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Old 12-16-2016, 02:39 PM   #1
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Makrolon Failure - Any Ideas?

I had new Makrolon installed in April of 2015 on all sides of my enclosed flybridge. After 5-6 months the forward sections began to fail. Fail means that it became somewhat cloudy, and when it rained, a thin layer (almost like a film) on the outside would become loose, so much that you could slide the layer with your finger. Also, small pockets of water would get trapped under the loose layer. After it dried, the layer would tighten up and the looseness would be gone. However, tiny spider web type crackings would then appear where the looseness occurred. Sides and rear sections still looked new.

So, I showed this to my canvas person and he was fairly certain that someone washing the boat put something on the Makrolon to cause this, as he had never seen this before. I assured him that anyone washing the boat had instructions to never touch the Makrolon as I always cleaned it with the approved stuff (I don’t remember the name of it right now) he gave me. And besides, if someone cleaned it with non approved cleaner, why was the forward section the only one to fail? Wouldn’t all of them fail?

At any rate, he agreed that it didn’t make sense, and he replaced the forward sections at no charge. Great guy as that stuff is not cheap! He also supposedly sent a piece to the manufacturer for testing, but of course, they couldn’t find anything wrong.

Forward to April 2016 – the replaced forward section and rear sections still look almost new, but now the side sections have failed in the same way! By mid November, still the same – only sides had failed. By the way, this is in the PNW, so we had been through a fair amount of rain in those 7 months with nothing changing during that period of time.

The only thing I can think of is that the Makrolon (at least this batch) fails based on the amount of time that water is actually on it – the forward sections are angled, the sides and rear are vertical and therefore after raining, the vertical sides naturally dry much faster than the angled sections which hold water longer. OK, but why didn’t the rear vertical section fail at the same time that the side vertical section failed? The rear section has an overhang so doesn’t get as wet typically. I have a feeling the rear section will fail pretty soon though.

Any other ideas out there? Anybody else seen or heard of this before?

And, even though the forward section still appears to be OK, I’m reluctant to replace the sides, (and eventually the rear, I’m sure) with Makrolon again. So, does anybody like something better than Makrolon?
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:01 PM   #2
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Wow Nsail, that sounds serious. As you may know, Makrolon and other PC suppliers have their own coating regimes that they apply over the PC sheets. It sounds like this coating is not adhering. Are your PC windows tinted which are a coating as well.

I am a month away from a major PC job on my FB using Margard coating over Lexan PC. I need to follow your travails.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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I have Makrolon flybridge spray windows and we also use it in work. There are probably 30 versions of Makrolon and many of them are coated. It sounds like the coating on yours is failing. I didn't look at them all, but many versions of Makrolon have 10 year warranties.

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Old 12-16-2016, 04:49 PM   #4
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sunchaser,
No, they're not tinted. I had asked him about the coating, but he said that it's the same that he's always used, so I left it at that. I'll need to find out more about that now. And by the way, I would rather follow your travails! Ha Ha

kchace,
I didn't know that there were that many different versions. I need to ask him more about that also.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:00 PM   #5
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I am a month away from a major PC job on my FB using Margard coating over Lexan PC. I need to follow your travails.
Have you used the Lexan with Margard coating before, or will this be the first time?

If you have and you like it, and it lasts a long time, I may just go with that.

Please let me know.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nsail View Post
Have you used the Lexan with Margard coating before, or will this be the first time?

If you have and you like it, and it lasts a long time, I may just go with that.

Please let me know.
I will PM you
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nsail View Post
I assured him that anyone washing the boat had instructions to never touch the Makrolon as I always cleaned it with the approved stuff (I don’t remember the name of it right now) he gave me. And besides, if someone cleaned it with non approved cleaner, why was the forward section the only one to fail? Wouldn’t all of them fail?

FWIW, I have issued instructions about various things to our boat-cleaning crew, too... with about a 50% success rate.

We use the Imar 302/303 something-or-other cleaning/polishing products recommended for Stratoglass, recommended by our installer.

Our Makrolon panels (from our 2009 installation) have a bit of crazing (scratching?) that sometimes is visible when the sun is at certain angles. I suspect I did that myself, though, when trying to dry the panels in the dark for visibility before leaving the dock... I haven't gotten around to researching whether that can be improved, but have read the products recommended for EZ2CY might be helpful.

