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Thread: Graphlon?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    East-Central Indiana, USA
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    Question Graphlon?

    I have a few military pilot friends who would like to have their SPH-5 flight helmets engraved. The shell of the helmets is made from GRAPHLON, a blend of GRAPHITE and BALLISTIC NYLON. The surface is smooth and olive green and looks like it would engrave well. These helmets are rather expensive (and Govt. Property!) so I would rather not learn by trial and error. Has anyone worked with this material before?
    Greg Vaughn [Epilog Helix 45W] - CorelDrawX3 - Photograv 2.11

  2. #2
    I have only tried ballistic nylon and it melted.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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  3. #3
    I wouldn't engrave a helmet unless you're absolutly sure that your modifications will have no effect on the hemet's integrity. To do this you would need a couple of helmets and then run them through destructive testing procedures to make sure that they still meet military specifications.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I've used laserlites on construction hardhats and it works fine as long as you
    limit the size to a small area so you don't have too much curve. Probably won't hold up all that well if handles a lot though none have come back after a year.



    Sammamish, WA

    Epilog Legend 24TT 45W, had a sign business for 17 years, now just doing laser work on the side.

    "One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." G. Weilacher

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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I wouldn't engrave a helmet.... ever I wore one for many years and can tell that one of the first things they tell you when they issue one is that even the slightest scratch can mean the difference between you surviving an impact or not.

    They specifically issue helmets in helmet bags just for that reason. I'd stick to painting, airbrushing and tape myself.

    Graphlon is simply carbon fiber and you could likely engrave the gel coat easily enough, but you'd substantially weaken the area involved. Bad juju.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Moreton, Wirral, UK
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    DITTO on the last. Sublimination printing is probably about the only thing you should do on a helmet. Years ago I remember being at an accident when a rider had come off his bike. He was wearing a helmet which he had repainted himself. Cracked open like a water melon, actually a little like his head was. I'd steer clear.
    Epilog 45w Helix X3/X5 Corel Microflame Generator (flame polisher) Heat Bender


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    East-Central Indiana, USA
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    234

    Saved by the Bell

    Thanks everyone .... I'll pass on this one and suggest they find a good artist!
    Greg Vaughn [Epilog Helix 45W] - CorelDrawX3 - Photograv 2.11

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Lake Stevens, WA
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    Not sure what branch of the service, or even what unit, but many are VERY picky about how helmets are decorated these days. I spent many hour with an HGU-68 on my melon. They're usually taped with "helmet tape" (reflective 3M tape) and even then you were limited on what you could do. If they're military, I'd be very careful decorating them muc other than that.

    Despite all the cool ones we see on TV... it the real world, they're mostly white with a bit of red or blue here and there...

    Pinnacle ZX Explorer II
    40W, X3
    Vinyl Express Lynx 24"
    Epson 4800 Dye Sub Hybrid

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