I was thinking about something earlier, and I'll admit to being totally ignorant on the issue here, so I'm asking.
I know we've talked about paint before on coasters, and what types of paint they use, why it fades, etc. But I noticed something. Paint on Cars and other vehicles doesn't seem to faid after just a couple years. To me, I'd say that a vehicle goes thru much more than just being in the sun and elements. Heck, cars travel in the elements, and have to deal with sets of elements that coasters do not.
So why wouldn't a park look into doing that for a coaster? Is it because they don't want the paint to stay on as long?
Cars and coaster structural parts are painted differently, that's why. Car exterior parts are baked over and over at an extreme heat, then given multiple layers and finishes - while most coaster parts are sandblasted, then given primer and then a few coats of paint.
They also use a much better paint on cars than on coasters. I can cost several hundred just to buy the paint for a car. To paint a coaster in Base coat/clear coat would cost a hundred thousand or more.
I was told that in recent years parks have had to switch to a more environmentally friendly paint because the painting is not done in a controlled environment. This newer paint does not last as long as the old stuff did.
I've talked a salesman who sells paint to amusement parks in addition to the industrial paints that I buy.
Parks generally opt for aliphatic enamels to paint steel coasters because they are cheap and easy to apply. Painting with an epoxy base followed by a urethane over coat is sometimes used. This system lasts much longer and has much better gloss retention, but costs more.
Both aliphatic enamels and epoxies are subject to chalking and fading in sunlight. A urethane final coat has excellent resistance to chalking and fading.
Remember that surface preparation (scraping, blasting, and priming) is the most expensive part of most painting. It also greatly affects the life of the completed paint job as well.
Besides saving on original cost, I think that parks often opt for aliphatics because they figure that they are likely to repaint in a few years to a new color scheme. SFA recently did this on Mind Eraser, though they kept Jokers Jinx in the same colors when they repainted it.
Also, a lot of coaster trains get repainted more often than you think. I know that the trains on Superman at SFA gets repainted just about every year to keep them looking brand new (as well as to cover the grafitti). Most other coaster trains (B&M, Arrow, Premier) have a fiberglass body and really don't fade at all overtime.
Not to change the subject but can you just imagine the nightmare of repainting an Intamin coaster? All of those little cross bars welded between the track rails 300 ft. or more in the air. That would be a job from hell!
I never really notice a coaster paint-job unless it's particularly good or particularly bad...DID notice that Bug Out (MS mouse) at WA was way bad faded and rusted. That was nasty, esp. in the KIDS section of the park...
LOL....I meant of those here, in virtuality life...;)
Considering the expense of re-painting, and how badly the sun really does tear through paint jobs, and how nice the urethane glistens in the sun, and that paint isn't *changed* that often (usually restored)...seems like more parks would opt for the extra money up front to save in the long run...
Wonder if that's different in the European and Japanese parks, where (based solely on pics thus far), it looks like more attention is paid to theming and scenery?
P.S. How's the battle against defunctional English going? :)