New Stuff / Laminating Films

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Wid

New member
Feb 25, 2018
13
0
#1
I have become a real fan of laminating films on my foam planes. The 7 and 10 mil DI Laminating film make really stiff and smooth wings. Currently Aloft only has 5 and 3 mil. I am wondering if 5 mil is really all I need. I am very hard on my slopers and the thicker the film the stronger and smoother my wings. I would be interested in hearing other peoples experiences and opinions. Wayne is exploring options for getting the thicker films but currently they are available in 38" wide rolls, which are expensive to ship. How much interest is there for the thicker films?

I use CP films on balsa fins on the JW to make them light weight but strong with airfoils.

I really like being able to survive crashes like this one with only minor cosmetic damage! WARNING: turn down your volume, 30 to 40 mph wind noise.
 

Hank

New member
Feb 26, 2018
50
3
#2
I purchased from Aloft a roll of the stuff and used it on a 1/12 scale PICA ME109 all balsa plane with a .15 2-stroke glow engine. Then I painted it with Rustoleum camo spray paint and finally 2 light coats of Minwax spray polyurethane to make it glow fuel proof.
It came out really nice and strong and lightweight. My son crashed the plane really bad and destroyed the nose of the fuse. The pieces were still held together by the covering and the paint never chipped. I am repairing it now and will see how it patches up with New Stuff patches.
I am using 3 mils CP covering and probably will stay with that. Although I have been debating the use of the DI thick film on wings someday. I have a couple of old foamy glow planes that I will do sometime in the future (old SureFlite kits).
 

Wid

New member
Feb 25, 2018
13
0
#3
Thanks for your input. I often use the lighter CP film on the balsa surfaces of my slopers and it does strengthen them considerably.
Since one of my passions is big air slope soaring the extra weight of the thick DI films is actually a benefit rather than a problem . I have been building and flying RC sailplanes for 20 years. But with my relatively new "big air" passion the freedom to build as strong and heavy as needed is very liberating. Since I live a couple hours from the slopes I don't get there as often as I'd like. Learning new skills with limited practice means some crashes. Having almost indestrutable planes means I can push the envelope harder and thus learn faster!

 
Last edited:

Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
705
41
San Francisco
#4
Hank, that's a great idea using this film to restore some of the older foam models. I too have a few SureFlite models that I was flying on ten round cell decades ago. I'll need to take a look in the attic to see what condition they are in. Anybody know if the activation heat is compatible with the styrofoam used in the days of old?

All the best,
Konrad
 

Hank

New member
Feb 26, 2018
50
3
#5
I have not tried it on foam yet, much less the old foam like in SureFlite kits. But this film adheres at a much lower temperature than Ultracote. I don't expect it to be a problem, but I should test it on a small piece first.

As far as covering balsa, I always used wood sealer before covering, like Balsarite. But because this film sticks so well, I did not need to use it.

" I'll need to take a look in the attic to see.."
Konrad, you must have one heck of an attic to stuff all those planes and vast collection of glow engines...:eek::)
 

Hank

New member
Feb 26, 2018
50
3
#7
I don't have an attic, but I am going to have to get creative with my basement layout to keep it functional with all the planes and workbench. I only have 2 big gas planes, but they disrupt the order of everything.
 

Hank

New member
Feb 26, 2018
50
3
#8
I wish I had slopes close by to try slope soaring, but no luck, all flat land around here.

How beneficial is the DI-type film for wings compared to the CP-type film with the same thickness? I have only used 3 mils CP film but might try 3 or 5 mils DI on the Sureflite wings.
 

Wid

New member
Feb 25, 2018
13
0
#10
The DI is stiffer, less flexible more rigid. So it does not show all the little bumps and imperfections of the foam. Makes a very smooth and inflexible surface, reduces torsional flex significantly. It does not stretch or do compound curves very well. More info at the bottom of this page
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
885
107
Novato, CA USA
#11
@Wid - Yep, I need to find some of the thicker materials in the smaller widths again. I greatly prefer the heavier DI films for my slope wings. To give the others an idea of the results, it can transform a wire cut EPP wing core from a rough spongy finish to about as close as you can get to a fully molded wing finish. The difference is crazy, and it is very easy to do. Very high reward. Also, you can run a lot less carbon in that same wing. I actually built a combat 48" flying wing with no carbon, just 7mil DI film overlapped at the leading edge and brought that back about 1/3 of the chord. (14 mil of film at the first 1/3 of the wing.) That was a tough plane, no carbon to be snapped. It was a cool experiment, and I still have that plane. I will suggest you add some carbon strips for spars and greater stiffness though. But not much is needed.

