After months of design and preparation, the rocket is almost ready. The last step? The painting.
The painting is a mandatory step in the conception of a rocket because it allows to make it recognizable. The EPFL Rocket Team has chosen this year – after the vote of the members of the association – a simple design, red and white recalling the colors of the Swiss flag.
Conclusion : about 12h work
But beyond the purely aesthetic aspect, the paint also has a significant technical purpose. This important step in the completion of the rocket not only makes it visually appealing, but also protects it from the heat, which is particularly important as the Spaceport America Cup takes place in the desert of New Mexico (USA). The colour scheme makes the rocket brighter and therefore less prone to heat absorption, which could damage the material. In addition, the paint protects the rocket from deformation due to sunlight or heat.
To carry out this stage, we called on Carrosserie Cristal, a coachbuilder in Renens. Why did we do this? Because automotive paints are more resistant and have a much more professional look. The paint was therefore applied over a coat of primer to ensure that the paint clung properly. Then the whole rocket was covered with a layer of resin that protects the paint from scratches, allowing the rocket to remain as beautiful as it is well protected. In total, this work required the help of about ten people, taking into account the assembly of the rocket, the masking of the rough parts with bodywork tape (so as to keep some raw material unpainted to be able to show the work of the Structure team), the painting itself and the baking of the whole. Conclusion: about 12 hours of work!
Process almost completed
Finally, it is an important communication step: indeed, after the application of this protective layer, we can put the logos of our different sponsors in order to thank them for their support during the past year.