand what you say about metal in the paints, but I don't think that it has to be metal to be charged. (My hair certainly isn't made of metal, but it should gets charged in the winter.)

4) Actually, the Space Shuttle fuel tank is bare metal. (It's a weird metal.) They used to paint it, then realized that was silly, especially since it was only going to be used one time.



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User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2820 times:

DLX, you are correct in that aluminum oxidizes and forms a protective coating. It is, however, not transparent. It is sort of a white colour. It is good for protection of the metal, but it isn't exactly pretty to look at. And aircraft aren't strictly aluminum, so other areas such as composite panels may need paint anyways.

As for why it takes so long to paint, it's a long process. The aircraft has to be stripped clean, masked, primed, painted, and after that all dries it the masking and painting is repeated for areas which are painted different colours. Also, I believe some parts are taken off in the paint shop and put back on when it's finished.


User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2820 times:

The 4 shuttle's ETs (Exterior Tanks) are painted, but only a few square inches or feet of paint - on their noses. I don't know why, but there's some red paint up there. The rest of it is left alone.


"Mental health is reality at all cost." -- M. Scott Peck, 'The Road Less Traveled'
User currently offlineBigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2814 times:

Actually, it is bad for aluminum to leave the corrosion products. That is one reason it is good for American to polish their aircraft, besides the fact it looks much better. Eastern was audited by one of the leasing companies and received a scolding letter for not keeping its aircraft (L-1011, in this case) polished. Their choice was either do that, or keep it painted.

User currently onlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11418 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2809 times:

I thought the polish came in to keep the Al2O3 from cracking and getting deeper into the skin. That is definitely a Very Bad Thing (tm). Polishing doesn't remove the oxide. It smoothes it over to prevent cracks, IIRC. You can't get rid of the oxide. All aluminum when exposed to air will form this coating within seconds. (Much much faster than iron.)

But, hey, this is all from my chemistry classes, and I will admit, I'm no chemist.



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User currently offlineTurbulence From Spain, joined Nov 1999, 963 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2803 times:

not any doubt about the different metals in cars and planes, but after all, always metals, so exposed to rust. Composite materials are not used everywhere. It is all mostly metal.
About metal in the paints, I mean, of course in solution or in suspension. They are not present in metallic form. For example: microscopic balls of glass are in SUSPENSION in some kinds of bright paint used for the marks on the asphalt of the roads; lead (yes, the metal) is (was) present in the old gasolines for avoiding the dangerous effect of gas detonation in the cylinders and for lubrification of the base of the valves. Actually, the deposits on valves, piston heads and spark plugs are not "carbon" ("charcoal"? my english is not quite good), as said usually, but solid lead, left after the combustion of the liquid lead SUSPENSION called LEAD TETRAETYL. Anyway, usually you do not need a metal for using electrolysis (good example about your hair), but for sure you need something that is not based in plastics, as most of nowadays paints are.

best greetings


User currently offlineDl_mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1968 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (14 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2807 times:

The wings on all Delta A/C are painted (especially composite surfaces) as well as some UA and AA planes that we have painted. The surfaces that are not painted are usually leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps (they are polished). Paint jobs on A/C take longer if you strip them to bare metal. All of the joints that make up the skin of the fuselage must be resealed, windows that were damaged by the stripper must be replaced and any damage found must be repaired. Also all placards on the A/C must be replaced or painted on ( someone at Airbus makes a career out of this- there are stencils EVERYWHERE). It is very interesting to see all the carriers names etched into the fuselage once it is stripped. One UA 747-100 had American, Iran Air, Braniff and United etched one on top of the other.When Deltas DC-3 Ship 41 came home a few years ago, The original Delta scheme was still etched underneath- 50 some years later...


This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
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