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Why do they use weak foam ???

Old 10-25-2008, 05:39 AM
  #1  
diverdon
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Default Why do they use weak foam ???

Hello Everyone ,

Can someone Please tell me why the big Plane Dealers use this foam that breaks and smashes so easy ?? Dumb Question ?? They talk about how tough and crash "Resistant" their planes are but when you get down to it they break pretty easy ...

The reason I have a problem with this is that I have been Researching some different foam types and have found at least 2 types that really won't break or tear easy ..

I have not actually built a plane from one of these foams yet due to $$$ restrictions but I am pretty sure There is plenty of this type foam available. And it doesn't look to be that expensive I just have had some bills (medical) to take care of ..

OK this is too long . I think the answer I am looking for is that "they" want planes to break so we buy more .. If they were indestructable the Companys would loose $$$ in sales

Thank You All for looking at my nutty stuff , Don J.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:42 AM
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Rolling Thunder
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well dont keep us hanging,what are the 2types of foam???
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:00 AM
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Bill G
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Well if it's EPP then the downfall to it is that it looks terrible. The beads are basketball size. I've also seen the stuff crashed up pretty well on a few planes like the T28, and it looked tougher to repair than simple beer cooler foam would be, with epoxy and filler.
I did recently buy an Eflite ARF, and noticed that the foam was lower quality than the standard (non EPO) GWS foam. For $110 foamie I would have expected better.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:01 AM
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There aren't a lot of materials that are light enough and yet still strong enouh to build a plane out of. Compared to balsa, foam is much more resiliant. Where balsa is stiff and brittle, foam is flexible and resiliant. So it tends to absorb and spread the force of of an impact. I've seen my Easy Star (Elapor foam) simply bounce in crashes which would have shattered a balsa plane. Also, it is easier to repair, which makes replacement less frequent.

Since you asked the question, it is not dumb.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:09 AM
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Rolling Thunder
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Elapor foam-thats like the "paper plate" type foam correct?

BTW-that spider is creeping me out!!!

Last edited by Rolling Thunder; 10-25-2008 at 06:15 AM. Reason: btw
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
Elapor foam-thats like the "paper plate" type foam correct?
I'm not sure exactly what Elapor is made of exactly. I’ve heard it's a combination of EPP (Expanded PolyPropylene) and styrofoam. The only RC aircraft foam I've seen that resembles "paper plates" is the crap that HobbyZone uses for the wings of their pod and boom planes (like the Firebird).

Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
BTW-that spider is creeping me out!!!
What Spider?
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:26 AM
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Rolling Thunder
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"WHAT SPIDER"-that big ole sucker next to the wattflyer logo
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
well dont keep us hanging,what are the 2types of foam???
Hello , Here's a copy of the e-mail I have sent to one of the foam people and his reply with the type of foam in it .. I have been told this is an Extruded Foam ... Not Expanded .. The small samples I have are Impossible (nearly) to tear and Really Really Crushproof .. It is pretty stiff but may need some Carbon Fibre Rods to stiffen it in larger parts ..

I would be happy to send a piece of the samples I have found to anyone (P.M.) me your address It is used as padding for large heavy parts where I work .. The pieces are only 1 inch thick but the don't totally smash with lots of weight on them and come right back to shape when the weight is removed ..

The 2nd type of foam I am looking at I need to not talk about as someone who helped me with it asked me not to before they marketed it .. I will be one of the first to buy one of their planes ..






Don,

I received your sample. This product is a competitors version of our
StratoCell line of laminated PE foam.

Where are you located? I would like to get you hooked up with one of our
fabricators in your area to get you some samples
of material for you to prototype.

Regards,

Scott Wood

Sealed Air Corporation
District Sales Manager
South Atlantic
183 Hickory Trail
Dallas, Ga 30132
5628


"Don Johnson"
<[email protected]
st.net> To
<
10/04/2008 02:50 cc
AM "Don J." <[email protected]>
Subject
Re: foam sample











Dear Scott ,

I want to thank you very much for your reply and the
chance to find out what this material is and the chance to purchase it for
my project .. I am trying to build an Radio Controled "RC" Airplane for
beginners that is really hard to destroy.. I have went thru several "crash
resistant" planes learning and belive that there must be a better way ..

