Learn a little more about the beginnings of Sunset Strip
SunSetStrip is the name of our paint stripper you may have seen on YouTube and it is a non hazardous Hydrogen Peroxide based stripper.
Our other aviation company, Capital Aviation, Inc., has used SunSetStrip now for over 7 years and WEBBERTEK has been selling it commercially for over 6 years now. We have sold to customers from all over the United States and as far as from Canada, Guam, South America, The Bahamas and to DynCorp in Iraq and Afghanistan to strip helicopters there.
When the EPA prohibited us using the Methylene Chloride type strippers, we were disappointed by the “Green” strippers that were available in the marketplace. The safe “Green” strippers that we tried had a lot of problems. First, they were extremely slow to work. They might start working in 24 to 48 hours, some as long as 72 hours. Second, after a short period of time we could not tell where we had applied the material. The other strippers would go clear and turn very thin in about an hour and we would end up using more product because we could not tell where we had applied it before. Third, when we tried to wash the stripper off the plane, it was like trying to get grease to come off. So with the wonderful help from Jeff Schulhoff of Moon Chemical, we came up with SunSetStrip. After fine-tuning it for about 6 months we had a wonderful product that was easy to use, worked fast and was so easy to wash off the plane with just cold water.
Our other company, Capital Aviation, paint corporate type aircraft – Gulfstreams, Falcons, Hawkers, Cessna Citations etc. and we get the same results time after time that you may have seen on YouTube. This paint stripper is non-hazardous in its material make up and because of that we can ship directly to your home. SunSetStrip is aggressive towards Magnesium. The stripper will remove paint on Mag parts but you have to be careful as SunSetStrip will start pitting if left on Magnesium for an hour or more. It is designed to work on aircraft skins made from Aluminum but is also safe to use on Steel and Titanium. And we have also found through trial and error our stripper does not affect or damage fiberglass composites. It will soften plastic parts like Kydex though and will remove B 1/2 sealant. We even tested it on Graphite composite for over 216 hours with no damage at all.
Besides using it on basic aircraft paint, we have used it on “CARC” paint ( Chemical Agent Resistant Coating ) and “Anti Fouling” paint that is found on the bottom of marine ships and boats and we have had excellent results with stripping these products. The stripper does not hurt old style fiberglass or the new “E or S Glass” at all. We have found that it will take “Powder Coating” off as well on items. Also, we have even taken paint off of Fabric Aircraft with no damage to the new poly type fabric used to skin fabric planes.
If you look at the pictures in the gallery you will see you do not use much product for stripping the plane. You can see the dark stripes and numbers underneath the stripper. Also there are pictures of a Gulfstream we stripped. The Gulfstream’s paint started coming off in about 3 hours.
This stripper works faster in temps around 80 F. or hotter but it will work down to 50 F. – it will just take longer to work. You also want the humidity to be high in the area you are stripping. We start a few hours prior to stripping with spraying water on the floor beneath the area we will be stripping and at the same time getting the heat up. The water on the floor helps keep the stripper moist and by not drying out you can use less material. If the humidity is dryer in the stripping area you will have to apply more material to keep the stripper as a whole from drying out. Also remember the colder the work area is the longer the stripper will take to work. It really likes to be hot!
Depending on the amount of paint and/or coats of paint, will determine how much stripper you will need. I will say you would use about a pint per square yard in consumption.
If you have multiple paint layers on your plane you will need to possibly strip twice. One of our customers repainted a Cessna 140 and found about 7 paint jobs on it, so you never know. He ended up using 20 gallons of stripper to finish. At our shop, if a plane has 7 mil or less paint on it we can strip in one applications. We have stripped paint in two applications when the paint measures over 12 mil or more in thickness.
Also the best application for applying the stripper is with a sprayer. We use a GrayCo 5:1 pump with spray wand here at Capital. A lot of my customers have used the Wagner Airless Sprayer, we recommend the Wagner Flexio 2000. The 2000 has a variable speed air switch. You will need to run it on high to spray the stripper with. If you use a paint brush DO NOT apply the stripper with a sweeping motion like painting but rather use a motion like stabbing a knife or poking a stick into the ground.
Make sure to protect items like Lexan, Plexiglass and Magnesium parts by covering with plastic tarping.
We use the following to tape up the aircraft for stripping,
- Aluminum Tape – MIL-T-23397B type II
And don’t forget to Etch and Alodine the aluminum after stripping and before painting. It is the ONLY thing to use for corrosion prevention. We use an Acid Cleaner #12 ( Etch ) and the Alodine is PCC-6 both made by Crest Industrial Chemicals.
We have a GREAT aerospace distributor, Advanced Aircraft Coatings, here in town, owner is Mike Buckley. He can ship nationwide paints, etch/alodine, tape, etc. Call him at 405-495-7545. Tell him I told you to call. He is very helpful!
Mike says he has 5 gallons of Etch for $96.00 and 1 gallon of Alodine that mixes with 1 gallon of water for around $50.00. Shipping is extra.
For GrayCo pumps call Reed Brooks 405-640-2114 cell. He has an offer for a 2:1 pump with 50 feet of hose, wand and nozzle tips for $1,500.00
For a Wagner or similar brand airless sprayer, you can go online or find them in any major hardware store for around $120.00 to $130.00 range.