For non-slope aircraft I do not recommend this thick a film unless you are flying combat. For lighter lift or lighter aircraft, hard to go wrong with the 5 mil and thinner films. Heck, for my normal wings I will use the 5mil DI with some overlap at the leading edge. This plane will be fine for general mayhem and abuse, and some light combat.

For the typical electric sport plane I'll suggest the 3mil or the 1.7mil. I find weight to be a larger consideration on these aircraft. I am using the film to protect the foam from day to day use and keep the foam clean. This works great. Also, will speed up and generally improve flight performance on some planes depending on the finish of the foam.
 

Hank

New member
Feb 26, 2018
50
3
#12
@Wid - Yep, I need to find some of the thicker materials in the smaller widths again. I greatly prefer the heavier DI films for my slope wings. To give the others an idea of the results, it can transform a wire cut EPP wing core from a rough spongy finish to about as close as you can get to a fully molded wing finish. The difference is crazy, and it is very easy to do. Very high reward. Also, you can run a lot less carbon in that same wing. I actually built a combat 48" flying wing with no carbon, just 7mil DI film overlapped at the leading edge and brought that back about 1/3 of the chord. (14 mil of film at the first 1/3 of the wing.) That was a tough plane, no carbon to be snapped. It was a cool experiment, and I still have that plane. I will suggest you add some carbon strips for spars and greater stiffness though. But not much is needed.

For non-slope aircraft I do not recommend this thick a film unless you are flying combat. For lighter lift or lighter aircraft, hard to go wrong with the 5 mil and thinner films. Heck, for my normal wings I will use the 5mil DI with some overlap at the leading edge. This plane will be fine for general mayhem and abuse, and some light combat.

For the typical electric sport plane I'll suggest the 3mil or the 1.7mil. I find weight to be a larger consideration on these aircraft. I am using the film to protect the foam from day to day use and keep the foam clean. This works great. Also, will speed up and generally improve flight performance on some planes depending on the finish of the foam.
Ok, ok, ok, now you got me thinking...o_O

I have 3 classic pattern kits to build with foam core wings. These are traditionally covered over with 1/16 inch balsa sheets and then finished with covering. I am wondering if an extra thick DI laminate can be substituted for the balsa and covering? Typically those wings won't need spars if sheeting balsa over them, but they are glued on. Even the thickest DI laminate film may not be enough to get around needing a spar. What do you guys think?
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
885
107
Novato, CA USA
#13
Chances are very good that the wings will be made from EPS foam. That foam would probably melt when you try and stick the thicker DI film to it. Also, I think the balsa would result in a lighter stiffer structure. A good thing for pattern work. :)
 

Wid

New member
Feb 25, 2018
13
0
#14
Doing the balsa skins with thin DP covering might be a good way to go. They say Dp can do compound curves. Another plus is you can paint the balsa (light coats of spray paint work best) before laminating. It looks good. I have been impressed how much strength laminate adds to my balsa fins on my JWs.
 
Last edited:
Sep 29, 2018
15
2
#15
Hey guys
New to the forum and love aloft hobbies. Fast shipping great service. But have a question anyone laminate a Tek sumo or will it melt
Thanks.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Sep 29, 2018
15
2
#17
Hi Konrad. Bought some 1.7 and 5 mil laminate from aloft just wondering what would be best. I’m waiting on the 3 mil. Out of stock currently. Thanks for the response.
Kevin.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Konrad

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
705
41
San Francisco
#18
Best for what, durability, easy of aplication, weight? As these are small 900mm ships I'd leave off the film as I'd want the lightest model possible for the slopes I fly.

All the best,
konrad
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2017
885
107
Novato, CA USA
#19
I have a very similar plane and will be covering with 5 mil film as I want durability. I love beating the living tar out of flying wings. :)
 

Martin

New member
Oct 30, 2018
3
0
#20
I use ci type 1.7, 3 and 5mil over epp and epa foam and I have never seen anything like this before. Once applied the resulting composite is very strong. The only place that I used 5mil was on the bottom of the fuselage on a hand launch plane. I mostly use the 3mil on all other surfaces.