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DIY silicone coating-transform a wind jacket to be a rain shell
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Jang-Tian Shieh
(syoten) - MLife

Locale: Taiwan
DIY silicone coating-transform a wind jacket to be a rain shell on 12/01/2009 21:16:56 MST Print View

I used to wear a thin inner PU coating jacket as my rain sell, but I found it is not waterproof enough under heavy and long time rain. Thus, I decided to apply silicone coating on the outside of the jacket by myself. I imitated the seam sealing method posted by Jay on this site using thinned silicone.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/make_your_own_gear_sealing_silnylon_seams.html

Ordinary clear silicone sealant but not silnet was used to mix with paint thinner, and I found it does work as good as silnet as Rojer mentioned. It is a little difficult to decide and keep the thickness of the solution since I found it become thicker and thicker during the painting work. I believe thinner solution is easier to go into the
seams but is not that waterproof and durable. In addition, It's so hard to paint evenly that some parts of finished fabric face is just like ordinary silnylon with slippery texture but othe parts are just similar to the dry silicone sealant which touches a little sticky (the sticky feeling is not really sticky).

silrainsell
This jacket is 5oz. before applying the coating and 5.6oz. after. Forgot to take pictures during the coating process, but have one for the finished jacket. It looks just like silnylon jacket with oil luster, but I think it is more waterproof because I've painted several times, and it ended up with thicker coating.

I think this method can be treated on outter fabric of any backpacks to enhance the waterproofness. For example, the frequently used dyneema or dyneema X gridstop fabrics are strong but not so waterproof. I guess applying silicone coating will make them more versatile.

Edited by syoten on 12/01/2009 21:34:15 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: DIY silicone coating-transform a wind jacket to be a rain shell on 12/02/2009 02:53:22 MST Print View

Hi Jangtian

This won't always work very well however. If the fabric has a good fluorocarbon DWR coating from the factory then the silicone sealant won't bond very well. The two chemicals are a bit incompatible.

Of course, if your jacket didn't have a fluorocarbon DWR then go for it!

Cheers

Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
Re: DIY silicone coating on 12/02/2009 07:37:56 MST Print View

I wonder if some fabrics might also be prone to dissolving if you use the wrong solvent?
What solvent was that by the way? There are lots of kinds of paint thinner.

Is there a cheap way to spray it on? without buying some expensive spray gun?

probably best to test it on a small part of the fabric.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: DIY silicone coating-transform a wind jacket to be a rain shell on 12/02/2009 07:41:19 MST Print View

Roger, does washing with detergent completely remove the DWR coating or just make it ineffective?

Those zippers also look like they'd let quite a bit of water through.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: DIY silicone coating-transform a wind jacket to be a rain shell on 12/02/2009 13:00:09 MST Print View

> if some fabrics might also be prone to dissolving if you use the wrong solvent?
No 'standard' outdoors fabric (nylon, polyester, PET, etc) will suffer this fate. You can in fact use both nylon and PET bottles to store white gas.

> does washing with detergent completely remove the DWR coating or just make it ineffective?
Ordinary household detergent will just make the DWR ineffective. Neither that nor Atsko Sports Wash (or similar) will remove the DWR (unless it's a really crappy DWR!).

Cheers