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Old May 19, 2013, 02:47 AM
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Philippines
Joined Jan 2005
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Acrylic Tubing for WTC

Been looking for a source of polycarbonate tubing for a homemade wtc. Being in Asia I'm hardpressed to locate a supplier. What I did find are acrlylic tubing. As I've read several post about acrylic suddenly cracking on the table I'm a bit wary of getting it. Don't want to spend on something that can fail on the day I get it in the mail.

My question is, how good is acrylic compared to polycarbonate?
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Old May 19, 2013, 11:33 AM
RC sub dude
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Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Joined Nov 2004
301 Posts
Might as well be using ABS or PVC. So far everyone that I've asked on RC-submarine forums have told me to avoid acrylic.
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Old May 19, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Joined Jul 2004
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I would say use it and be watchful for cracks. if that is all you can get. If you know of anyone in the USA that can send you some Lexan tubing then try that route. I am going to take my motorhome over to get an AC unit installed. I will get some of that lexan tubing they use for the sewer system, they make nice WTCs they interlock. They may have that in Asia. I don't know.
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Old May 19, 2013, 11:58 AM
Michigan, USA
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Joined Apr 2008
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Bob Dimmack of OTW Designs has been using acrylic/plexiglass for years with little or no problems. Email him on the proper method of machining it.

Dan
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Old May 20, 2013, 12:40 AM
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I think OTW gets away with using acrylic because their wtc is based on a sealed water tank ballast system that doesn't involve a lot of machining to the tube. On my wtc I want to go with a vented tank with a snort system. This would entail a lot of drilling for the flood holes and vent valve assembly. Lots of potential cracking.
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Old May 20, 2013, 07:10 AM
Michigan, USA
Roedj's Avatar
Joined Apr 2008
70 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by redboat219 View Post
I think OTW gets away with using acrylic because their wtc is based on a sealed water tank ballast system that doesn't involve a lot of machining to the tube. On my wtc I want to go with a vented tank with a snort system. This would entail a lot of drilling for the flood holes and vent valve assembly. Lots of potential cracking.
Not really.

In the pump section there are several holes:
1) Positive and negative battery,
2) Water inlet for the pump,
3) Forward push rod.

In the ballast tank section there are holes for:
1) Water inlet,
2) Three holes for various water level probes,
3) Hole for interconnecting tube to motor section
4) The baffles

In the motor section there are:
1) Hole for interconnecting tube to pump section.
2) Propeller shaft,
3) Two holes for push rods.

On each of the end caps there are three holes for the connecting brass rods that hold the whole WTC together.

Dimmack and company know how to drill plexiglass - try asking him.

Dan
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:47 AM
Man from Atlantis
Sub culture's Avatar
London
Joined Nov 2003
906 Posts
The trick with working acrylic or PMMA to give it the correct name is to use tools with little or no negative rake. This includes drill bits, which need to be specially sharpened for working with acrylic, or you can purchase drill sets witht he correct grinding ready done.

You must take light cuts, to prevent the tool digging in and heat build up in the work which causes stresses. A little water helps keep the tool and work cool, you can also mix a little soap in with the water to lubricate, but usually unnecessary.

Bear in mind that extruded acrylic tubing and sheet is full of stresses from the manufacturing process, ideally the work should be 'normalized' afer completion which should anneal the stresses out the material. However this is quite tricky to do with out access to an accurate temperature controlled oven, and is probably unnecessary.

Parts made from acrylic are more rigid than other plastics, and resist scuffing better, it also polishes much more nicely than polycarbonate, however it is far more brittle and is probably the trickiest of all thermoplastics to work with. PVC, ABS and polycarbonate are all a lot more forgiving to work with, and won't crack if you drop them on the deck.

Here in the UK PVC is the cheapest plastic usually, and makes excellent watertight enclosures. It's usually filled, which makes it opaque (PVC is transparent if unfilled) but that is not a major handicap, after all if a boat is going to spring a catastrophic leak, then it's most likely to do so with the hull all buttoned up, so you won't see it anyway, until it's too late.

Finish your Kilo!
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Old May 24, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Philippines
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Yes Andy. I'm working on it. Have to finish so I can work on my dream boat next, a Revell Type VII. That's why I need materials for the WTC. Already tried Australia and Singapore, most only have acrylic and those with polycarbonate require a minimum order of more than 1 length of tubing ( 5 pc of 8 ft long tubes, might as well open my own wtc shop).
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:21 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
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Xiaoshan, China
Joined Jun 2006
4,618 Posts
As mentioned over in the Sub Driver Forum, try Taobao, my friend. Easy to find & order via Chrome.

http://sammy811.taobao.com/search.ht...&queryType=cat

If you want a more easier route, contact Lin at BH Model & he can set you up with bulk tube or a WTC cylinder for cheap. Email is bhmodle@163.com.
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Old May 25, 2013, 02:43 AM
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Philippines
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Hermill I tried that site, having some difficulty understandIng the site even with Google translator. Will try to get in touch with BHModels instead.
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Old May 25, 2013, 06:38 AM
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Philippines
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I did find what I need at Amazon but I'm still checking of they'll ship to the Philippines. I've read post that some people employ a courier service between Amazon and them.
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