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Oratex - keeping the tapes down?

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  • Oratex - keeping the tapes down?

    Disclaimer, my plane is covered in Polyfiber, so this is really just for my interest.

    I have noticed that Oratex finishing tapes delaminate occasionally. It can happen quickly, within less than 50 hours. Small areas of the tape can lift off the underlying fabric, usually just the leading edge. This is clearly caused by airflow. If I recall the sales pitch correctly, you can just grab your iron and stick them back in place??

    On the examples I have seen, dust and debris gets in there quick and sticks to the tape. This happens especially fast around the landing gear and tail wings. Other areas too if the repair is delayed at all. Once that happens, it appears the tapes may not stick down again.

    I notice Oratex offered a pinked tape and a straight edge tape. I have seen both come loose in the same way, although pinked seemed more prone to come unstuck.

    Has anyone seen similar issues with Oratex? Is there an easy fix / prevention?

    Has anyone seen a relatively old Oratex job, how does it last?

  • #2
    The only spot I've had an issue with is a spot I hastily did without letting the glue dry for the time it should.

    If you do have an issue, a bit more glue underneath and it stays on. Just do it right this time.

    There's 10 year old oratex planes here, that sit outside year round. They look fine.
    It never looks as good when new, but it looks a lot better than the old fabric with ringworm all over the place and rock after rock dent.


    • #3
      Pinked edged tape is not the best to use with Oratex. If you think about it - with the other processes you are spraying on top of the tape's edges. So that helps keep the edges down. With Oratex where the tape goes on and nothing gets sprayed on top - the pinked edges have come up a little in places on my LSA. Stick with straight tapes. Mark


      • #4
        I covered my Rans S7 in Oratex and chose straight edge tapes for the reasons that Mark mentions. The tapes are double glued but it’s recommended that you also apply glue to the main surface. Ideally, you want to apply glue to the exact width of the tape. I sold my S7 after 2 years and the tapes were all doing well with no lifting. I paid a lot of attention to the glue application because I was aware of this tape edge/glue issue.