SDS Stunt Helmet yellowing & cracking

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temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by Jediwannabe@Dec 31 2005, 02:16 AM
OK this sucks I have found a crack near the yellowing.

Wow. That's awful. Jediwannabe, I feel your pain. :cry

As for your message to AA: I ordered something from SDS in late December of 2004 and, just before the end of the year, got a message from them asking me to be patient because the country had basically shut down for the holidays.

You've probably already thought of it, but don't be surprised if it takes several days to get a response. :unsure
 

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Jediwannabe

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The helmet sits on a wall in my home office. There are no chemicals that could come in contact. It could not be in a cleaner, even temperatured, low light environment. I'm in Los Angeles so we don't even have humidity. It cannot be anything that I have done.


Originally posted by isd804@Dec 30 2005, 10:46 AM
Think back on any environmental factors that may have affected it since you've owned it. Was anything sprayed onto the surface, even accidentally?

Since there is a crack, the plastic may, at some point, have come into contact with a solvent, which may cause both discoloration and stress corrosion cracking.

Allan
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Darth Mawr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I used sell, service and install gas logs. I learned a lot about things that could cause staining because often people would want to blame the log set for the problem. Sometimes they were right but most often it was another source.

You've already answered some of my questions in your responses to others but I'm curious, do you burn scented candles?

This could explain the yellowing (again if it's on the surface and not the plastic itself that is yellowing)
 

Jediwannabe

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very interesting. At one time I did have a scented candle in the room. I could have used it two or three times but it sat in the office for several months. Do you really think that could have done it? The candle was not underneath the helmet and any heat would have been far away.

This yellow does not look like it is on the surface. It is most definitely coming from the plastic. At the tip of the frown the yellow looks to be coming from underneath the gray paint.
 

Darth Mawr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by Jediwannabe@Dec 30 2005, 02:35 PM
Very interesting.  At one time I did have a scented candle in the room.  I could have used it two or three times but it sat in the office for several months.  Do you really think that could have done it?  The candle was not underneath the helmet and any heat would have been far away.

This yellow does not look like it is on the surface.  It is most definitely coming from the plastic.  At the tip of the frown the yellow looks to be coming from underneath the gray paint.
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I've seen considerable yellowing/darkening of ceilings due to scented candle use. The scented are much more likely than the plain and I don't understand the chemistry involved that causes that.

With this said, if you've only burned the candle two or three times I'm doubtful that it had anything to do with this.
 

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Jediwannabe

Sr Member
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So I broke out the Novus Scratch Remover to try to clean it and what I found was interesting. The first crack became more pronounced buy the coloring of the paste and when I used it on one of the other yellow spot more cracks became apparent. There are many tiny STRESS CRACKS located just in the yellow areas. Even around the noticable crack there are tiny white stress cracks. This must be a flaw.
 

Darth Mawr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm far from a plastics expert but I'd have to agree. It seems to be defective plastics. Possibley not even the fault of AA however I too feel he should replace the helm.
 

Kerr Avon

Master Member
Definately sounds like the plastic was overworked or bad when used. It's entirely possible he didn't know about it at the time and it looked normal, but he should stand behind his work and offer some kind of replacement on that.
 

SithLord

Sr Member
I've had four SDS stunts and one hero and only one, a low numbered one...had one stain like that on it (as a tear under the eye). I contact AA a while back about it. He said the color is not from molding. He cleans the helmets with various polishes and had gone through some early experimenting with them and it might have resulted from a reaction to the polish. The product he now uses is used for rejuvenating paintwork on cars. It is a mild abrasive and polishes the plastic very well, as well as removing small scratches and he said it should remove the discoloration. Cleaners with bleach can stain the plastic. But I don't understand why a #118 helmet which is a later helmet would have the problem...so it's not related to light at least...

:cheers,

Thomas
 

marcvs66

New Member
I've actually had the same problem w/ a ST helmet by a different maker - same stress/hairline cracks and yellowing in areas that were pulled really deep=thin and in areas that were stressed by force from the outside [after vacu-forming] - like around the screws in one of the ears, where the screw was tightened really tight to get a perfect fit between the faceplate/back and ear. Same/similar acrylic-capped styrene that AA uses... so, my theory for this one would be that somehow the two layers: styrene and clear acrylic top-coat separated due to stress/cracks and oxygene gets in between the layers and starts to well, oxidize... yellow... so, the yellow is in between the two layers and can't be polished out... it's there for good. At least that's what I concluded w/ my helmet... hey - a 'real' ST helmet needs to be sloppily painted w/ a rattle-can anyway... that glossy styrene is just too darn pretty...
 

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exoray

Master Member
It is a mild abrasive and polishes the plastic very well, as well as removing small scratches and he said it should remove the discoloration.

Putting aside a "stain" from smoke or something similar, the yellowing of plastics is a sign of a molecular level break down of the polymer chain, in short oxidation...

Simply and straight forward put, there is no way to polish it off or remove it without physically removing that (layer) area, just like removing rust on metal, and just like rust on metal once removed unless you 100% seal the surface it will quickly come back... And just like rusty metal the actual physical properties of the plastic are failing as well, that is why you are seeing the small cracks...

Like I said above it's on the molecular level, the plastic is falling apart, and there is really nothing that can be done to restore it...

What caused it and why yours seems to be excelerated is only speculation, but UV light and excess heat are known to speed up the process, as well as some chemicals (possibly something used to clean it, by you or even AA...)

