Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quality control

I've ordered a lot of parts and some tools I need to get the Ghia on the road again. While I'm waiting for them to arrive, I thought I would do some durability tests on the water slide decals I had printed a few years ago.

Andy Holmes reported recently that the edges of his Ghia's decals began to flake, so I sent him a set of replacements. I don't know what the cause was—humidity? rapid temperature changes of the metal surfaces they were applied to? offgassing from recently applied paint? or some combination thereof?—but water decals are fragile in the best of circumstances, and I want to test a few ways of making them more durable.

Using a glovebox lid with original paint as a test board, I have applied three air cleaner decals. The one on the left was masked and coated with clear enamel (two mist coats and a heavier final coat with drying time between), the one in the center was given three coats of pure non-abrasive carnauba wax, and the one on the right was left untreated as a control. I'll be subjecting them to all manner of heat, cold, humidity, and abrasion over the next few weeks. I'll let you know what I learn.

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