Heat Shrink Materials
Heat shrink coverings have revolutionised
model finishing and none more so than the Solarfilm range. They are strong
light and quick to use and require relatively little skill to apply.
Plastic film and fabric versions are available. Most are coated with a strong heat sensitive adhesive which is protected by a removable backing.
They are firstly attached to the outer edges of the panel to be covered, using a hot iron, and then shrunk by the application of heat either from the iron or a hot air gun.
The main point to remember is not to re-melt the edge attachment adhesive whilst shrinking the main body of material or the edges will pull in.
Note that fabric materials, although fuel
proof, are better sealed after application simply to prevent dirt and grime
working into the weave. Spectrum fuel proofer or Clearcote are ideal.
Summary of heat shrink coverings.
A film for smaller models that has no adhesive on it thus saving weight. The edges of the model to be covered are painted with Balsaloc to anchor the film.
Similar to Airspan but made from polyester fibre. It is tough and is available in larger sheets. Balsa loc is required for adhesion.
The lightest of the coverings Litespan is suitable for those small free flight models.
The standard covering material for sports models of all sorts and sizes. Equipped with its own adhesive all you do is tack around the periphery and then shrink. Adhesive backed.
Similar to Solarfilm but tougher and more proof against strong sunlight bubbling it up. Available in two grades, standard and lightweight. Adhesive backed.
Similar to Solarfilm but heavier and tougher. Adhesive backed.
For heavier models and those where a textured finish is more applicable such as all full size fabric covered aircraft. Solartex has a satin finish. Adhesive backed.
Heavier than Solartex but tougher and with a high gloss finish. Adhesive backed.
Coverings for all models