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Nov 06, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Laminate film covering for RC wings info, AKA "New Stuff", "NS", "Lam film"

You may have heard about heat activated laminate film wing covering materials (aka. New Stuff or NS).
However getting specific details about this stuff, especially working out thickness is sparce and scattered. Different countries also use different measurement definitions which is confusing.

For all my info (what it is, how to apply it, conversion factors, material info and links).
Details Here
Last edited by cleansurf2; May 27, 2013 at 03:50 AM.
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Nov 06, 2010, 08:04 PM
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Laminate film covering for RC wings info, AKA "New Stuff" "NS"

Laminate film covering for RC wings info, AKA "New Stuff", "NS", "Lam Film"

What is it
Laminate comes in different types. What we are talking about here, has heat activated adhesive with a melting point of 210-250 farenheit. It is translucent and becomes almost transparent once applied, rigidy is also considerably increased once the glue is activated. Application is with an iron or heat gun. It can be applied directly to foam or other surfaces.

It is the same stuff used to cover posters, menues, etc..
The most familiar laminate most people will know, would be the pouch type used for printer paper. 80 Micron per sheet is the standard thickness of an A4 laminate pouch (standard printer size paper). Separating the 2 sheets from one of these standard laminating pouches is the easiest way for most people to access laminate for testing on a scrap piece of foam.
It does not SHRINK when applied. Care has to be taken not to deform the foam from excessive heat during application. Be careful not to induce wing twist or bend to the wing while applying the laminate.

Laminate comes in many different types with different properties, some work better than others for foam RC wings.

Why use it:
For foam wings, especially "Flying wings", laminate allows you to simplify a build and replace strapping tape and other coverings with an iron on covering that adds considerable support, rigidity, and a smooth/sleek finish all in one. Of course you can still complicate it with colouring, additional strength, foam surface finishers prior to application, etc...
Always apply top side of wing first, to avoid adding any ahedrial to the wing.

Beware of differing Measurements.

Defining a Mil A mil may not be a millimeter!
I'm Australian, a Mil (Millimeter) = 1000/Meter. (Metric)
In the USA, sometimes a Mil is expressed as 1000/Inch. (Imperial)
So big difference in what each Country expresses as a Mil.

Micron is standardised (I believe). So:
Metric: 1 micron = 0.001 millimeters (so: 80 Micron = 0.08 mil)
Imperial: 1 microns = 0.0393700787mils (so: 80 Micron = 3.1 mil)
Most info out there is expressed in either Micron or Imperial Mil.

Useful conversion data: (Imperial Mil to Micron), common sizes.
Note: This is total thickness plastic laminate plus glue.
9.824mils = 250micron
4.912mils = 125micron
2.952mils = 75micron

Some suppliers may express guage like this:
80 Micron (50/30). This is 50 micron plastic with 30 micron of glue = 80 micron laminate. Ratios of plastic to glue vary and often are not shown.

My experience with Laminate covering.
I have so far managed to get a hold of 3 different pieces of 80 Micron laminate. 2 out of 3 were good, one had poor adhesion and keeps lifting (I can re-activate the glue by ironing it again.
Used it on my last build of one of my light weight 40" wings (300 gram AUW), it's on my Blog. Very nice finish, easy, fairly robust. Way more rigid than my previous packing tape covered versions.
I have also bought 125 and 250 micron rolls from the "laminator warehouse" (USA) and both work great. The 250 gives a nice solid finish but a little heavy and application can cause wing distortion unless your very precise. I have only done scrap testing of the 125 micron so far, this will probably be what I mainly use for the bulk of my wings with 250 micron on the Leading Edge (LE). I will use the 80 micron on the smaller lighter wings.
I also recovered my Starfire 48" wing with it, over the top of monocoate. Stronger, smoother finish and a more rigid wing (it did add some additional weight though).

Best colouring Techniques:
After considerable experimentation with adding paint to the foam or glue side of the laminate, I wouldn't advise it, it reduces adhesion to much and gives fairly poor colour results. First laminate to the raw EPP wing, then on top of the laminate, the best colouring options are:
1. Iron on coloured covering film "monocoat's"
2. Coloured packing tape
3. Spray Paint (may requires a base, 3M 77 Spray adhesive, primer, etc..)

Best colours for a flying wing (for easy orientation) are bright on top (orange, pink, yellow) and dark underneath, I find black with a couple of white stripes gives great contrast in most conditions.

Most reference to using this stuff for RC builds is primarily sourced from:
Cheap to, but incrediably expensive shipping if your not in the USA.
Adhesive and rgidity properties may differ with other suppliers.
In Australia I have found, but not tried:

RC suppliers small quantities:

Helpfull links: Application, use, etc....

