Bagging Laminating Film/New Stuff over EPP - Your next plane! - RC Groups
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Oct 05, 2008, 09:45 AM
fun is the goal
AndreasMergner's Avatar

Bagging Laminating Film/New Stuff over EPP - Your next plane!

Basically, you will want this construction method for your next plane.

Most of you should have heard about The Predator's/Karl's New Stuff. He did a lot of experimenting and found specific laminating films that you can buy that will adhere like nothing else to bare EPP using a type of hot melt glue. After applied, the resulting wing is incredibly torsionally stiff. I'm not talking stiff for an EPP plane, I'm talking better than most non-DS planes. It is like a good bagged wing.

The New Stuff is paintable if you use a good plastic prep spray that you can find at a professional auto body supply shop. We tested Krylon (enamel) on it and you cannot get it to come off or damage it by bending or using your finger nail.

Oh, and did I mention this stuff is durable enough even for combat planes??

The one issue I see with it is that although you can put together a wing with it in 1/10 the time of a 3m77/tape/goop/covering type wing, you have to use a good technique to get it straight. It can be done, but takes some time and skill.

We had an idea to use a vacuum bag to keep the wing straight (and apply pressure) while heating the New Stuff. We tried it, but found that the wing didn't come out as straight as we would have liked.

So we came up with bagging the wing/New Stuff with metal sheet. You can get this stuff at a hardware store usually in the roofing section. It is not expensive and you get a large roll.

Basically, the pics tell the story. I would like to offer an improvement on the process we used.

You will want to size and position the metal sheet so it does not overlap the core on the tips and LE. If you do, the foam tends to be squashed there. It is fine to overlap at the TE. We used Karl's Burrly (10.0 mil CP at top and bottom with it ending 3/4" short of the tips and LE. We plan to cover those sections with the more flexible and durable film (7/3 DI).

You can use the wing beds over the bag and then weighting them down before pulling a vacuum. That is what we did when we weren't using the metal sheet. I will likely do that when I bag my next wing.

The vacuum bag can resist the heat of the heat gun, but we find that it will tend to melt just enough to fuse to itself if you have any wrinkles. You may find that the vacuum bag is ruined after a few baggings. Bags are not that expensive at $1.5/yard though.

Determining when the glue is melted is the tricky part. We just guessed. We pulled the wing out once and it was not glued at all. We did it a second time and heated it a lot more and it turned out great!

I was at first thinking we could put a thermometer in with the bag, but just thought that one of those infared thermometers might work really well. (Frank, do you have one?)

As far as how much vacuum to pull? I had the vacuum pump cycling between 7 and 10" of Hg. You don't need could probably try even less. Too much, and you will end up squishing your wing. You also need to run breather cloth (or paper towels) along the TE to get vacuum distribution.

In summary, this process is the bomb. It is quick and easy, and results in a stiff, straight, durable wing. You can make the process even quicker when you cut cores with no spars and all the way to the TE. Use carbon ribbon spars and just cut out the ailerons after bagging.

Thanks Karl!!!!

Maybe a manufacturer will start selling bagged EPP wings with their kits. Even if they just applied the stiff stuff and let the customer put on the LE/tips it would be a win/win situation for the manufacturer and customer.

Let's hear some comments and suggestions!
Last edited by AndreasMergner; Oct 05, 2008 at 09:13 PM.
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Oct 05, 2008, 10:05 AM
fun is the goal
AndreasMergner's Avatar
Found high temp vacuum bag here: $3.25/yd at a 60" width is not bad...also discounts for quantities.

I'm sure there are other sources too.
Last edited by AndreasMergner; Oct 05, 2008 at 10:14 AM.
Oct 05, 2008, 10:52 AM
The Predator
The Predator's Avatar
Looks SWEET!!!
Oct 05, 2008, 11:05 AM
Riley Winglow
oneniner's Avatar
Wow, good work you guys! Looks like a very significant development in one of the most important endeavors of Mankind...... Foam Slopers! Thanks Karl and Andreas! I want to try this.

I assume the metal you use is aluminum roof flashing?

Oct 05, 2008, 11:25 AM
fun is the goal
AndreasMergner's Avatar
Gary, yes, I think that is what it is. It comes in a roll. Any thin metal will likely work. I think this stuff is .01 to .015" thick if I remember right. When you pull the vacuum, the metal curves around the foam and makes the piece completely stiff -- similar to how rolling a piece of paper into a tube does the same thing. The metal will not distort as much as the bag under heat and probably distributes the heat more. I'm sure you could use something else too -- any heat resistant film.
Oct 05, 2008, 01:33 PM
Long to be flyin'
Antonsoarer's Avatar
Discovery, invention and now innovation, great stuff!

