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Old 02-20-2012, 04:27 AM   #1
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Clearcoat interior?

Looking for input from the community...
I have a project going where half the interior will be aluminum. We have been kicking around using a clear coat on the skins. Has anyone out there done this? I believe the new trailers use a coated sheet, but do not know if this true. What have some of you done when using natural aluminum on your interiors? How has it held up?What would you do over if you were to do it again?
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:43 AM   #2
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I can't speak about aluminum, but I had an antique electric clock electroplated with brass and when I took it to the clock maker to have the inside fixed he told me that if I sprayed the brass with Polyurethane it would never dull. He says the liquid plastic cuts off the oxygen so it should never discolor.

Check with a metal metallurgist at your local university. They should know. Check with those boys that own Timeless Travel.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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Frank,

I wonder if this is what's being used on the exterior?

It may be worth looking into if you require new panels.

Bob
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:16 AM   #4
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In my last trailer I used aluminum flashing that I purchased at HD and Lowe's. It comes in up to 20" widths by 50' long. Very inexpensive and held up very well. Easy to work with, you just have to be gentle with it until it is on the wall. It has a finish (not sure, but it isn't raw mill finish) that resembles the interior of the new trailers. I also did it in the bedroom and dining area. Held up excellent for the 5 or more years I had the trailer. Maintenance free.

http://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=3935&catid=member&imageuser=435
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:20 AM   #5
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Hmmm. Not sure why link didn't work...
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:25 AM   #6
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The newer trailers (I'll speak for my Classic only) use clear coated exterior skin material for the back splash in the galley. I researched this when I was wanting to install an aluminum back splash in the bathroom.

I don't know what would hold you back from clear coating the interior aluminum. The condition of the aluminum will be a determining factor IMO, as clear coat has a tendency to bring out any scratches, swirls, etc.

If I were going to have exposed aluminum, I'd clear coat it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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POR15 has a epoxy clearcoat that I'm going to try inside my '63 (a Forum member saw some and suggested I try it). I may order a pint to see how it works on a mill finish. I really don't want to deal with the pre treat that is required for 'highly polished surfaces'. I'm leaning toward the Satin version. Hoping it will hide some of the slight imperfections.

I'm more than happy to let you try it out and report back...
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
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Good suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
POR15 has a epoxy clearcoat that I'm going to try inside my '63 (a Forum member saw some and suggested I try it). I may order a pint to see how it works on a mill finish. I really don't want to deal with the pre treat that is required for 'highly polished surfaces'. I'm leaning toward the Satin version. Hoping it will hide some of the slight imperfections.

I'm more than happy to let you try it out and report back...
That's what I was going to (did) say Glisten PC
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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Question

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That's what I was going to (did) say Glisten PC
"rock hard coating"..... Would it be flexible enough for aluminum sheet?

Bob
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
"rock hard coating"..... Would it be flexible enough for aluminum sheet?

Bob
One way to find out...let Frank try it...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:20 AM   #11
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Being a wooden boat builder the first thing I would try would be epoxy, probably CPES for ease of application and to get a thin, smooth coat. Epoxy will be more flexible than the aluminum.
You should have some CPES around for other uses, so give it a test and then abuse the test pieces in all ways imaginable. Be sure to include a seam if one will be in your final application.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:53 AM   #12
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A few days ago there were some very negative comments on POR's Glisten: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f474...ml#post1105723

I've been watching for comments about it, and remain curious.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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Hey Frank, like you, I've left a lot of bare aluminum in my trailer. It gets dirty fairly quickly, fingerprints and stuff. A little MEK fixes the problem, but it obviously requires routine cleaning/maintenance.

Something like the plasticoat Airstream used on the exterior of the alclad trailers in the 60s and 70s would probably work really well on the interior. It obviously failed over time on the exterior, but the interior doesn't experience anywhere close to the same harshness of elements, so I'd expect it to be extremely durable.

I'm definitely interested if you find a solution, it's not a terrible amount of work to keep the bare aluminum clean, but if there's something easy to apply that would cut that down, I'd be delighted to do so.

-Marcus
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:22 AM   #14
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Getting clear coat to stick to aluminum is a pretty complex process. You have to clean the metal real well then treat with Alodine which can be some pretty toxic stuff. The Alodine creates a surface layer that the paint can bond to. Then you are supposed to use some aluminum only clear coat but I expect the regular stuff would work as long as you don't skip the alodine step. The alodine takes the place of etch primer (Zinc Chromate) that you have to use to get paint to stick to aluminum.

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
One way to find out...let Frank try it...
I am usually in that school of thought, but I would hate to ruin over a grand in aluminum and many days labor.
Not sure if many of you have priced automotive finishes, but significant $$ are involved. Half the trailer interior was done in high gloss MTLK and between the gallon of primer, catalyst, gallon of top coat, and hardener, it all ran me a cup of coffee, short of $600. The top coat my supplier is recommending is $324 a gallon. I think it has a can made of solid gold. It is self etching and will go directly on the bare aluminum with just a cleaning of solvent. I was hoping someone might have crossed this path before and could shed some light on their experience.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:40 PM   #16
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Hey guys, if it's good enough to walk on, it's good enough for the interior walls.

Frank, give it a sample try.

Use some Future floor acrylic. (wax)

If the metal is clean, it will bond, and it's easy to get off, if need be.

PLUS, it's a lot easier to apply, and costs a fraction.

It's must be tough stuff or else it would not hold up to foot traffic.

Andy
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:42 PM   #17
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Frank, I know you asked for people with experiece with interier clear coat. I do not have that. I do have experience with giving my opinion. So here goes.

I have bare aluminum in paces in my trailer. On the inside I think oxidation is not a major issue but human grease (from hair and fingers) and cooking grease attracting dirt is a concern.

I would forgo the clear coat as though it may help, it will not be the cure. I think finger prints and head prints will still show. Maybe they will not etch as quick as in pure aluminum. I would go with a good auto polish. I think you will get the same results as the clear coat, but maybe will need to clean and reapply a little more often.

So every so often you have to wipe off the skins whether auto polish or clear coat. Maybe every year or two you reapply polish where clear coat may last 10 years.

To me, it’s a matter of paying to alleviate maintenance.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:52 PM   #18
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Use ALclad Aluminum to reduce oxidation.

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Old 02-21-2012, 04:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Hey guys, if it's good enough to walk on, it's good enough for the interior walls.

Frank, give it a sample try.

Use some Future floor acrylic. (wax)

If the metal is clean, it will bond, and it's easy to get off, if need be.

PLUS, it's a lot easier to apply, and costs a fraction.

It's must be tough stuff or else it would not hold up to foot traffic.

Andy
WOW THAT IS BRILLIANT!!!! I love that kind of thinking. I often find using things out of context to achieve grand results.

Perry, The aluminum is all purchased and 3/4 of it is installed at this point. The customer wanted a brushed look and I would just have to put my foot down at a polished interior.

Still open to more ideas. For once I am part of a discussion not involving clubs, tires, or axles and I am loving it!!!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:57 AM   #20
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Thumbs up

Frank...
"I would just have to put my foot down at a polished interior."

????? for or against.

I doubt shiny finger prints would be very appealing to MY co-pilot.

Bob
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