Fiberglass strapping tape VS carbon fiber...... - RC Groups
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Aug 31, 2002, 05:15 PM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar

Fiberglass strapping tape VS carbon fiber......

Having read in many threads about the use of carbon fiber to reinforce wings...I became concerned about the possible health and enviornmental hazards.....carbon fiber is pretty nasty stuff as anyone who has ever gotten a splinter stuck in them becomes immediately infected and when you try to remove it you have to be careful not to break it or you'll have to cut it when you cut it it makes a fine dust that when inhaled can become a real problem later....
I 've even heard that it has been banned in some countries...........and can you imagine how long this stuff will pose a threat in some landfill...could affect someone a thousand years from now.....I realize that if you are going to build a maus or IFO you must use it ,so I recommend that you cut it under running water and never sand it if at all if possible.....and when you consider the weight savings ,by the time you epoxy it down ,there goes the weight issue .....since I consider all of you my virtual OFBS...just wanted to let you man!!!!!!!!!!
on the other hand ,have been using fiberglass strapping tape as wing reinforcement for thirty years now and have NEVER had a wing failure...What never!!!...well, hardly ever!!! some crashes could destroy anything!!!!!... and it it cheap ,relatively safe and sticks well to foam...give it a try ,I know you'll like it !!!!!!
Want you guys to be around for many years so that's why I'm posting this .....good luck, good health,good flying!!!!!
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Aug 31, 2002, 10:05 PM
3D Wannabe

carbon tape


Thanks for the heads up on the caron tape issue. I just ordered two Terry's to use as fun fliers and was going to order some carbon tape to reinforce the wings; now I think I'll stick to strapping tape 'cause it's worked well on other models I've had. No need for the "iffy" modern materials


Aug 31, 2002, 11:45 PM
Don' Need No Weengs!
ProtoPlane's Avatar
Thank You GPW, for your health warning about carbon fiber.
I was (past tense) hot to get some carbon fiber materials
to experiment with.
I think I will avoid the health risk of exposure, to me and the
youths that may come in contact with my flying creations.

Keep on flying!

Sep 01, 2002, 03:10 AM
Mfg of the Marauder & Oculus!
Mr B....'s Avatar


A little info that may help!

If you think about want in the world or whats even in your own house that can be just as harmful. If you have and ? about any comosites (carbon, glass or all fibers) you can ask to see the MSDS box and it well tell all the info you need. You can find a copy on the wall (maybe only in CA) in any shop or on line. Most house hold cleaners are harmful too. But you use them with care RIGHT? Working with all composites you most or should thinks smart with safety. Thats what they tell us every day at work. Wear gloves, mask, glasses, shop coat and other safe sports wear. A fan helps too! Sometimes I work outside when cutting some stuff. If inside you could use a shop vac or a vac table to help with the dust. working with carbon is alot like working with hard wood.

I have a few years working with this stuff as a Composite Mechanic in aerospace making airplanes, rockets, space sation, car parts for full scale and model airplanes. Also work with epoxy, Ca and all the harmful cleaners that go along with it. They are just as harmful as carbon.

Being from the S. Louisana, Cajun country. Watch out for the large Gators, Swap gas and the real hot cajun pepper.

Always work safe, wear gloves, mask, safety glasses and think smart!
Sep 01, 2002, 03:34 AM
Don' Need No Weengs!
ProtoPlane's Avatar
I understand your point.
The point of view I am coming from is that most of my flying
is done with my brother and/or my best friend.

They both have small children that come with us flying
sometimes. My daughter is grown and moved out but
my parental instincts are still there and pointed towards
reasonable risk minimization.

I feel in my case there could be an exposure risk to carbon
dust and fragments to the children should I crash (When Don't
I crash ... heh )

I can build good planes of the type I like to fly without carbon
fiber. Specialy with the help of the fine group of people on the rcgroups board.

Keep em flying

Sep 01, 2002, 09:20 AM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar

many dangers in the world

Yes ,there are many dangerous things in this world,and we must be careful..... my Polish wife is not allowed to use any thing sharper than round nose scissors......the reason I posted this was a heads up on the expansion of the use of CF in modeling without any health concerns....did you read any line in your IFO kit( or any other for that matter) about how to safely handle this material?????? newbies will be cutting and sanding this stuff with reckless abandon out of ignorance of its dangers, and let's face it , that dust and slivers has to go somewhere(vacuum bag, landfill, all over your shop floor,your lungs!!!!!) the residue doesn't just disappear into the fourth dimension....
It has been said that cosmically, nature tends toward non life, I don't think we should try to help it along any faster than it has already been proceeding.........yes there are MANY dangerous substances out there, but with a little warning we can try to learn how and what to use without endangering ourselves and our posterity....

on another note ,I don't think CF is the magic stuff we were led to believe it is.... if it is subject to repeated stresses it will fail in short order, first getting soft and then guys who have built with it (and crashed) know what I mean......
Sep 01, 2002, 02:06 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the "Heads-up". I had gotten a supply of this stuff and started to do all things You have warned us not to do. I knew better, it's just the "ah this little bit won't hurt" mentality again. I'm not sure I liked the CF tape anyway. I was told to install the iron-on material with foam safe CA only . The iron-on material has adhesive on both sides so when the CA set, the adhesive raised up leaving a very rough, fibrous, texture on the exposed surface. This is my first time using the iron-on material, so please,anyone, feel free to show me the error of my ways. Personally, I'll keep on using the CF rods, but go back to the fiberglass strapping tape.
Glenn, I'm going to owe you tuition yet.
Last edited by ben gearschott; Sep 01, 2002 at 02:15 PM.
Sep 01, 2002, 07:23 PM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar

I'm only concerned for your health and safety!!!!

Having had to dig many cf splinters out of my infected fingers (and a particularly nasty piece out of the wifes foot...she didn't much appreciate that)and looking at the pile of fiberous(cancer causing) dust on my workbench after building my Ifo and Maus, I just was concerned for those who were not told.....but then there are those of us who don't care and live life on the edge of technology and eat fast food every day....BON VOYAGE!!!!
Sep 01, 2002, 08:39 PM
Registered User
I've noticed another problem with CF Spars - Often, the foam wing would crack up just outside of the spar. Actually had better luck with Spruce or Bamboo - they have more "give" and spring back. Why not Aluminum I-sections?
Sep 03, 2002, 09:16 AM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar

stress points

wherever the CF spar ends is a stress point and for sure will break at that spot ,also have broken the motor stick mount on my Maus in very light "hard landings", seems to weaken first then just lets go leaving sticky splinters all over the ends (watch those fingers)
Sep 09, 2002, 10:10 AM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar


For those that "must" use carbon fiber ,especially those cheap arrows out of the "used" barrel at the local archery shop...BEWARE, lots of those arrows have been shot many times on high powered cam action bows(compounds)and many are full of little splits and splinters(minute ,but dangerous)...and prone to failure....CAREFUL NOW!!!!