Can sunlight blister foam airplanes ? - RC Groups
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May 08, 2012, 05:14 PM
Registered User
RPatrick's Avatar

Can sunlight blister foam airplanes ?

In another thread I read about someone's black foam airplane developing "alligator skin" from being in the sun.

I have known that hot air can cause foam to blister up but never really thought about direct sunlight doing the same thing. I'm wondering if black painted foam is the only type to really worry about, or can this happen to any foam airplane ?
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May 08, 2012, 05:37 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Black is the best heat absorber. If the plane was on the dashboard in the direct sunlight in a closed car in the south on a summer day, the temp could be near 180-190F which would cause the alligator skin. I've measured that temp doing a test on the possibilitiy of a lipo igniting in a car if left on the dash.
White or other light colors should not be affected as they won't get as hot especially if not in the direct sunlight.

This applies to EPP and EPO foams. EPS is not affected that way.
May 08, 2012, 07:29 PM
Registered User
RPatrick's Avatar
Thanks for the comment.

In this particular case, I believe the plane was just out in the open in direct sunlight. If there is not much breeze I suppose the black surface could get hot enough to cause problems. I'll probably start carrying a towel with me when I fly my favorite foamy with black areas just in case.
May 08, 2012, 08:29 PM
Registered User
Good idea! "Gator" skin does apperar when foam planes are sitting in the sun!

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