I do hope in the end that AA at least replaces the helmet for you, and this has a happy ending...
 

Jediwannabe

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I appreciate all the input so far. I can say this has been a learning experience at the least. I do hope AA comes to the plate because I am sure my lid is displayed in the perfect environment and it is indeed deteriorating on its own and at an unacceptable rate.
 

SonicRage

New Member
To support the "oxidation" theory, I had a very small hairline crack on my helmet (#163) when I received it. One of the first things I did when I got the helmet was the 3-step Novus process and the hairline crack indeed filled up. I've had it for about a year now and there is absolutely no yellowing whatsoever around the crack -- possibly because I "sealed" the crack early. Are all the yellow spots on actual cracks or just crazed areas? My helmet gets hit by zero sunlight and is behind glass in a very dry area.
 
It sounds to me like Flynn has said the plastic is breaking down in those areas.

SDS has been good in the past at replacing faulty goods so I'm sure they'll look after you, although as others have said if you've not received a response yet you wont now until Tuesday at the earliest as everything in the UK shuts down 24th Dec to 3rd Jan. We like our holidays here :)

marcvs66 - What was the helmet you had that had the same problems and did the makers of that replace it for you?

Cheers

Jez
 

Jediwannabe

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Jez,

Thanks for the input. It makes me feel better to know that SDS has taken care of their customers when problems have arisen in the past. I would hate to think I spent so much on this and I was told to pound dirt while it begins to deteriorate after the first year. Money aside I would also lose pleasure in this helmet that I love so much. And yes, I figured I shouldn't expect to have a reponse until the new year.


SonicRage,

Yes, the yellowing is over the cracks. There are what looks like dozens of tiny stress cracks that you have to get the light to hit just right to see. There is only once crack, at this time, that is dark enough to see at all times.

Marcvs66 had mentioned that the yellowing also takes place at pressure points. This is so with mine too. I have yellowing at the tightest point where the ear attaches to the rest of the helmet. I cannot find any cracks at that yellow point so I would imagine his pressure theory stands up.

Happy New Year to all.
 

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marcvs66

New Member
Originally posted by BingoBongo275@Dec 31 2005, 10:42 AM

marcvs66 - What was the helmet you had that had the same problems and did the makers of that replace it for you?

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Jez - the helmet was an old CRProps [not a GINO helmet - meaning, the pieces are basically the same, but assembly and detailing was done by CRProps = not quite as nicely done as a GINO helmet in my humble opinion] helmet that I bought from somebody here in the JY... a couple years ago... Actually a really nice helmet overall - it did have the yellowing around the brow-trim and crazing/yellowing especially around the screws in the ears and some other places... nothing big though - I ended up selling the helmet - and the guy who owns it now is actually very happy w/ it - despite the yellowing/crazing... definitely a problem that is related to the acrylic-capped material though... never seen the crazing on abs or straight [non-capped/non-glossy] styrene?

The maker did not replace the helmet - since I bought it second-hand [and for a decent price] and since the original maker wasn't really around anymore at the time, I really didn't even try... in fact - I didn't really think about going that route.

Let me mention here though - although this doesn't directly relate to the yellowing issue - that I had a problem w/ my SDS helmet when it arrived [related to FedEx not handling the package properly = faceplate partially split.] - and AA took care of me and sent me a new helmet in exchange for the damaged one right away. He even refunded me the postage it cost to send the damaged helmet back to the UK. Definitely a very good experience as far as customer service goes... something that isn't always the case in this hobby. I would just present the problem to AA in a reasonable manner - and I'm sure, he'll find a solution.
 

SonicRage

New Member
So are crazed areas inevitably going to yellow? I ask because there are some areas on my helmet with crazing and after this thread, I'm getting paranoid that my helmet is just gonna start "dying" on me soon. Everyone should take a really close look at their helmets too 'cause I'm willing to bet there's a decent number of helmets out there that have crazed areas that no one managed to spot.
 

digs

New Member
The left mic tip on my SDS Hero fell a month after I got it. Displaying the helmet was a major concern due to the warm temperature. The weather of my country, which is in Southeast Asia, is characterized by relatively high temperature, high humidity and abundant rainfall.

AA suggested I use hot melt glue after I asked him if there were other SDS helmet owners who have expressed concern over discoloration. I opted to just store my helmet in a styrofoam ice chest.
 

Rodann

Sr Member
Originally posted by Jediwannabe@Dec 30 2005, 03:18 PM
So I broke out the Novus Scratch Remover to try to clean it and what I found was interesting.  The first crack became more pronounced buy the coloring of the paste and when I used it on one of the other yellow spot more cracks became apparent.  There are many tiny STRESS CRACKS located just in the yellow areas.  Even around the noticable crack there are tiny white stress cracks.  This must be a flaw.
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Sounds to me like the plastic began to "cook" like brittle Bakelite. Any chance a heat gun could do this during forming? I know that if the pull begins to look too "soft", it's common practice to hit it with a heat gun to get it to form better. This can cause more stress to the plastic, and may explain why such a random number (118) might deteriorate suddenly, without harsh exposure.
 

hyperdyne

Sr Member
I will have to check my ST helmet now. :eek

I do know my tie pilot helmet is literally falling apart. The mohawk is coming off and every week it seems to be peeling off more pieces. I'm not very happy with it so far....
 

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