This foam is pretty stiff, yet very soft it might need some carbon
fibre rods to use in the building to "stiffen" it but I really belive it
will not break like the other planes on the market ..

I hope this does not bore you too much . I will enclose links to a
couple of planes that are supposto be "crash resistant" but I have found do

actually break pretty easy ..
Once again ,
Thank You Very Much , I hope to buy lots of your product ..... Don Johnson
.....




http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_planes_hobbyzone_super_cub.htm
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:48 PM
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Here's a pic of the samples I have and am trying to build a plane of ..
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:53 PM
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I hope it works out for you.with my flying skills i could use a industructable foam
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:13 PM
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Foam runs the range from pool-noodle foam to Styrofoam/EPS. The former is mega tough, jump up and down on it tough, but has a huge pore structure (ygly) and is so floppy it's a 'noodle'.
Beer cooler foam/EPS is cheap, light, rigid. Makes a nice plane until you crash it. Fairly fragile stuff.
You already know about some of the blends Mulitplex and Parkzone make. In general, tough and light, with decent resilience.

My buddy got a HL Yak flat foamy (Depron) to learn 3D. That lasted a couple flights. So he got an EPP Unique. He learned he can break that too.

Finally got myself a pack of fan-fold foam (Dow Blu-Core). I'm going to find out how that is. Ugly stuff but hopefully tough. Certainly cheap.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:17 PM
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Hey Don, I've seen that type of foam before. HP computers and monitors come packed in pretty large pieces, I've got some in the car infact. Looks perfect for model RC use and I agree, its darn near indestrictable, but on the other side its pretty rough and hard to work with. Low heat will shape it well and melts a nice skin over it but its still not a very usable surface. If you were to paint the plane, it'd need lots of filler for a smooth surface.

Now, if you were to expand it into a form, the finish may be different but working with it as is, its not that clean of a look.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by flydiver View Post
Finally got myself a pack of fan-fold foam (Dow Blu-Core). I'm going to find out how that is. Ugly stuff but hopefully tough. Certainly cheap.
Tends to 'tear' rather then break and very easy to work with. Pull the plastic skin off for more weight loss.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
I hope it works out for you.with my flying skills i could use a industructable foam
Hello Everyone ,

I have plans to build a fuselage that will be shaped somewhat like the one on the Magpie , From Mountain Models .. It is not for looks but for being pratical..

I am not sure about the wing at all .. If it is possable to get this in thinner sheets I will try it .. Pretty sure for a wing I'd have to renforce it with carbon fibre rods .. I sliced a 1/4 inch piece off of one of the small chuncks I have and it was real hard to tear it ... Also does not crush at all .. This foam is as light or lighter than any other I have seen too..

This all being said by you folks and by me .. I still wonder why the big manufacturers aren't using a better grade material .... I have only stumbled across the foam I found and bet there is a LOT of good material out there to use.. Think they could be trying to sell planes ???

Thank You all for your interest , Don J.
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:50 PM
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Hello All ,

I have been thinking about this and am betting a whole lot of people are saying that I just need to learn how to fly ....

Yes thats True ... I am a terrible flying person and if I learned how to fly I am thinking that this would not be needed ??

But I am still going to try to find the material and share it with whoever wants to hear about it .. There has got to be others who are struggleing to learn and could use it ...

Thank You all Again For the Help , Don J.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:36 PM
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What shape fuse would you be using Don? Being a pusher it could go a few ways. I've got enough here and a small hotwire setup... I can build the fuse out of that material and FFF for the wing, or coroplast if you want indestructable, lol.. I've also got 3-4 aerobird wings here.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by diverdon View Post
Here's a pic of the samples I have and am trying to build a plane of ..

Aha! So it was Polyethylene. Laminated though? That's interesting.

I knew I was on the right track. I think the main prob with EPE is that it consists of beeeelions of tiny air bubbles, kinda like the bubble wrap you get with packages but much much tinier... so when you cut it you are left with a somewhat ragged edge. Though it is dang near impossible to tear, it is not very good under compression. Perhaps the laminations are there for that reason? alternating bias might help mitigate that prob, but as far as finishing goes... something has to go over the top of the jaggies.

