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Mar 23, 2004, 12:14 AM
Registered User

whats' the best wire for foam cutting ?


Does anyone have experience in hot wire foam cutting ? I'm about to set up a small plant and would like to know whether I should use stainless steel or nichrome wire. Also if there are alternatives to using a variac (voltage transformer/regulator).

I intend to use regular polystyrene foam, but some say I should use high density polystyrene foam.

Any help would be appreciated.

Paul Broome.
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Mar 23, 2004, 01:40 AM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
Guitar stings. Ran out of nichrome once. Worked just as good. Have to watch the temp/voltage/amps though.
Mar 23, 2004, 01:30 PM
Registered User
TFLG's Avatar
Inconel.

But I use stainless steel fishing leader. It works great, it's cheap and easy to get in a variety of thicknesses. I like the .020 dia.

TFLG
Mar 23, 2004, 01:52 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
That's what I have used! Fishing line leaders.

Now how about a good regulated power supply?

Did you know that Moreno Valley used to be two subberbs? Moreno and Sunnymead. Cousins lived in Sunnymead. Everyone called it Scummymead.
Mar 23, 2004, 11:07 PM
Jim in San Diego
Pismo's Avatar
I second the Inconel vote. Can't really say about the others since I haven't used them.

Inconel seems to handle the constant heating and cooling really well and is very strong - helps you crank it tight. I use 0.014 on smaller bows and 0.020 the larger ones.

I use a variac so can't really say if there's a good alternative. I know I've read many threads that have great info on the different options though. Maybe you can do a search and find some or, one of the users can post a link.

Good luck & happy cutting.
Mar 30, 2004, 12:39 PM
Rip th... Bring the Beer!
chemsurfer's Avatar
I don't know what the best is , but I gotta give guitar strings a solid thumbs up.

Brad
Apr 06, 2004, 01:56 PM
Registered User

Re: whats' the best wire for foam cutting ?


Quote:
Originally posted by Raglan
Does anyone have experience in hot wire foam cutting ? I'm about to set up a small plant and would like to know whether I should use stainless steel or nichrome wire. Also if there are alternatives to using a variac (voltage transformer/regulator).

I intend to use regular polystyrene foam, but some say I should use high density polystyrene foam.

Any help would be appreciated.

Paul Broome.
Cooper coated nicrome wire.
Les
Apr 06, 2004, 02:18 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
What does the copper coating do?
Apr 06, 2004, 02:45 PM
Registered User

wire


Beter condactiviti.
Apr 06, 2004, 03:02 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
Thought it might be a chemical thing with the foam.

As to conductivity; you want resistance as this is what heats up the wire. Wire consistency in diameter and composition is important so as not to get hot spots.
Apr 06, 2004, 03:09 PM
Registered User

wier


Give me a call at 570-828-7396
les
Apr 06, 2004, 06:15 PM
Registered User

RENE 40 FOAM CUTTING WIRE


I have good results with stainless aircraft safety wire. Guitar strings and fishing leader material is also stainless wire. Inconel (sp) seems to be another favorite but the best I have ever used is Rene 40. It's the wire used by many commercial foam cutters. It's expensive but well worth the cost. It does not stretch. Does not break easily. Handles 100's of heat/cool cycles and is very tough.

I have a spool of .012 that I use on my bows and as many of you know I'm cutting 100's of cores for the kits I am producing.

If any of you would like to try it I can supply it for $.50 per foot with a 20 foot minimum. Shipping is an additional $3.00.

Ed
Mar 22, 2008, 10:35 PM
Registered User
I have been using .012 or .015 seven strand control line flying wire for about 10 years. It is easily available from Brodak or Sig in the USA. I am not sure where you would get it in other parts of the world.
Bob
Mar 23, 2008, 04:36 AM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
Nichrome is crap its high resistance thats why they use it in kettles for a hot wire you want the lowest resistance wire you can get so the heat passes easier through the wire, resistance means it takes greater amps to heat the wire to the same level and keep it there ,and as others have suggested Stainless wire works a treat for that very reason .I use .022" lock wire from 737/700 ailerons but the fishing trace would be just the same . Also a victim of the foam fumes over many years.
SteveW
Mar 23, 2008, 11:26 AM
Registered User
T.D.'s Avatar
"Nichrome is crap" Then how has Les been able to cut thousands of near perfect cores using it?

When I started cutting cores in the 70's I tried Nichrome and could not get it to work for me, used SS fishing leader and ended up sticking with Inconel but Les has obviously found a way of using Nichrome that works, perhaps there are several types.

I like Inconel.


T.D.


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