Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By sleepy weasel
#1518276
Ceconite and PolyFiber (Stitts) are both made by Randolph - the fabric (polyester) is the same but the chemicals are different - Ceconite uses Nitrate and Butyrate dopes and PolyFiber uses vinyl resin.

There are other systems - stewarts, superflite, diatex, Hipec - like they all use the same polyester fabric it is the chemical treatment that is different.

Although Ceconite and PolyFiber use the same fabric from the same place they are you have to use the fabric marked Ceconite and the fabric marked PolyFiber with each system.
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By Rob L
#1518314
Ben Twings wrote:Poly Fiber is the Stit's process that uses a variety of Dacron (polyester) fabric that they trademark as Ceconite. In practice you can use the Stit's poly fiber process with Stewart's Superflite fabric and vice-versa.


Not quite correct; Poly Fiber uses Poly Fiber Fabric. The Ceconite (Randolph) process uses Ceconite fabric. Although these are allegedly the same, apart from the stamp on them.

[Edit, I see sleapy weasel got there first!]
By sleepy weasel
#1518320
The point of marking the fabric as either ceconite or polyfiber is that if someone later down the line has to make a repair they can look on the fabric and see what process they should be using.
By Aeronca Alan
#1518345
Ceconite and Poly Fiber are two different 'systems' (among others) for covering aircraft. They each have their own processes that are laid down in their respective manuals, and these processes must be followed exactly when covering certified aircraft (if there is a relevant STC for that aircraft - else they cannot be used). The fabric is apparently the same for both but stamped differently. I think in the permit world, sometimes people will use the Ceconite fabric but the Poly Fiber process simply because the fabric stamped 'Ceconite' may be cheaper. You can't do this with certified aircraft.

Randolph encourages the use of Poly Fiber (previously known as Stitts) over Ceconite but Ceconite nevertheless seems to remain the most popular. Ceconite has been around for a very long time and thus there is probably more expertise available in it, but Poly Fiber (Stitts) has now been around for a very long time too. I'll probably have to recover a 70 year-old aircraft soon and am judging the merits of Ceconite, Poly Fiber and Oratex. Any advice is most welcome.
By PeteM
#1518465
I've only used Stits and Ceconite. Of the two I found Stits to be more tolerant in the intermediate coats and during the gluing process.

I've looked at the Oratex demos and it seems a cleaner faster process, but I've no practical experience.
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By Rob L
#1518467
Aeronca Alan wrote:Any advice is most welcome.
Persoanlly I prefer Poly-Fiber - fewer spray coats (and it is much more tolerant of humidity). Less toxic, and completely inert (not a fire risk) once dried.

Rob
By Aeronca Alan
#1518484
Stating the obvious, but I'd rate the person doing the covering above the material used, anytime.

Thanks N. You've condemned any effort I may make before I've even started! But of course you're sadly right. :(
A.
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By ChampChump
#1518501
:oops: Not my intention, Alan. I reckon your results will be well up with the best, from what I know.

I don't think an Oratex Aeronca would look as good, personally, but could be proven wrong, As I am on most things. :wink:
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By Miscellaneous
#1518503
ChampChump wrote:I don't think an Oratex Aeronca would look as good…


Why do you sat that CC? Is there a significant difference in the appearance of Oratex to the extent it changes the look of the aircraft?
By Aeronca Alan
#1518519
That's my fear about Oratex Nick - an Aeronca in what looks a bit like sailcloth may look horrible. But it seems to require less expertise (your other point) and fuss than the traditional alternatives. I could probably do an Oratex job in my hangar (no painting) but couldn't possibly do Ceconite or Poly Fiber in there.

But as we're agreed on the probable end result, Oratex seems a no-goer for our aircraft.
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By Ben Twings
#1518526
You could possibly do Stewart's system without spraying , up to silver coat applying with foam brushes. Allegedly you can get a pretty flat finish using foam brushes.
It would then be flyable and could have the finish coats at a paint shop.

They have some quite good educational videos on youtube. Worth a look whichever system you go for.
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By ChampChump
#1518529
Misc, I think it's a matter of beauty being in the eye of the beholder and I behold Airknockers looking best in traditional coverings. I know old a/c have gone from linen and cotton to Ceconite and the like, but the effect is very similar. I have seen a few aircraft in Oratex and it looks very right on some, but not, in my untutored opinion, on the old fleet.

I might find an exception to prove myself wrong, but as a sweeping generalisation, it's a tad too plasticky-looking and I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, just cannot think of a better term offhand.

Just my rather irrelevant opinion.

'Course, if Alan does use Oratex, we can have definitive proof... :D :wink:
By Rod2
#1518550
Aeronca Alan wrote:That's my fear about Oratex Nick - an Aeronca in what looks a bit like sailcloth may look horrible. But it seems to require less expertise (your other point) and fuss than the traditional alternatives. I could probably do an Oratex job in my hangar (no painting) but couldn't possibly do Ceconite or Poly Fiber in there.

But as we're agreed on the probable end result, Oratex seems a no-goer for our aircraft.


I have seen both an Auster and a Cessna 120 covered in Oratex and it certainly doesn't look like sailcloth, it looks like a fabric covered aircraft without 20kg of paint tipped on it. Lars in Alaska has Aeronca's covered in it and he has shared photographs of them and they look sweet