Sunday, November 8, 2009

Totally Tubular!

So I've been sick the past couple days and haven't gone flying, but I haven't felt like doing much of anything. I'm feeling mostly human again today so I thought I'd make a carbon tube. This will be the tube in the rudder casette that the stainless rudder post will pass through. So I used a 2' length of PVC as a mandrel. I put vasoline on it and then a layer of 4mil plastic. Next I did 2 layers of carbon. Then I wrapped it gently with electrical tape and let it cure in the oven at 130 degree. After 40 minutes, it was cured. The PVC slid out easily. Next, I wrapped a couple more layers of carbon, then 5 layers of glass (as a core), then 3 more layers of carbon. Then I wrapped it really tightly with electrical tape that I had drilled holes in. As I stretched the electrical tape around, it forced excess resin out the hundereds of holes. I wiped the whole thing with paper towels, then back into the oven for 40 minutes. The thing turned out really nice. It is super stiff and strong and should work great. It was also a good way to get some more experience working with CF.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice looking tube. What's even more amazing is that your wife would let you stick your tube in her oven. She must be awesome. Another idea of seen is to use heat-shrink tubing (you can perforate it) instead of perforated tape. You form a kind of tight-fitting sheath around your tube, heat it up with the heat-gun. It's probably a bit easier than tape wrapping. You can get the stuff from: