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  1. #1
    Join Date
    21st November 2015
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    40

    Fire Blankets around launch pads

    Hi, our club is looking for recommendations for types of fire blankets to serve as ground cover around launch pads, and where to buy them. We have some old yellow ones now that are about 6 ft x 6 ft that are pretty worn out. We launch mid- and high-power rockets on grassy fields and need to protect the grass.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    30th January 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarinet View Post
    Hi, our club is looking for recommendations for types of fire blankets to serve as ground cover around launch pads, and where to buy them. We have some old yellow ones now that are about 6 ft x 6 ft that are pretty worn out. We launch mid- and high-power rockets on grassy fields and need to protect the grass.
    8' x 8' welding blanket from HF?

    Last edited by dhbarr; 4th December 2016 at 09:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    6th March 2010
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    Amesbury, MA
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    1,989
    Quote Originally Posted by dhbarr View Post
    8' x 8' welding blanket from HF?
    Agreed, the 8' x 8' welding blankets from Harbor Freight are not a bad option. Of course, without good blast deflectors under the rockets, you'll burn up the blankets in no time (we now have better HPR launch pads and better cooperation in using the deflectors in the MMMSC - now we need more new blankets).

    I'm sure there are better quality blankets available but would likely be much pricier; I'd be interested in hearing from those who are using real industrial blankets.
    KENN BLADE
    NAR #80160
    CMASS President
    MMMSC Ambassador-at-Large
    NAR S&T Member

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennB View Post
    Agreed, the 8' x 8' welding blankets from Harbor Freight are not a bad option. Of course, without good blast deflectors under the rockets, you'll burn up the blankets in no time (we now have better HPR launch pads and better cooperation in using the deflectors in the MMMSC - now we need more new blankets).

    I'm sure there are better quality blankets available but would likely be much pricier; I'd be interested in hearing from those who are using real industrial blankets.
    Dino Chutes makes a 5'x5' 1/8" Nomex blanket. Never seen one in person, though.
    Last edited by dhbarr; 4th December 2016 at 10:29 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
    Location
    NE Illinois
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    909
    Thanks for the mention. Ours are about the thickest I've seen as compared to others that are much thinner Nomex. We get the fabric made for us at this thickness and they last a long time. They're also slightly absorbent so that you can soak them with water prior to use. And the grommets are industrial spurred grommets that are very hard to accidently pull out.

    I forgot the name of the club, but whatever club launches in northeastern Colorado in the grassland area is very pleased with this product.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    22nd February 2013
    Location
    Garland, TX
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    3,649
    I use a welding blanket from Northern Tool and Equipment around my launch tower. You can't get a much closer blast than they get there, and they hold up pretty well.
    So much of my rocket building time has been diverted toward my "other hobby": Race Timing

  7. #7
    Join Date
    29th November 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    Welding blankets hold up okay. We prefer old aluminum signs under the pads. Those hold up much better. We put welding blankets under a O motor - the nozzle was ~48" from the ground. We only found small remnants of the welding blanket.

    Edward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    3rd February 2009
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    Falmouth, NS, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaHybrids View Post
    Welding blankets hold up okay. We prefer old aluminum signs under the pads. Those hold up much better. We put welding blankets under a O motor - the nozzle was ~48" from the ground. We only found small remnants of the welding blanket.

    Edward
    Had 6x4 welding blanket on the ground under a CTI 75 mm M1300 and it destroyed the blanket. I won't be using a welding blanket as ground cover without a metal blast deflector again!
    Greg
    TRA 10756 L3
    CAR S922 L4, RSO
    VE1GCG

  9. #9
    Join Date
    21st November 2015
    Posts
    40
    Thanks for the comments. My understanding of fire blankets, Nomex fabrics, and Kevlar is that they are flame resistant but can burn under relatively severe conditions. They are based on organic polymers that are resistant to burning but are ultimately combustible. Our club's HPR pad does have a metal blast deflector but we also want some good new fire blankets to cover the ground area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    20th January 2009
    Location
    Salem, MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms View Post
    Had 6x4 welding blanket on the ground under a CTI 75 mm M1300 and it destroyed the blanket. I won't be using a welding blanket as ground cover without a metal blast deflector again!
    Greg


    You still need a blast deflector. Even a BP motor exhaust plume impingement will blow through a fiberglass welding blanket........
    Bob Krech
    CMASS, MMMSC, Tech Officer, NAR S&T
    BOD URRG, MRSI, MMMSC
    L2 NAR 78096 TRA 14588
    CAP 536940 NER-MA-019 CDC, AEO
    KC1FVI General

  11. #11
    Join Date
    29th November 2009
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    We had four stop signs directly under the pad, with the blanket under them. The flame lifted the stop signs and then toasted everything.

    Sometime I want to get a 10 gallon pressurized tank hooked to 3 spray sprinklers around the pad. Turn on the sprinklers 15 seconds before firing and then let it exhaust the water. The sprinklers have a flow rate of 3 GPM each, 10 GPM total. Put 5 gallons of water in a tank and you have 30 seconds of fire coverage.

    Edward

  12. #12
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    30th January 2016
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    Plus, what a great steam plume.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    3rd February 2009
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    Falmouth, NS, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobkrech View Post


    You still need a blast deflector. Even a BP motor exhaust plume impingement will blow through a fiberglass welding blanket........
    Nope no D'ohs, we have one hp launch per year and the CAR safety code requires some sort of deflector to keep motor flame from contacting the ground. Was either the blanket or not fly the rocket as there wasn't a deflector on the launch pad.
    However, I will have something different than a welding blanket for next launch!

    Greg
    TRA 10756 L3
    CAR S922 L4, RSO
    VE1GCG

  14. #14
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    30th January 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms View Post
    Nope no D'ohs, we have one hp launch per year and the CAR safety code requires some sort of deflector to keep motor flame from contacting the ground. Was either the blanket or not fly the rocket as there wasn't a deflector on the launch pad.
    However, I will have something different than a welding blanket for next launch!

    Greg
    I'm considering fabbing a steel cone that will fit over my jawstand upright and rest on the three legs just off the ground. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing :-)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    6th March 2010
    Location
    Amesbury, MA
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    Used harrow discs make great blast deflectors. These pictured will fit on a 1010 rail with no modification and can be ground out to fit a 1515 rail.
    The MMMSC pad manager has modified these to include a thin-wall square tube extending a few inches below and many inches above the deflector; the extension below keeps it up off of the pivoting head so it doesn't get in the way when you're loading a rocket and the extension above keeps the deflector stable so it doesn't wobble and nick up the rail. I'll get a picture of those set ups when I can.

    Ask around at local farms and you may be able to pick some up for free. Concave side down has worked for us.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
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    30th January 2016
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    Actually just picked one up from the in-laws' barn over Thanksgiving. I need to pop out the rivets & clean it up; thinking about blasting it then black hi-temp enamel so it's easier to clean.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    27th December 2015
    Location
    Hailey, ID
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    132
    Quote Originally Posted by dhbarr View Post
    I'm considering fabbing a steel cone that will fit over my jawstand upright and rest on the three legs just off the ground. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing :-)
    I like the cone deflector but using it centered on the rocket exhaust just redirects it. Even with a small 12g stainless blast plate my 4' tower with a 29mm high power motor will burn the grass. I have taken to using a HBF blanket or 3 12"x12" ceramic tiles. Tiles work the best on the big hot spots.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    NAR Member
    Class D water rocket world record 417 feet 130 mph..
    Machbuster #8 Mach 1.71 on a G80 5260 feet.

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