Thread for the pictured "Phoenix wing" Black/Green Wing.

Back to my blog
Last edited by cleansurf2; Jun 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM.
May 02, 2012, 08:16 PM
Helicopter Baron
spaaarky21's Avatar
I've been looking for replacement film for my Assassin and this was helpful. Do you have anything to say about the different finishes - gloss, satin and matte? It seems like gloss might be bad for visibility on bright days.
May 12, 2012, 10:42 PM
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cleansurf2's Avatar
CP Laminating Film was recommended by others and thats what I got. The gloss finish is fine for vis even without covering. I cover mine with HK monocote anyway. The satin might be better for painting? However you intend to cover, I would suggest applying colour to the surface as all my testing with colour underneath lead to poor adhession.

To protect monocote on the leading edge, I often apply another 5mil laminate on the leading edge over the monocote, gives extra strength also.

Repair: I have had success using an iron to repair LE dings, to bring it back into shape.
Last edited by cleansurf2; Aug 09, 2012 at 04:03 AM.
Mar 08, 2013, 10:59 PM
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My experience after several builds with lam film, 5 and 10mil versions.
The 5mil is OK on light weight planes, however if you can aford the additional plane weight (performance sloper or DS wing) the 10mil gives a smoother sleeker finish. The 3mil is only for very lightweight low stress wings, it tends to krinkle a little as does the 5mil to a significantly lesser degree.

Jun 07, 2013, 08:05 PM
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In your tips for coloring techniques. Am I understanging correct, that first you add the Laminate, and then the colored heat film on top and or spraypaint on top of the laminate after adding a spray adhesive?

I am planning on getting my son an Assassin from crash testers, and I know he will want some color, so I was planning a black bottom and Red top w/ black strip on the right wing. Just trying to plan, the best way to do this. I've never used laminates on any of mine heli's or wings.

Well the paint really stick to the laminate well?
Jun 09, 2013, 08:41 AM
Standing Athwart History
roo_ster's Avatar
Originally Posted by cswann821
In your tips for coloring techniques. Am I understanging correct, that first you add the Laminate, and then the colored heat film on top and or spraypaint on top of the laminate after adding a spray adhesive?

I am planning on getting my son an Assassin from crash testers, and I know he will want some color, so I was planning a black bottom and Red top w/ black strip on the right wing. Just trying to plan, the best way to do this. I've never used laminates on any of mine heli's or wings.

Well the paint really stick to the laminate well?
Hit the CTH Assassin thread. I had the same questions. They suggest some brand of paint and then laminating while still wet.

Another method is to mix up some Marine Goop and toluene or xylene (50/50) and some testors little bottle paint and paint the EPP. Read a thread on that on RCG. Search for it. I can tell you the laminate goes over Marine Goop+xylene quite well. Use gloves/respirator/eyepro and do it in a well-ventilated area.

Frankly, I am not going to use paint, but colored packing tape & reflective tape over the laminate.
Jun 17, 2013, 10:45 AM
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cleansurf2's Avatar
If anyone has any more good info, please share.
*Direct links to relevant post within threads are most helpfull.
*Your experience/recommendations.
I will try to keep my first post consolidated info up to date with edits from recommendations from other builders.
Jun 17, 2013, 10:58 AM
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cleansurf2's Avatar
Re colour over or under lam:
I have edited my recommendations to read clearer
I hear good things about marine goop, it can add some weight though, but for a power wing like an assasin, building as light as you can may be best, impact momentum is kept lower a thus less damage. I found paint under lam didn,t give strong colour contrast or adhesion (without goop).

I have pushed lam film hard' over 100mph on EPP DS glider wings, very robust stuff. Beyond that speed' I will be getting into moulding, as building an EPP wing to good DS performance standards is to time consuming, plus crashing at over 100mph, it doesn't really mater what a plane is made of, the results are often not good anyway (such is DSing).
Last edited by cleansurf2; Jun 19, 2013 at 02:03 AM.
Jun 06, 2014, 09:35 AM
Sky Soldier
82ndRCFLYER's Avatar
where can you get small iron
Aug 08, 2014, 03:17 AM
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cleansurf2's Avatar
Hobbyking sell small irons, but a standard cloths iron will do the job also.
Nov 30, 2016, 04:22 PM
Registered User
I live in Australia and used 80 micron Royal Soverign brand laminating film bought at a local stationary warehouse for the side windows on my 40 inch w/s Lazy Bee.
I found that White Knight brand multiple purpose enamel in a spray can (solvent base enamel) has adhered well to the outside of the laminating film without any prior treatment of the laminate.
Water based paints do not stick well to it though.
Last edited by Yachtie04; Nov 30, 2016 at 04:38 PM.

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