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DocLightning
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How Are Decals Attached?

Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:12 am

Having destroyed a few model decals, I wonder how airliner decals are applied so precisely. They have the triple challenge of having to be remarkably thin while also sticking incredibly firmly to the fuselage skin without a single bubble. How do they do it?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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tdscanuck
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RE: How Are Decals Attached?

Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:45 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Having destroyed a few model decals, I wonder how airliner decals are applied so precisely.

They're not really the same construction as model decals...more like giant stickers. Way more durable.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
They have the triple challenge of having to be remarkably thin while also sticking incredibly firmly to the fuselage skin without a single bubble. How do they do it?

I think they roll them on and "squeegee" as they go, like when you apply protective film to an iPhone, just much much larger.

Tom.
 
EMBQA
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RE: How Are Decals Attached?

Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:16 am

They are just big peel off sticker. Only difference, due to the size they have small holes in them to allow the air out.. and come in many pieces.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
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IFixPlanes
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RE: How Are Decals Attached?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:56 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
...How do they do it?

Have a look here: (Link shortened by bit.ly)
http://bit.ly/aHjmJz
never tell an engineer he is wrong ;-)
 
AA737-823
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RE: How Are Decals Attached?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:34 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Having destroyed a few model decals, I wonder how airliner decals are applied so precisely. They have the triple challenge of having to be remarkably thin while also sticking incredibly firmly to the fuselage skin without a single bubble. How do they do it?

It's not quite as glamorous as you make it out to be! It's a job I try to avoid on an A-check, simply because it's a pain to get it right, and I'm way too OCD to be tasked with it.
Basically, it's just a sticker that you press on. And they don't last that long; at least, not the ones on the bottoms of the wings, anyway. We replace the same ones every month sometimes.
The weird thing is that sometimes you don't notice they're gone- the engine cowl just looks normal without it. But that's what Quality Control is for.
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: How Are Decals Attached?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:59 am

Very carefully.  

One point to mention they are not always a single piece "sticker". Some types of decal can be separate areas of logo, lettering, etc held spatially correct by the backing paper, especially where the background colour is intended to show through in places. You can get in a real mess unless very careful.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
stratosphere
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RE: How Are Decals Attached?

Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:11 am

Yep the giant panda decal on the first 777 for FedEx was a real pain actually it was 2 decals one for each side. Thankfully I didn't have to do it

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