Laminating Film

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Air Head

New member
Aug 24, 2018
5
0
#1
It would be nice if you rolled it on a tube. Mine was a bit mushed on the homemade cardboard thingy. I rolled it on a tube but im not really set up to do this and it took awhile to get it rolled nice and smooth. I did have 50 feet of the 1.7mil but its nicely rolled now
 

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Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#2
It would be nice if you rolled it on a tube. Mine was a bit mushed on the homemade cardboard thingy. I rolled it on a tube but im not really set up to do this and it took awhile to get it rolled nice and smooth. I did have 50 feet of the 1.7mil but its nicely rolled now
Another Customer's perspective of packaging.

That cardboard tube would probably costs as much as 4 or 5 meters of the covering.

I know that the shipping/display box of many products often cost more than the product. For example the box that Guillow kits comes in, is the single most expensive item for the manufacture.

From here the film looks to have arrived in satisfactory shape and suitable for its intended propose.

I think we are lucky that this film isn't folded. I often get a lot of light films that are folded. I'm thinking of some Coverite products and R.A. microlite. It was folded to save on shipping and storage costs.

That rolled up corrugated cardboard looks appropriate.

As an end user of this material I don't want to pay for items or services I don't use. I have no use for that cardboard tube or the added cost of shipping oversized packages.

Aloft please keep the cost down and at the same time protecting the product from creases. I think the loose corrugated sheet (roll) meets with most customer's expectations.

All the best,
Konrad
 
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Air Head

New member
Aug 24, 2018
5
0
#3
Sure Konrad, I should have taken a picture before I re-rolled it. It wasn't folded but it was not rolled very well on the crunched up tube. Thought it needed to be put on a roll to keep it from getting the creases as you put it. It would be simple to setup a spooler and to produce a better job quicker, so I don't think the costs would be much different but the result of the customer getting professionally wound material free from creases would meet or exceed all customers expectations.

Got to give this stuff a try, it looks like very tough stuff. I got the 1.7 mil and it sure seems strong.

Regards Rick
 

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Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#4
I can see how that photo could lead to unrealistic customer expectation.
https://alofthobbies.com/new-stuff-laminating-films.html

When I see “sold by the foot” I think bulk packaging, much like you would see at a hardware store.

For the last 20 years we hobbyist have been getting bulk quantities of Doculam cut off the roll and stuffed into a box with the rest of your order.
http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_forum/index.php?topic=14098.0

In the USA Coverite has been sell us many SolarFilm products folded in plastic bags. The creases were annoying but shrunk out just fine.

True we don’t know what the laminating film looked like when you received it. But seeing on your roll it looks like it wasn’t damaged.

My concern is that Aloft Hobbies will incur an expense for packaging and then have to carry this over to us the end user. I as a paying customer see little value in this added expense.
So no, the tube would not aid in my customer experience as I don’t want to pay for it.

The film is nice but.

I find that it needs too much heat to be used on expanded polystyrene. Even on EPO foam I see a bit of bead expansion. It is tough as it doesn’t tear easily. But it will not add too much dent resistance. It does add a lot of tensile strength to help control wing flex. I also find that it will hold warps (washout) in many (most) structures. This is nice as it can be helpful in flight trimming some stuborn ships.

All the best,
Konrad

CoverLite.jpg
 
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Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
806
90
Novato, CA USA
#5
Hey Rick,

We have never found a suitable tube that as Konrad points out does not cost a small fortune to roll the material on. So this is our solution. I will say that we all hate rolling this film out. We use a little "tool" that I made many years ago. We are always debating about a better way to do this, but nothing comes of it. I think we will make a second tool in the future so we do not need to reload the master rolls as often, the current tool only holds 4 master rolls, 7 would be better and a bit more spacing.

We have debated a much more complex tool that would allow us to roll the film without a cardboard roll at all, or maybe make up a roll from paper, but I think these would allow the film to smash down even flatter in shipping.

The 1.7 roll material you ordered is the toughest to roll out cleanly, especially in longer lengths. Heck, our supplier occasionally botches the job and sends us a worthless messed up roll.

We will keep putting thought to do this job better, but for now I'll ask the guys to be a bit more careful with the packaging in the box.

-Wayne

p.s. Thank you very much for the feedback.
p.p.s. When I was first starting up the business in my garage, I used to roll this stuff out on my floor after cleaning the floor carefully!! That was a real pain and always had some dog hair etc.. After doing that a couple of times I built the rolling tool.
 

Air Head

New member
Aug 24, 2018
5
0
#6
Thanks Wayne

I was actually trying to dream up a design for a spooler. Perhaps a few wraps of a thicker plastic that will hold the tube shape then attach the film and spin it up. Ill think about this too. Been wanting to try this stuff for some time but from reading Konrads post it seems hes not having good luck with it. It took me more than 30 minutes to get it on the roll straight so I do understand the hassle.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
806
90
Novato, CA USA
#7
Actually, check the product page and the reviews. There are some great tips and such. With the right foam, this stuff is great! With EPS foam, I would not use this film. I used to tell people it was no good for balsa planes, but lately folks are loving it for that use.

When going down on foam, less heat is better! Some EPO foams do "reshape" at lower temps, and this can cause the skin to alligator some. It is not a bad idea to test in a hidden area to see how well it works on a new plane.

For wire cut EPP, this is the BOMB!! For combat planes, it is great. For smooth foam planes, it can really extend the life of the plane and keep it looking like new for a lot longer. For EPS foams - I would pass on the heavier weights.
 
#8
I have been using 5mil laminate on my R-tech white insulation foam from homedepot for a few years, but i always wrap my wings in filament tape first and the laminate is the final layer. I put my covering iron at about 70% of the dial. It can take an amazing amount of heat and i havent melted it yet. Even when its so hot it burns my hand to touch that part of the wing.
 

Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#9
Thanks Wayne

I was actually trying to dream up a design for a spooler. Perhaps a few wraps of a thicker plastic that will hold the tube shape then attach the film and spin it up. Ill think about this too. Been wanting to try this stuff for some time but from reading Konrads post it seems hes not having good luck with it. It took me more than 30 minutes to get it on the roll straight so I do understand the hassle.
Konrad has been having great sucsess with this stuff. But like all materials it must be used within its limitations, and these limitations must be understood.

I've seen guys thinking that tough meant that the film would be a good barrier against denting of the foam substrate. It is not a hard barrier against denting of foam.

I mention the heat distortion of the foam as a warning. Thenated0g provided a process that he uses. Not sure what weight he has per square foot nor do I know what temperature 70% of dial is. But it is something to look into if the foam bead distortion becomes a problem.

To recap I like the film. That is why I don't want Aloft increasing the price for features I don't see adding any value to the product.

All the best,
Konrad
 

Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
636
38
San Francisco
#11
Yeah i have a general tendency to build everything heavy.
Sorry, That was not what I was implying.

When I look at material and processes, I'm looking for strong, light weight.

Your processes may still make a skin suitable for our aircraft. I have no experience with your process. I apologize if it sounded like I was discounting it.

All the best,
Konrad
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
806
90
Novato, CA USA
#13
Oh the thicker films can for sure help with dent resistance. But they also weigh a ton. I don't think I would use them for this..

A foam wing with 10mil DI film that is overlapped at the leading edge is for formidable structure. I overlap the leading edge joint back about 1" to 1/3 of the airfoil section depending on the intended purpose. This same wing will need very little if any carbon, and if you hand catch it, it is going to hurt your hand. Very few people can afford this type of weight penalty, so we do not see a lot of 10mil DI sold. Great for combat flying wings!