Andreas, do you let the metal cool before removing the vac and wing?
Oct 05, 2008, 01:52 PM
Powered by my own air
fvigg's Avatar
Yes but it only takes a few min. 5 max. We weighted the wing on top to be safe. The aluminum dissipates the heat pretty quick. The comparison between an ironed wing and the vac with aluminum is amazing. Its smooth as silk. I am trying some thicker copper flashing I have to see what if anything it offers. Will post results later
Oct 05, 2008, 02:06 PM
Long to be flyin'
Antonsoarer's Avatar
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner
.... After applied, the resulting wing is incredibly torsionally stiff. I'm not talking stiff for an EPP plane, I'm talking better than most non-DS planes. It is like a good bagged wing.

So true Andreas, I don't think those who have yet to try NS have any idea how stiff a foam wing goes, to date I have only used a couple of layers of light stuff and the wings are amazing. I was doing some really hard turns to see if I could get any aero-lastic effects out of a new high AR foamy, it banged turns better than any x-weaved models and responded so sharply I was able to execute effortless multipoint rolls. In short it felt lke a good moldy.

Last edited by Antonsoarer; Oct 08, 2008 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Removed thread jack content
Oct 05, 2008, 02:13 PM
Long to be flyin'
Antonsoarer's Avatar
What bagging system are you using?
(I still don't have one and it looks like I definitely need to add one to the workshop )?
Oct 05, 2008, 04:05 PM
fun is the goal
AndreasMergner's Avatar
Tony, I have the Vac Pro Plus from here:

That is the way to go if you have an air compressor, or if you have a use for one. Also, you will not want to move around an air compressor, so that may be an issue.
Oct 05, 2008, 04:37 PM
Plane dodger
KillerAir's Avatar
Amazing! Andreas and Frank thanks for the technique and I will try this on my Zulu 54" wing.

Oct 05, 2008, 10:54 PM
sewing machine thumb
Are there any tips/tricks we need to know about cutting/shaping the New Stuff prior to bagging? Is it possible to use this technique for a typical rounded foamy wingtip?
Oct 06, 2008, 08:33 AM
fun is the goal
AndreasMergner's Avatar
To clarify, I cover the wingtips with the flexible film after bagging. The wing is nice and stiff by that point, so it is no problem.

The New Stuff is just .01" thick plastic film, so you can cut it with regular scissors. You will need to cut pleats in the flexible film to cover the wing tips if they are rounded. I have not done a rounded wingtip yet, but the film is pretty easy to work with. It doesn't shrink much, if at all.

Another issue you will run across is with multi-taper wings. You may need to cut in a pleat where the two cores meet. You won't have an issue with single taper wings.

I don't think there is any "right" way to cover a wing. I know Karl uses the more flexible and durable film (7/3 DI) on the bottom and wraps it over the LE. He uses the Burrly (10.0 mil CP) on the top. At least I think that is what he uses for more combat oriented planes. The Burrly can crack, whereas the more flexible stuff is more durable. You have the advantage that landing on the flexible stuff is more forgiving on the underside of the wing. You also only have one point on the wing (top) where there is a step from a piece of laminate ending.

Using the stiffer Burrly on top and bottom is what I am using for non-combat planes. The Burrly gives a better, smoother surface finish and a slightly stiffer wing.

Let me know if I can clarify any better!
Oct 06, 2008, 10:52 AM
Taranis Tyro...
MattyB's Avatar
Originally Posted by Antonsoarer
No vac bag machine?
For those who don't have access to a bagging set-up (yet) for larger wings try to use the largest domestic iron you can find. Tack one end and hold some tension on the laminate sheet (not enough to bend the wing) and iron as you would a shirt from the tacked end. That's a simplification but it works for me but I am sure the experts will chime in if they have better methods.

The photo shows an 88" one piece foam wing, note how smooth the surface is (it's difficult to photograph smooth things ). This was my first attempt with the new stuff, learnt a lot, next time I should get a better finish. The wing is amazingly stiff in torsion, better than my typical blue foam/veneer wings.

Thanks for the tip, two questions...
  1. If you do it like that, don't you end up with a small amount of dihedral/anhedral being added as the film shrinks on one side? of do you get it tacked to both sides of the wing before applying the real heat?
  2. Did you cover that panel totally in one piece, or two pieces (one each side) with overlap in the middle for added strength?
Oct 06, 2008, 12:51 PM
Long to be flyin'
Antonsoarer's Avatar
Last edited by Antonsoarer; Oct 08, 2008 at 03:16 AM.

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