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Sep 19, 2017, 04:01 PM
Fully Sending It
Xpress..'s Avatar
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Mini-HowTo

Steaming dents out of foam


Ever get tired of all of the dents in your foamy either from normal use, hangar rash, your friend dropping your wing panel onto the ground and filling its smooth surface with a golf ball finish on your brand new airplane? Well tire no more!

This is a simple trick that was taught to me years ago and it seems to work really well on a variety of foams including insulation foams (Depron, Bluecore/FFF), EPO, Elapor, Z-Foam, I've even had some success using it with regular EPS. The process is simple:

1. Gather your materials.

You will need a,

-Covering iron
-Water
-Paper towel
-Your dented foam



2. Set your covering iron to full throttle- no don't set it conservative, put that thing on full blast! Let it heat fully



3. Soak your paper towel completely until it is dripping wet.



4. Apply the soaked rag over the dent in the foam.



This is my FunCub XL wing panel which has its share of dings in it from being moved around my shop and various trips to fly.

5. Take your iron (which neets to be set to full heat, incase you didn't already) and then apply it right on top of the rag over the area where the dent is.



Push the iron down firmly but not so hard you warp the foam. Don't apply heat for more than 3-4 seconds. Let your iron re-heat if it is not making enough steam. You will want to turn your rag around so that you are applying the cool sections to the foam- the hot sections won't melt the foam but it doesn't seem to be as effective after the water has heated.

6. After a few passes the foam should begin to lift the dent back out. This took me 5 passes before it lifted clean.



The shiny finish on some foams may disappear but that's more tolerable than the unsightly dents and dings.

What's cool is this will even work with decals applied!



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Sep 19, 2017, 11:57 PM
Waste Nothing
RickC_RCAV8R's Avatar
Really ? You guys are my new heroes ! I gotta give this one a go as I have more than a few dents to be rid of . hahahahahahahhaha
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Oct 03, 2017, 04:04 PM
From The Lab
Great explanation, great use of photos. And the technique does work!
Mar 21, 2019, 09:06 AM
Registered User
Well guess I overdid it. Now the dents are gone but the surface has a popcorn look. How can I get rid of enlarged foam beads (popcorned surface) and get it smooth?
Apr 30, 2019, 12:19 PM
CA...gimme the CA...
whowhatwhere's Avatar
After some testing I found that I get the best results if I reduce the heat a bit. And I needed sufficient folds of the cloth, otherwise it's easy to overheat. I actually used a paper towel, folded twice to get four layers.

I also found that (for me at least) it's better NOT to leave the iron on the wet cloth for more than one or two seconds at a time, and then check the results. Then another second or two, repeated until I get the desired results.

You gotta watch it closely to avoid overdoing it, that's one of the reasons I reduced the heat a little. And there still can be some gatoring in some cases, it happened to me at first until I figured things out.

Ric


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