Spectra Laminate Over EPO

I'm considering laminating my build with spectra cloth, it's non-porous and 15 times the strength of steel with 40x less weight; providing I can get the cloth in an acceptable thickness. Has anyone done this already?  My build is EPO so I believe I may use Gorilla Glue to adhere the laminate.

Any thoughts are appreciated?



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  • Some sugestions:

    First, good to seek alternatives to the usual resin laminate(s). I would not go with gorilla glue though. What might be good for what you want is to use something for the resin that can be thinned quite a bit without compromising it. This means you can use less, keep it thinner - its kinda like its own layer, once it is more than wetting the 'fabric', it naturally adds thickness, especially when it starts out with a fairly thick viscocity, which does not help you.  I am happy to see ingenuity like this - seriously seeking alternative materials. Your vision is already very broad on this, with the idea of Gorilla Glue, so keep broadening that search for anything and everything that might work. I would suggest on this that you also consider anything that starts as a liquid and dries with strength. Even a thin, melted plastic of the right kind migh work.

    Have many people been going back to laminating over Balsa wood, or is anyone here even doing that?

    You can also find Kevlar/Carbon fiber woven blend material on Ebay.

    • Interesting.

      • - Could you use a different foam that is more compatible with the rest?

    • I'm doing that - carbon fiber over balsa, but not for the frame.  I used it for my original rotor blades 23"L X 2.25"W X .25"T using a standard Clark Y section.  Those were my first layups ever (about 80 blades in total), so I can't vouch for how optimal they are, but it is certainly an approach which has merit.

      • You actually made props? I am curious, I would think that would be such a small and common and possibly fairly inexpensive item - did you need a custom design (of your own) that was not available?

        • Brad was building a man lifting multicopter with a lot of big overlapping props, no props even close available and they would have cost a fortune if they were.

          • Quite an ambitious undertaking - how did it work out?

            • It is still a work in progress, and has been for a long time (the first field test was in October of 2004).  I should have mentioned that the blades are 23" long but the whole "prop" is 46" with an aluminum plate hub.  To Gary's point, there are no commercially available products to fit the application.  Light aircraft propellers are made to withstand impact and therefore have too much rotational inertia for a speed-based attitude control system.

              Where light weight, strength, and rigidity are important, carbon fiber over balsa can work very well. 

              • This is really cool.  Hope to see some video at some point.  Getting back to Spectra laminate, if anyone knows of an effective adhesive over foam, I'm interested in your thoughts!

  • I have verified the material properties and I think at this point it's matter of adhesion and determining if the spectra material will shrink and how if at all possible it can be manipulated.  The material is approximately the thickness of two sheets of cheap Georgia Pacific print paper.  I will have to measure it with the calipers when I get an opportunity.

    I'm still waiting to see if anyone has used this material on a project before the properties sound very promising!

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