Work has continued today with paint stripping now underway. A solid 30kt westerly and toasty 38C sunshine at YSBK Bankstown Airport made for a perfect hangar working day, made even better with a great lunchtime BBQ and cold refreshments!
Over the past two weeks we have carefully assessed a range of available aviation approved paint strippers, finalising our selection on Callington’s CH8930 neutral system, which is now used by many military operators throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Product Specification Sheet: https://www.callingtonhaven.com/_assets/aerospace_maintenance_chemicals/ch8930.pdf
The big advantage to the CH8930 ‘neutral’ system is that it’s non-acidic, which helps ensure that if joint/seam stripper incursion occurs, that the chemicals do not work away over time corroding joints/laps. The other major advantage is that it’s more environmentally friendly, which is a great thing.
The first component to be stripped has been the right-hand elevator, which firstly received an extensive de-grease and clean, then a full scuff-down with a purple 3M scotch-brite, which serves to help prepare for the paint stripper by breaking through the hardened paintwork surface. Once stripper is applied the ‘scuffed’ paintwork chemically ‘cooks-off’ quickly, separating from the aluminium substrate entirely – the marvels of modern science!
Whilst VH-IRR has just 1,612 hours total time, the aircraft has received multiple coats of paint since leaving the factory in 1974, several of which look to have been applied by brush!
The result of this paintwork history has been the need to apply two full paint stripper applications to achieve a bare metal finish.
That said, we were really impressed with the performance of the Callington CH8930 paint stripper, which rapidly lifted the paint layers after just 30 mins of curing time. The paint stripper works so effectively that there was very little detail cleaning to be performed, saving a great deal of time.
The right hand elevator will now be given a Bonderite C-IC 33 (formerly Turco AlumiPrep 33) treatment, which is effectively an aviation specific phosphoric acid cleaner that is designed to remove any remaining surface corrosion prior to the elevator receiving the traditional gold Alodine protective treatment.
For paint primer we have selected the tried and proved ‘bright green’ BMS 10-11 system, which ensures maximum protection against corrosion.
More as we progress next week.
Our team will be back at YSBK Bankstown Airport working again on Sunday 9th December 2018, we kick off at 9am, BBQ lunch at 1pm and close the hangar at 4:30pm. Volunteers are welcomed to get hands on, if you would like to participate drop me a line on 0415 577 724 for details. We look forward to seeing you at the hangar!