# alternative body tube material

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#### Rob Fisher

##### Well-Known Member
Does anybody know where you can buy body tubes in bt-55 & 60 size made out of ( I think its called phenolic tubing) ? I am looking for an alternative to paper type bodytubes. A lot of my rockets always get a lot of wear on the n.c. end of the b.t. I usually don't get n.c. dents cause I always add extra long shock cord, but a lot of times after the rocket lands the chute will drag the rocket a few feet, tearing up the n.c. end.

#### Ryan S.

##### Well-Known Member
im not sure if it is made this small, but you could glass your small rockets with a light glass like 3oz, this will add weight and it will be more work, but your rocket will be much, much tougher

#### marvSRG

##### Well-Known Member
LOC 1/2" and 3/4" lugs compare nicely to Estes 13mm and 18mm tubes. They are thick cardboard. LOC also does an 18mm and a 24mm motor tube which I belive are the same stuff as the 3/4" and 1" launch lugs. Any phenolic 24, 29, 38, 54, or 63mm tube compare closely to Estes BT-50, 55, 60, and 80 tubes (the 54mm is between BT-60 and BT-80...it's about 2.15" wide). LOC also does these in thick cardboard, and they're all available from any place like www.giantleaprocketry.com, www.locprecision.com, or www.magnumrockets.com.

Hope it helped

#### Rob Fisher

##### Well-Known Member
how would you go about doing this? I have no experience glassing. Do you use epoxy? To keep weight down I would probably only "glass" the n.c. end.

#### sandman

##### Well-Known Member
im not sure if it is made this small, but you could glass your small rockets with a light glass like 3oz,
I've seen cloth at the hobby shop (sig brand) as light as 1/2 oz.

Yes cover the cloth with epoxy.

Do a search her in the forum and look up "fiber glass" or just "glass".

There are a lot of "how to" posts on it. It's not hard, just a lot of work.

sandman

#### OKTurbo

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Have you tried wicking some CA glue into the end of the tube. I usually do this to the motor mount tube, the aft end of the body tube, and the nose cone end. It really makes the tubes a lot stiffer and tougher with minimal weight gain.

You could even put a short length of body tube coupler in the front end. This would give you a double thickness. The tube couplers are available from www.balsamachining.com. This will make you have to sand down the nose cone shoulder to fit though.

Glassing the tube will make it tough, but on small rockets it will increase the weight a lot. Yes...you use epoxy as the resin when you glass. There are thin epoxies made just for this.

Good Luck,
John

#### Ryan S.

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Rob Fisher
how would you go about doing this? I have no experience glassing. Do you use epoxy? To keep weight down I would probably only "glass" the n.c. end.
good idea, lots of big rockets do this same thing except they glass the whole airframe end, then at the payload/booster joint and NC/payload joint they put Kevlar. since you are doing such a small area you could probably order (or just use a regular square peice from the hobby shop, and cut strips out of it) FG tape. All you do is put some epoxy on the tube, lay the glass over it untill it is clear and there are no shiny spots or bubbles,then let it cure and finish it.

#### Ryan S.

##### Well-Known Member
go to www.publicmissiles.com and the go to Webstore and then airframes, they have phenolic in many sizes. some pretty small ones too but I am not sure wwhat size you are looking for

#### Rob Fisher

##### Well-Known Member
-sounds like a good idea to do to the fin joints to keep fins from poppin off on hard landings. Then on the flip side sometimes its better to have the whole fin pop off then to have it break in half or a part of it break off!

#### teflonrocketry1

##### Well-Known Member
McMater Carr sells Garolite XX tubes visit:

http://www.mcmaster.com

Look for part numbers:

8527K231 Grade Xx Garolite Hollow Rod 1-5/16" OD X 1-1/4" ID, 40" Length $14.96 Each 8527K232 Grade Xx Garolite Hollow Rod 1-3/8" OD X 1-1/4" ID, 40" Length$ 12.76 Each

8527K241 Grade Xx Garolite Hollow Rod 1-9/16" OD X 1-1/2" ID, 40" Length $15.35 Each 8527K242 Grade Xx Garolite Hollow Rod 1-5/8" OD X 1-1/2" ID, 40" Length$ 14.09 Each

Garolite XX is a paper-based laminate with a phenolic resin binder. McMaster-Carr also sells other stronger grades of Garolite in similar diameters. Not quite BT-55 and BT-60 but pretty close.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055