Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can i paint PVC Nitrile rubber? with plasti-dip? toxic?

  1. Nov 4, 2014 #1
    Here's what I'm trying to paint: http://www.forcefieldbodyarmour.com/...mour-flat/2418

    I'm trying to paint this black.

    Can i paint these yellow pads with some sort of non toxic spray paint? Or what about plastidip (which i think is nontoxic). I was even thinking of using a black sharpie marker.

    On the forcefield site, the only mention of a material is the Nitrex Evo (a PVC nitrile).

    Usually i wouldn't even think twice about doing something like this, but i just happened to recently put some loctite on my snowboard plastic bindings and they cracked into a bunch of pieces! Who would've guessed.

    So i don't want there to be any sort of toxic reaction because this is going to an apparel piece that i'll be wearing.

    From what i know of plastidip, it's not really supposed to be toxic right? And it doesn't really "bond" to a material; it just kind of sits over it. That's why you can peel it off.

    Emailed Forcefield and Plastidip but got no reply.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Before I clicked the link, I thought that you were referring to what I think of as "body armour" as in bullet-proof vest, in which case I would have suggested merely coating it with coloured fabric. (Is that an option for you?)
    In this case... my first thought, having been in the screen printing business, is to use vinyl ink. It's flexible, fairly tough, and has an expected outdoor lifespan of about 5 years. Of course, that durability is weather related; it doesn't include any abrasion or blunt-force trauma resistance other than the occasional hail storm. Also, I have no idea as to its chemical reactivity with the particular material in question. I know that it's safe on polyester and nylon, but I have no experience with using it on rubber.
  4. Nov 4, 2014 #3
    Covering it with fabric would block the airflow of that specific product. I'm using it in a mesh jacket so the idea is to maximize the amount of airflow.

    The mesh weave on my black jacket is really looose, so you can see all the yellowness of the pads under the jacket. Which is why i want to paint them black.

    Ya, my main concern is the chemical re-activity.

    If i test spray one of them and nothing weird happens for a week, is it safe to assume that everything's good?

    I've already swiped it wife a sharpie a few times. Maybe i should just go with that.
  5. Nov 4, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yeah, if that works go for it. I've found them to streak on plastic or metal sometimes, but probably not on rubber. It would definitely be cheaper than a half-pint or so of ink. (We bought it in litres, so I don't know how small a container is available, and that was about $45 Canadian 14 or 15 years ago when I worked there.)
    If you were referring to the ink when you mentioned spraying it on, though, that doesn't apply. It's about the viscosity of liquid honey, far more than paint, so you would have to brush it on or severely dilute it with lacquer thinner and hope that the solvent doesn't melt your armour before it evaporates.
    I'm wondering now about the rigidity of this armour. Is it stiff enough that you could use latex paint without it cracking? Since latex is rubber, you might not get any adverse reaction. You'd need at least a couple of coats, though.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  6. Nov 5, 2014 #5
    The forcefield rubber pads are pretty flexible.

    The latex paint sounds pretty interesting. From photos, it looks like that's the paint they use to paint directly onto skin for movie costumes and stuff. So it must be pretty innocuous then.

    If it's supposed to bend with the skin, it should be pretty pliable too.
  7. Nov 7, 2014 #6
    I doubt whether this will work or not...

    Never done this type of experiment. Check before doing. :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook