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Old Feb 18, 2010, 07:54 PM
Fred
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Concord, North Carolina, USA
Joined Jun 2009
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Hinge & reinforcement tape permanence

I just recovered my Tower Hobbies Vista EP glider I lost about 2 months ago. It was found on the ground in a wooded area. I had a piece of 3M double reinforced packing tape on the bottom of the fuselage for landing protection. The tape is mostly decomposed.

I have been using the 3M double reinforced packing tape for reinforcement and hinges for several months on all of my foamy airplanes. I notice the tape on some of the older ones is turning yellow.

What are some options for a more permanent hinge and reinforcing tape for foamies?

Fred
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Last edited by warydragon; Feb 18, 2010 at 08:05 PM. Reason: add photo
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 08:14 PM
Jack
USA, ME, Ellsworth
Joined May 2008
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Is that the bidirectional tape? I haven't use that yet but I use the regular nylon filament tape quite a bit.

For sealing, strengthening, and protecting leading edges I use the clear package sealing tape. I've tried different brands and grades but have the best luck with the Duck brand Standard quality tape. It has the right amount of flexibility to do the ob and you can do an entire plane with a half ounce or so.

For adding visibility in flight and improving the looks the colored package sealing tapes are hard to beat the colored package sealing tape. Here is an example of it:

http://www.uline.com/BL_3052/Color-Coded-Tape

It is about the same weight as the Duck Standard clear tape.

The clear or colored tape really improves the strength on foamies. For the bare foam I apply a light coat of 3M 77 or Duro General Purpose aerosol contact adhesive to the foam first and get excellent adhesion. On the FFF with the clear plastic skin the tape sticks very well without the adhesive.

I do all of my hinging with the clear or color package sealing tape, sometimes using a combination of the two in multiple layers. It makes the strongest, least intrusive, hinge possible I think. A few practice runs on some scrap to figure out the spacing and bevel cuts and stuff and you're not likely to ever use anything else. The image helps understand the process.

I haven't left anything out in the weather for more than a few days and have never notices any weathering. Stuff a year or two old that is stored in the basement shows no deterioration. The service lives on my foamies is using measured in months or less. A couple of them it was a matter of hours...

Jack
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 07:30 AM
Fred
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Concord, North Carolina, USA
Joined Jun 2009
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Tape

Yes, I have been using the bidirectional tape. It looks like it has little threads imbedded in the tape in two directions, the width of the tape and the length of the tape. It is very strong and resistant to tearing.

I have been using this hinging method. I agree it is a very good system.

Ha, yes the foamies are somewhat disposable. But, I'd rather not have one fall apart one day while I was flying it. The 3M bidirectional tape literally disintegrated. Also, I expect my photo airplane to last a good while. I'm much more careful with the camera payload.

I am thinking of trying one of the film coverings as a hinge with foam. I'm also wondering if covering a wire cut foam wing with film would add as much strength as the tape. I have some Econokote which is supposed to be usable on foam. It seems like one of the Monokote VCR's I watched showed using it for hinge material on a balsa build.

Fred
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 08:22 AM
Canadian Bacon
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Kingston, Canada
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For the smaller stuff I use a form of 3M Blenderm tape called 3M Transpore. It has a slight texture but works well. On the bigger stuff I use hotglue hinges.

Gord.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 08:32 AM
gpw
“There’s no place like Foam”
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For those few of us who have Foamies last more than one flying session ... The eventual idea of plane maintenance comes up... Yes, sometimes you have to change the tape on favorite older Foamies... Blenderm has been the most durable hinges so far ... best buy it in bulk for much cheaper prices...
The Fast Pac tape has lasted for years on airframes ... worst enemy of tape seems to be sunlight and dust .. Old cleaners bags make great Foamie storage covers.. no dusting !!!
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 08:39 AM
Canadian Bacon
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Kingston, Canada
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Dusting, what's that?? I'm a bachelor

Gord..
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 01:08 PM
Scratch building addict
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United States, CA, Felton
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Interesting, I am thinking of switching over to the hot glue hinges, havent tried them yet but saw some nice instructional vids on the technique. Basicaly just mask around some small rectangles with masking tape, apply hot glue to the hinge area and spread thin with some scrap wood.

The other hinge I have tried and works really well and strong is simply thin coroplast with one layer removed at the "bendy" area, this is real strong because I epoxy the stuff into 1cm grooves I cut in the foam in typical "ca hinge" fashion.

I do have some strapping tape (stuck to itself - type) hinges that seem to work well but are a little stiff...now I'm a bit worried about the longevity of these.

Bought some blenderm and I want to try that next. Would be nice to see a ranking of these types in terms of longevity....I'm thinking the hot glue method will be the best...wonder what slopers generally use ? these guys really stress their planes.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 01:16 PM
gpw
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The hot glue hinge will fail under stress... at least the stress we put planes ...
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 01:46 PM
Scratch building addict
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United States, CA, Felton
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Really ? People are saying that the hot glue hinge is very strong. Hot glue is very flexible, like a spider web if you pull it. But I have no experience with those hinges. Here is a quick sketch of my coroplast hinges, strongest around but a bit of a pain.

Any idea how blenderm compares to hot glue for strength under stress?
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 05:49 AM
Crash Master
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Indianapolis, IN
Joined Sep 2001
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UV kills tape. There may be some which is better in the sun, but this hasn't been a problem the way I fly

The key to a strong hinge is probably surface area of the grip. With 2" wide tape, there's plenty of area to grip the foam. 3/4 or 1" works fine on most of them, until an impromptu combat session breaks out

Blenderm is the best tape for hinges, period, nuff-said.

Hot-glue and welder hinges are great, if done right. You can break your own heart ruining a wing if you screw up putting them on, though.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 08:41 AM
Jack
USA, ME, Ellsworth
Joined May 2008
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"..Blenderm is the best tape for hinges, period, nuff-said..."

Nope, full length hinges made with package sealing tape are better. It allows for a narrower hinge line if that is wanted and also seals the length of the hinge. I think it has more strength and less turbulence.

I've also used Blenderm. I think if you gave the package sealing tape hinges a try you might find better than you think.

Jack
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 08:48 AM
Canadian Bacon
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Kingston, Canada
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What works good on tape too is a Monocote iron. The heat softens the stickum and gives a more solid bond.

Gord.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 11:17 AM
What's my age again ?!
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United States, CA, Aliso Viejo
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I use strips cut from floppy disks (do they still even make floppy disks??) Cut a small slot in the foam with an exacto blade and glue in place with CA. Doesn't give the nice aerodynamics of a gapless hinge, but hey we are talking about foamies here. Haven't had any problems and is really easy to do. - Dirk
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 01:04 PM
Jack
USA, ME, Ellsworth
Joined May 2008
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Are you using the magnetic media? Or the Tyvek anti friction disks that were in there too? Strips of the Tyvek makes a good hinges too. The heavier stuff they use on home is good too, a little heavier and easier to work with.

Jack
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 02:09 PM
What's my age again ?!
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Jack, I use the magnetic media.
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