Painting Plastics

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Painting Plastics

Post by roscooz » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:01 pm

I am in the process of “re-birthing” an ex-military XT600 and have had my first crack at painting the plastics with varying degrees of success. I see in TZ30 Lance sent the Super T off to the shop to get done. Other than sending it off to the man, is there a sure fire way of getting a good finish that will stand the test of time ?

Also, I have a Acerbis tank on the bike (was military green) which has seen a bit of the elements and had perished a bit and was dusting off. I gave it a very light sand and hit it with primer and 4 top coats. I am getting lots of bubbles through the paint even now after 3-4 months.

Any tips in this regard would be appreciated.


Re: Painting Plastics

Post by Jaqhama » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:14 pm

The only thing unrelated I can help with on an Army XT...the Army riders used to carry a spare electric box with them...little black box...under the seat, can't recall what it was for, not a fuse box, something else. They said they always carried spare ones because the rough riding often made them fail, can't for the life of me think what the box was for.
Apparently it was the only thing that normally went wrong with the ones they used.


Re: Painting Plastics

Post by roscooz » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:24 pm

It would be the regulator rectifier. Which effectivly converts the charge from the stator to the battery. Yep replaced one of them soon after buying the old girl & have a spare in the kit.


Re: Painting Plastics

Post by steve » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:53 pm

Rosco, I know next to nothing about painting. I am aware that there is a chemicla they add to standard paint when they apply it to plastics so it flexes with the plastics.

Most acerbis tanks are made from HDPE. HDPE breathes and will not allow paint to stick to it for any length of time. From what I understand there is a product available in the US which you can apply to inside the tank to seal the fumes in, aparently it is expensive and has a shelf life of a few months, you will also have to make sure all the fumes are purged from the plastic before you paint it.

Normally HDPE is rejuvinated by sanding back and careful application of heat to smooth and put a shine on the surface.


Re: Painting Plastics

Post by fulldeck » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:36 am

Hi Roscooz, I know it has been some months since this thread has been responded to but I've only recently joined and can hopefully provide a bit of insight here.
Painting plastics can get quite complex - there are literally hundreds of different types of plastics and plastic hybrids, the majority are "paintable" but some types are not.
Most plastic components are identfied by a sequence of letters that are stamped on the inside of the component and this can provide some guidance in terms of pretreatment requirements and painting procedures. Ideally, in terms of a "robust" finish two pack paints would be suggested. These materials can have flexibilising agents added to them to ensure that the paint is every bit as flexible as the plastic it is coating. The flexibilsing additive also assist in stone chip resistance. Also most automotive two pack paints also have very good resistance to fuel. i'll do some checking on the HDPE substrate and provide information.

Just in regard to the blisters - it could be a number of things. If you can PM me with a photo/s and provide some more information I may be able to identify the problem and provide a solution or if you want to email me I can be reached on ( Happy to help Roscooz and anyone else)
Cheers and happy riding Paul :dance:

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