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Old Jan 28, 2013, 07:11 PM
bradygarn is offline
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Product Idea


I am a student on a design team to make a process for quickly making new wings for gliders. I would love any input that anyone would be willing to give.

The idea is to make a vacuum-molding process that will quickly make wings out of thin wooden veneers by epoxying veneers together and then vacuum molding them into a female mold.

What are your thoughts? If this idea works, and if you could buy a mold for a very low cost, would you be interested? Would you scrap the idea and only go with composites molded from a very expensive mold?

I appreciate the help and will let you know how the project goes.

Thank you,
bradygarn
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 08:29 PM
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Hi brad.

A few of us build. Composite planes using vaneer as part of the lay up. As one of my best friends has been in the vaneer industry for a long time.
That process will work , although depending on the type if wing build. It doesn't like going around curves very well.
The problem is crash resistance. It shatters with out using composite fibers with it.
I've personally been down the road of plastics..and polycarbonate.... They work very well and are strong. BUT. On the down side once damaged are very hard to repair .
Also there are so many spray plastic and polymers around these days , I've spend million of hours over the last 5 years toying with idea's. Plastic Rotor molding also interests me also.
As all of these thing take a lot of time and money chasing the right product of technique.
Solid core structures are the best by far for strength. Depending on what type if plane you are referring to will depend on the TYPE of build you need.

What are you going to build ???

Tim
Composite structures do break , but are easily repaired in a lot of cases.
I've been down this road for a long time , and also may others have.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Cheap composite parts from cheap moulds if you don't care about the final quality.
Old Jan 28, 2013, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for the comments!

We are first going to make a wing to be used on a plank.
Strength was one of our questions with regard to using wooden veneers. would lining the inside with composites help with the strength?

The reason for attempting wood veneers is that way we don't have to have an expensive mold, since the veneers won't pick up the flaws in the mold.

Could compound curvature be introduced to the wing by sanding after the airfoil has been molded?
Old Jan 28, 2013, 10:28 PM
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Yes , you could put glass on the inside...although a balanced lay up or skin is much stronger.. Better to do the same on inside and out or the vaneer.

What vaneer are you thinking of using ??

We use single .5mm hard wood in our lay up's.

Yes compound curves like tips etc could be but you loose airfoil accuracy.

Tim
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Thank you very much for the insights.

I agree with and like the idea of making a balanced lay up for the wing.

As far as which veneers to use, my group hasn't decided. But thank you for letting us know what kind you use.

Thanks
Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:42 PM
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You can do it old school and use balsa blocks at the wing tips that you can sand to a nice shape.
Old Jan 29, 2013, 05:09 AM
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If you can, investigate how the 'Simprop' range of gliders are made. They would appear to use wooden skins in female moulds but with a foam core blown inside them. I don't know what sort of moulds they use but for them, compound curves aren't a problem.
Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:48 PM
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I really appreciate all of your comments.

Thank you
Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:37 AM
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The Enigma DLG come's to mind and it used thin balsa as a sandwich of Glass balsa glass and then bagged. This process goes away's back with bladder molded fuses for Locheed and DeHaviland aircraft. So there's alot of info out there I'm sure and here on the group's.
Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:08 PM
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I will check that out, thank you
Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Hey Brady, moulds don't need to be expensive. There are heaps of threads around on how to make moulds on the cheap. Research mould making out of poliester resin and chopped strand mat- super cheap and how most larger scale moulds are made I think. You can even make moulds out of plaster if you like but I dont think you will get many parts out of them.
Good luck with it.
Josh
Old Jan 30, 2013, 09:32 PM
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Bagging carbon-wood-carbon would work out a little cheaper than just carbon. It's a variation on carbon-glass-carbon where you can get atleast 85% of the strength of a solid carbon lay-up at less cost. Also you alway's want to bag carbon lay-up's as opposed to just a contract lay-up. You want to wick out as much excess resin as possible before bagging too.


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