GRU

Last edited by groundrushesup; 10-26-2008 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
"WHAT SPIDER"-that big ole sucker next to the wattflyer logo
Oh, THAT spider (stupid me)! I thought you were reffering to something on a post; like that avatar someone has of an ant crawling around, that's the one I keep swatting!
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
What shape fuse would you be using Don? Being a pusher it could go a few ways. I've got enough here and a small hotwire setup... I can build the fuse out of that material and FFF for the wing, or coroplast if you want indestructable, lol.. I've also got 3-4 aerobird wings here.
Hello PBurt .. I am going to make a copy of sort of a Magpie Fuselage .. I have a magpie the fuselage was wrapped with tape and it still broke behind the wing ...I think it will work well for the trainer type plane I want to build ..

As far as the rough surface and being maybe impossible to paint .. I am not building this for beauty but for a plane that can crash nose in from 100 feet and not break or do the "tumble/pinwheel" and not break the tail off ..

I will be happy to send a piece of this stuff to anyone who would like to see it I have a few that can't be used for anything . I did send some to one of the big builders who thanked me and told me they really had no use for it "Right Now" ..

So PBurt if your not kidding I'd love to have a fuselage to test of this stuff .. I am not thinking of the smootheness just the durability .. And if anyone would like a piece to look at P.M. me your address I will send it out happily .. Sure be nice if this catches on .. Thanks Again , Don
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by groundrushesup View Post
Aha! So it was Polyethylene. Laminated though? That's interesting.

I knew I was on the right track. I think the main prob with EPE is that it consists of beeeelions of tiny air bubbles, kinda like the bubble wrap you get with packages but much much tinier... so when you cut it you are left with a somewhat ragged edge. Though it is dang near impossible to tear, it is not very good under compression. Perhaps the laminations are there for that reason? alternating bias might help mitigate that prob, but as far as finishing goes... something has to go over the top of the jaggies.

GRU
Hello GRU... I can send you a piece of this ... It is VERY good under compression .. It is used for padding of furniture thats hundreds of pounds and once the weight is off of it the foam returns to it's original shape .. I don't understand why but it does .. Send me your address and I will send you a piece to look at .. There is a local factory here that uses or makes this stuff or something like it .. I have to put together a little $ then go visit them .. Take Care , Don
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by diverdon View Post
Hello PBurt .. I am going to make a copy of sort of a Magpie Fuselage .. I have a magpie the fuselage was wrapped with tape and it still broke behind the wing ...I think it will work well for the trainer type plane I want to build .

So PBurt if your not kidding I'd love to have a fuselage to test of this stuff .. I am not thinking of the smootheness just the durability .. And if anyone would like a piece to look at P.M. me your address I will send it out happily .. Sure be nice if this catches on .. Thanks Again , Don
I'll see what I can work out with what I've got, see how it goes through the hot wire and all. will get back in a bit
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:31 AM
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Very Cool Thanks , Don J.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:30 AM
  #23  
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Cuts smoothly on the hot wire, pretty easy to manipulate. Got 1 fuse that looks usable, but my pieces are only about 19-20" usable. May have to extend the fuse length by adding tail feathers to it.

The shape I could work out is unfortunately nothing like a magpie, more cub like in shape, but its the best I could pull out of a piece. Need to find some batteries and I'll take some pictures. May be tomorrow night tho cause I've used most of my AA's in the citabria charger, lol.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:56 AM
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its rough, but the wing can sit on the tray up top, lipo would be right about CG of this if put in the pocket there. A GWS IPS system would probably fly it on 2 servos. Im thinking, the only part that needs reinforcing is the tail section, and since it needs extending some anyway, gouge it out for 3/8's square stock and mount a set of tail feathers like off the slow stick.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
its rough, but the wing can sit on the tray up top, lipo would be right about CG of this if put in the pocket there. A GWS IPS system would probably fly it on 2 servos. Im thinking, the only part that needs reinforcing is the tail section, and since it needs extending some anyway, gouge it out for 3/8's square stock and mount a set of tail feathers like off the slow stick.
Are there open surface holes? I wonder how well it would take spackle.
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