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Oct 31, 2011, 03:03 PM
Mark Harrison
Thread OP
Question

Types of foam used in RC modeling?


I'd like to understand all the types of foam commonly used in RC modeling.

Can you help me fill out this list? What are their common uses? Is it a trade or generic name? Is it typically molded or cut from sheets? What's the full name? What glue works on it? Paint? etc, etc.

You would think somebody would have collected this information in one place before, but I've certainly not been able to find it!

EPS
EPO
Elapor
EPP
Blue Core
Blue Fan Fold
Depron
Dollar Tree craft board
XPS
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Oct 31, 2011, 04:04 PM
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EPS = Expanded PolyStyrene. This is your basic beer-cooler foam. Little white beads, various densities. Note that "EPS" is also occasionally used for Extruded PolyStyrene, which is a different material entirely. Still foam, but made by -you guessed it- extruding rather than expanding.

EPO = Expanded PolyOlefin. Similar to EPS but different as well. It's reportedly stronger and has a smoother, more finishable surface.

Elapor = I think this is a type of EPO, but I may be wrong. It's Multiplex's "special foam"; Elapor is the name they give it which is why you'll only ever see Elapor mentioned in the context of Multiplex aircraft.

EPP = Expanded PolyPropylene. This is another sort of bead foam. Generally held to be some of the most durable stuff out there, it can be flexed and twisted without snapping. Because of this, it's got very low structural integrity so airframes have to be strengthened by other means such as CF or fiberglass. Comes in a couple different densities.

Blue Core = A type of insulation foam. Blue in color, obviously. This is Extruded Polystyrene. It lacks beads and is generally more sandable and shape-able. Normally comes from home-improvement stores in sheets of varying sizes and thicknesses.

Blue fan fold = Same stuff as Blue Core, but it comes in smaller, thinner sheets (1/4") that are stacked or folded together, hence the name. It's somewhere between EPP and Depron in terms of stiffness. It's of the most popular and cost-effective materials for scratchbuilding foamies.

Depron = A type of sheet foam. Extremely popular stuff for building. It's pretty stiff, easy to cut/sand, takes well to most glues, comes in several thicknesses, and is available at least two colors I know of. I'm not sure if this is true, but I've heard that it started out as a European material used as a base for flooring.

Dollar Tree foam = Also known by its product/brand name, ReadiBoard. Comes in 20x30" sheets for a buck each. It's a flimsy foam core sheeted on both sides with paper, making a very stiff and strong board. Most people remove the paper (dissolve the glue with window cleaner) to reduce weight and stop it from warping and changing color over time. The paper also causes issues if it gets wet, so painting is tricky and humidity is a problem.

XPS = I believe this is the modeler's term for Extruded PolyStyrene, which avoids confusion with the Expanded type. I'm not positive.
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May 30, 2016, 12:07 PM
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For my rc and modeling friends, I have found a number of web sites, rc forums, and questionable videos, all pouting a description and info on different types of foam used in rc and related areas of the modeling industry. I do not myself have the experience or knowledge to expound answers myself. However. EUREKA!! I have found a website that has it all. What foams to use, how to identify them, where to use them best, how to finish them, what glues to use and not use for each, etc. I hope the site will put to rest any concerns. Keep building, flying, and have great fun doing it.
http://www.rcplanesguru.org/2015/10/...d-shaping.html
Jun 01, 2016, 01:40 AM
Mark Harrison
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ARCross
For my rc and modeling friends, I have found a number of web sites, rc forums, and questionable videos, all pouting a description and info on different types of foam used in rc and related areas of the modeling industry. I do not myself have the experience or knowledge to expound answers myself. However. EUREKA!! I have found a website that has it all. What foams to use, how to identify them, where to use them best, how to finish them, what glues to use and not use for each, etc. I hope the site will put to rest any concerns. Keep building, flying, and have great fun doing it.
http://www.rcplanesguru.org/2015/10/...d-shaping.html
broken link?

http://www.rcplanesguru.org/2015_10_01_archive.html
Jun 02, 2016, 04:17 PM
Registered User
marhar
Just to point out that "foam" tends to be be used in two ways.
Solid.
Which is either moulded (a commercial process) or cut/sanded to the required shape.
Sheet.
Which is then 'built up' into structures much as you would with sheet balsa or ply.
Jun 04, 2016, 05:15 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by marhar
Not a very good site. A quick scan and he doesn't know that Gorilla produce a range of glues and the one he really mentions is polyurethane, then shows Gorilla epoxy and CA. What about talking about Selleys products or West or.... PVA is only mentioned for fabric. Why? What about Max Bond PVA which is sand-able? Pictures and descriptions of spray glues and then notes none of them usable on Depron. Why not simply a list of "do not use"? There's a bit about hinging, is he on about using tape or really talking about pinned hinges, confusing.

Rx wiring, not the standard layout. If using a specialised type, those who use them will already know and this being "teaching" the simple standard connection layout should be used. What is a Lippo? Does he mean a LiPo battery? Does he know what the letters stand for? Capitals and lower case for units, a complete mess. If giving an approximation to about 10% it isn't necessary to do a conversion to metric to 3 significant figures and it shows ignorance.

And that's just from a short scan of the site.

You could try this site -

http://wiki.parkflyers.org.nz/wiki/i...uild_materials
Last edited by Mac50L; Jun 04, 2016 at 05:23 PM.


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