provisional solo poster
Posted - 08/16/2013 : 17:57:50
| I have a habit of nicking up my helmets, so when I purchased a new Bell I was naturally concerned with keeping it looking good.
I reached out to Bell Helmets and asked about the newly available spray-on paint protection systems in stores now. I was advised that as long as the materials are not flammable, there is no problem with them.
I then contacted 3M, manufacturer of the Paint Defender System. This is a spray-on film that is similar to the clear guard / clear bra systems to prevent rock chips on the front of automobiles. It is now available in DIY spray form.
3M indicated that while the can contains flammable propellant, in their testing they found that the protectant material is not flammable in either liquid or solid form.
So I gave it a shot. The kit comes with a polymer wax to treat the paint prior to application, and very clear directions. Unfortunately, in my first attempt I sprayed the material on a little to thick and it ran in a few places. I also was not happy with the pattern I masked. So, after it dried, I simply peeled it off (it is designed to peel off). It came off very easily.
Since I had the material in hand, I tested its flammability. The material did melt but did not catch fire. Since the material goes on so thin, the entire covering melted down to only a few drops of plastic-like material, so I am not at all concerned with it causing a problem in the event of a fire inside the car.
The second attempt turned out much better, so I am now happy with it, and happy that the paint is protected from chips and nicks.
I had the occasion to call Bell about a part for my visor, and I ended up talking with the same tech that I had directed my initial inquiry and informed him of my experience talking with 3M and applying the product. He mentioned that they were working on a similar option on their helmets for future products.
Anyways, long-winded way to communicate this option to my track brethren. Thoughts and feedback welcome.