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Old 12-17-2016, 07:51 AM   #8
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I do know from one of my previous lives that lexan products that are placed out in the sun have a particular side that must face "out" in order for it to survive the UV effects of the sun.
Is it possible your manufacturer of the enclosure got it backwards on some of them?
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:53 AM   #9
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Some years ago I got a new pair of glasses. The lenses were PC and had the UV and tinted coatings. The coatings failed after about 2 years, flaking off in small pieces. This sometimes happens was the mfrs response.
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Old 12-17-2016, 09:54 AM   #10
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Some years ago I got a new pair of glasses. The lenses were PC and had the UV and tinted coatings. The coatings failed after about 2 years, flaking off in small pieces. This sometimes happens was the mfrs response.

Coatings can and will fail, over time. PC spectacle lenses have a factory scratch coating. PC has no UV coatings as the material itself has a UV inhibitor in it. Tints are usually a dye that the lens is dipped in which is absorbed by the material, more from the posterior side of the lens than the front. The most common culprit for coating failures are anti-reflective coatings.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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FWIW, I have issued instructions about various things to our boat-cleaning crew, too... with about a 50% success rate.-Chris
Same here. But, the reason we discounted that was why would the boat cleaners use something non-approved on the front section only at first, and then come back months later and only use it on the sides only? You would think that if they were going to clean the panels, that they would do them all at the same time. Didn't make sense to us.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:06 AM   #12
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I do know from one of my previous lives that lexan products that are placed out in the sun have a particular side that must face "out" in order for it to survive the UV effects of the sun.
Is it possible your manufacturer of the enclosure got it backwards on some of them?
Yes, now I think it's very possible. Initially, my canvas guy told me that this wasn't the problem and I left it at that. Now though, I'm beginning to question his answer, so the next question is - does anybody know if Makrolon is typically coated on both sides, or, one side only?
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #13
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Yes, now I think it's very possible. Initially, my canvas guy told me that this wasn't the problem and I left it at that. Now though, I'm beginning to question his answer, so the next question is - does anybody know if Makrolon is typically coated on both sides, or, one side only?
It typically comes coated one side. The protective coating has a marking on one side to tell you which one should be out
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:36 AM   #14
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I would send a sample of the failed material to the manufacturer. They will tell you what's going on. Do you know for sure that your canvas guy truly used Makrolon and not some other PC? Might be interesting to tell your canvas guy you are sending a sample to the mfg. Watch his reaction/response.

Yeah, I'm a skeptic.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:43 AM   #15
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I would send a sample of the failed material to the manufacturer. They will tell you what's going on. Do you know for sure that your canvas guy truly used Makrolon and not some other PC? Might be interesting to tell your canvas guy you are sending a sample to the mfg. Watch his reaction/response.



Yeah, I'm a skeptic.


At the least it will separate the wheat from the chaff. I'm a fan of trust but verify and have the invoices from materials testing labs to prove it.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:09 PM   #16
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I would send a sample of the failed material to the manufacturer. They will tell you what's going on. Do you know for sure that your canvas guy truly used Makrolon and not some other PC? Might be interesting to tell your canvas guy you are sending a sample to the mfg. Watch his reaction/response.

Yeah, I'm a skeptic.
Skepticism is good.

A sample was sent, but of course, the manufacturer said nothing was wrong (at least that's what I was told).

No, I'm not sure that Makrolon was actually used, but that's what he told me and that's what is on the invoice.

Not near the boat so can't get a sample. But, I'd be hesitant to cut a panel in the winter anyway. Maybe later though.

I have no indication that this guy is anything but honest (but you never know). After all, he replaced the front sections at no charge and didn't quibble one bit. We'll see this time, but first I want to figure out what went wrong and/or what to replace it with.
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Old 12-17-2016, 03:29 PM   #17
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Same here. But, the reason we discounted that was why would the boat cleaners use something non-approved on the front section only at first, and then come back months later and only use it on the sides only? You would think that if they were going to clean the panels, that they would do them all at the same time. Didn't make sense to us.
Good points. OTOH, I've also seen them finish one bottle, start another... of a different product.

Hard to say whether relevant or not, though.

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Old 12-19-2016, 12:29 PM   #18
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I found some photos. These were taken before the morning dew had time to dry.
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