When covering your RC airplane, you always want to use the best wrap possible. Some builders prefer clothes and paint but it takes a lot of time. With shrink-wraps, you only have to worry about applying properly.
So, which is a better option, UltraCote vs MonoKote?
In general, the UltraCote shrinks more than the MonoKote but it’ll stretch more. However, the MonoKote stays down better after gluing. The UltraCote is more likely to get loose in the sun. It also has a less shiny finish. Finally, the MonoKote is harder for beginners to work with and offers more color options.
However, these do not cover everything on this matter. Stay with us if you wish to know more information.
Let’s not waste any more time and head right in –
UltraCote vs MonoKote: Primary Differences
Studying the basic differences can help you understand the detailed comparison. It saves a lot of time and effort. It’s also the same for Pheonix vs Realflight.
That’s why we’ve made a small chart for you to simplify this comparison –
|Shrink-On Set Temperature||300°F||270°F|
|Maximum Shrinking Temperature||350°F||300°F|
|Width||24 Inch||26 Inch|
So, does this clear your confusion a little bit? Well, there’s more to know! That’s why we have discussed all these in detail below.
UltraCote vs MonoKote: Detailed Comparison
Now that we have a sneak peek, we can head on to the detailed comparison. Read along and you may find the information that you’re looking for!
Which is More Shrinkable?
The main difference between MonoKote and UltraCote is that MonoKote is a mylar-based material, compared to UltraCote, which is polyester-based. MonoKote has a glossier finish and shrinks during heating, whereas, UltraCote resembles a painted finish and is more flexible than MonoKote.
Mylar is made of Polyethylene Terephthalate which is a stronger bond than normal polyester.
Monokote works as a fireproofing material as well.
Now, we need to know some more science to make it easy. Polyester starts shrinking at 68° Celsius. On the contrary, mylar needs at least 90° Celsius to start shrinking.
So, obviously, the UltraCote shrinks more than the MonoKote at a lower temperature.
Monokote starts sticking to the wood at around 215°F, whereas it takes Ultracote to reach about 220°F or higher to start adhesion with the wood.
The next stage is the Shrink onset. Ultracote requires to reach 300°F to start shrinking on set. For Monokote, it’s around 270°F. And finally, the maximum shrinkage temperature for untracote is 350°F and 300°F for monokote.
This means you have fewer chances to burn the substance you’re covering. A good example of those substances would be foam.
Hence, the UltraCote is impressive when covering softer substances like aluminum or other composite materials. These are mostly used in RC floatplanes.
So here’s the summary:
Monokote starts sticking to the wood at 215°F temperature, reaches shrinkage onset at 270°F, and achieves maximum shrinkage at 300°F temperature. On the other hand, Ultracote begins adhesion to wood at 220°F, starts shrinking at 300°F, and takes 350°F temperature to reach maximum shrinkage.
Which is Better for Outside Usage?
Monokote is better than Ultracote for outside usage.
Since polyester has a lower melting point, it can stretch naturally. That’s why Mylar takes the lead in this comparison.
The UltraCote will more likely be wrinkled or slacked when exposed to the sun. However, MonoKote or Mylar won’t have that many problems when exposed.
When it comes to thickness, a single pass of Monokote is approximately about 1/2 inches thick, which is 13mm.
Simply put, the MonoKote will stay shrunken for longer. This will significantly increase your experience.
Which is More Stretchy and Sticky?
Monokote is much stretchier and stickier than Ultracote.
Naturally, the substance that shrinks more is less likely to stretch. This is where the MonoKote shines.
Unlike the UltraCote, the MonoKote is more stretchy and easy to cover corners. And the best news? It also stays down longer if glued properly.
However, the Ultracote is less stretchy so you might have a hard time. But it’s not that notable. It also tends to come out easily, so it requires a stronger glue.
Which is More Feasible to Work With?
So far, we’ve factored in many attributes. But we still have to consider which one is easy to work with.
Between both, the UltraCote is much easier to work with because of its lower shrinking point. It’ll stretch just enough and will provide a better experience for most people.
On the contrary, you’ll have a hard time shrinking MonoKote for obvious reasons. It requires a lot more heat and thus can become an issue for beginners.
Just be careful. Prolonged exposure to the components present in Monokote can lead to lung cancer and other health hazards.
However, if you can apply Monokote properly, it no longer remains an issue.
Monokote has a shelf life of 1 year from the date of manufacture. But this depends on whether you store it in a dry place with optimum temperature.
Which One Offers More Variety?
Having more color options is always nice. It makes your airplane look nice and attractive. At the same time, you can be as creative as you want to be.
Although the UltraCote is easier to work with, it offers less variety overall. You’re less likely to get different colors.
It might become monotonous once you cover enough planes. However, it has a better-painted finish than MonoKote.
On the other hand, the MonoKote comes in a lot of glossy colors. It lets you be creative and do whatever you want.
By now you should have an idea about this debate. Have you decided which one suits your needs the most?
If you haven’t reached a conclusion yet, that’s totally fine. We’re here to help you.
If you were to ask our opinion, we would go with the UltraCote. Because of its decent offering in every factor and feasibility, this will be perfect.
Also, today’s MonoKote isn’t what it’s supposed to be. It has degraded a lot over time and has become thicker. Even so, it’s really good to work with and it creates a lot of possibilities.
What is the difference between UltraCote and MonoKote?
Answer: The UltraCote is more flexible and has a better-painted finish. However, the MonoKote has a glossy finish while being sturdy.
Is MonoKote still available?
Answer: Even though the usage of Ultracote has increased over time, the MonoKote is still accessible. They can easily be ordered from Amazon or other hobby shops.
Can you put MonoKote over MonoKote?
Answer: Yes you can. However, if it’s a darker color it will shrink slowly. So, if you use a darker MonoKote over a lighter one, be careful when shrinking.
We hope you’re all cleared on the UltraCote vs MonoKote issue. This is everything we could gather and explain for you.
So, which one will you be getting later?
Let us know your opinions in the comment section. Thank you for reading our work.
With that said, we wish you good luck with your upcoming projects.