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Author Topic: Colouring Blades?  (Read 464 times)

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Offline Ristique

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Colouring Blades?
« on: December 28, 2017, 07:33:35 AM »
Just curious to know if anyone with the 'revolution' blades has ever tried to colour the upper part somehow, like spray paint? I added a pic shading the part I mentioned in case anyone doesn't get it.

I have the revolution coronation aces and was wondering if it was possible to do something like that just to make things interesting, as mine are the standard silver. I've only seen discussions about people colouring the skate boots but never the blades before.

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 01:19:21 PM »
Just curious to know if anyone with the 'revolution' blades has ever tried to colour the upper part somehow, like spray paint? I added a pic shading the part I mentioned in case anyone doesn't get it.

I have the revolution coronation aces and was wondering if it was possible to do something like that just to make things interesting, as mine are the standard silver. I've only seen discussions about people colouring the skate boots but never the blades before.
I'd recommend that you e-mail Wilson and ask them what paint (if any) is compatible with their carbon-fiber composite material.

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 03:09:16 PM »
The colored blades you have seen around were probably Paramounts.  I think they are anodized, or possibly air brushed.  This will be hard to replicate at home.

Offline Query

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 11:09:07 PM »
And These Jackson Ultima Matrix blades are colored on aluminum mounts, not carbon fiber. It isn't to be expected that paints and platings designed to color metal need be optimal for a carbon fiber + resin composite, like I assume are in Revolution blades.

One potential problem is that Wilson may be unwilling to say what resin they use in the carbon fiber Revolution mounts. (Plus, when I tried to contact them about something, they didn't reply.) To some extent, different paints adhere well to different hardened resins (e.g., epoxy, vinyl-ester, polyester...), though some epoxy-based paints are designed to stick to almost any hardened resin.

If you can't get an answer from Wilson/HD Sports, you could experiment with marine paints. Carbon fiber + resin composite boats are sometimes colored using marine "gelcoat" (typically dyed polyester resin, I think), or dyed epoxy paints.

Gelcoat paints can be absolutely gorgeous. They almost glow with bright brilliant color. Unfortunately, doing a good job is supposed to be pretty hard - do some research, and practice on something you don't care about. Gelcoats are fairly viscous, and you can add extra elements, like lots of sparkle. You can also combine multiple colors, creating a rainbow appearance. Of course, that may take more practice.

Note that the color when liquid may be a little different after it has dried and hardened. Experiment until you get the perfect color.

A good marina should have info available on applying marine paints. Many boat owners put a lot of time into making their boats beautiful.

A standard technique when you aren't sure of adherence is to paint a very tiny portion of the object, preferably somewhere it is hard to see at a distance, and see how well it holds up, before doing the rest. You may have to sand the paint off if it doesn't adhere reliably. Sanding a composite could easily damage the carbon fibers, and weaken your mounts, so be careful. You probably can't safely get it all off. That applies to dyed epoxy too.

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Offline Query

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 11:27:40 PM »
P.S. Did you choose Revolution to reduce weight? Any paint adds a little weight, especially thick viscous coatings like Gelcoat. I don't know whether this is significant. E.g., it adds a few ounces to something the size of a racing kayak.
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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 07:42:30 PM »
A standard technique when you aren't sure of adherence is to paint a very tiny portion of the object, preferably somewhere it is hard to see at a distance, and see how well it holds up, before doing the rest. You may have to sand the paint off if it doesn't adhere reliably. Sanding a composite could easily damage the carbon fibers, and weaken your mounts, so be careful. You probably can't safely get it all off. That applies to dyed epoxy too.
Although the Coronation Ace Revolution is the cheapest of the Wilson Revolution line, it's still a pricey blade.  If you do any modification that's not explicitly blessed by Wilson, it'll probably void the warranty.  Do you really want to risk damaging the structural integrity of the mount (whether by chemical attack with an improper paint, or mechanical abrasion to remove an improper paint)?

Offline tothepointe

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 02:02:56 AM »
I bet you could use gel nail polish and then cure with a UV light. This probably wouldn't negatively damage the mount at all. I suggest gel instead of regular nail polish because you can get the paint perfect before you cure it.

Offline Leif

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 05:10:49 AM »
Generally when you paint a surface, you remove grease and dirt, prepare it by sanding, or etching with chemicals, mask off the surrounding area with tape, apply a primer, then apply top coats. I Googled carbon fibre, and it appears there are several kinds, and if you sand you must not go down to the carbon layers. The surface layer is resin. The safe bet is, as others have said, to contact the manufacturer. It sounds a bit risky to me.

Alternatively why not get some of those light the kids put under their skates ...  ;D

Offline Query

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 06:22:52 PM »
Absolutely, if the blade manufacturer is willing to give advise, use it.

BTW, I've never heard of anyone etching a composite surface with chemicals to prepare it for painting. Cleaning and Sanding are normal - but the optimal degree of roughness or smoothness depends on the paint being applied. For that matter, if we are talking about an ultralight composite structure, which means the resin layers, including surface layers, are very thin, even sanding away some of resin could be bad.

I bet you could use gel nail polish and then cure with a UV light. This probably wouldn't negatively damage the mount at all.

I don't use nail polish, but it is my understanding it includes one or more solvents:

  https://www.thoughtco.com/nail-polish-chemistry-603996

It is somewhat possible the solvent(s) might damage or partially dissolve the resin.

Composites like Carbon Fiber + Resin rely on the properties of both materials to create a strong, stiff material. (E.g., most types of carbon fiber are quite flexible. Carbon fiber provides only tensile strength. It must be combined with a material, like plastic resin, that resists compression, to give the desired properties.) If you dissolve away the surface resin, that WOULD adversely affect the mount.

In contrast, marine paints are specifically designed to bond to the hardened resins used in similar composites, without damage.

Another source of info might be Sweet Composites, arguably the best respected supplier serving the ultra-light marine community (racing kayaks, canoes, shells, etc.). Another source might be one of the companies serving the ultralight aviation community, though they might be less concerned with appearance than the marine community.

If you really want something which I am pretty certain won't damage anything, cover the mount with a colored wax. It won't last long, and can't begin to compare to a gelcoat in beauty, but it is unlikely to do harm.

Now, a personal opinion: Covering Revolution blades, among the most expensive luxury figure skating blades available, with mere paint, is a little like covering a high end custom designer skating dress with a cheap rain poncho. If you buy Revolution blades, you may as well show them off, in their purest, most original form, uncoated and uncolored. What do the rest of you think?

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Re: Colouring Blades?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 07:03:04 AM »
Now, a personal opinion: Covering Revolution blades, among the most expensive luxury figure skating blades available, with mere paint, is a little like covering a high end custom designer skating dress with a cheap rain poncho. If you buy Revolution blades, you may as well show them off, in their purest, most original form, uncoated and uncolored. What do the rest of you think?
I think it's OK in principle.  After all, some people buy expensive luxury cars, and then order a custom detail paint job, because they don't want their luxury car to look like everyone else's luxury car ... they want something that screams out, "This is my luxury car."

With respect to coloring Revolution blade mounts, though, it's best to heed the physician's credo:  "First do no harm."

ETA:  I just saw a clip of Nathan Chen's short program at Nationals.  He's wearing Revolutions; and they're all black, both the carbon-fiber mounts and the steel blades.