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Can a streamer be too thin?

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DynaSoar

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I picked up 200 feet of fluourescent orange plastic tape from Lowe's, thinking to use it as nice light streamers. It's tissue thin. It seems to not do a very good job, at least in drop-testing. Can streamer material be too thin to be effective?
 

Micromeister

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Dyna:
Width to length ratio is very important to making a streamer work efficently. 10 to 1 is the best MIT tested ratio. 1" x 10", 2" x 20"... 10" x 100" etc. To be an effective streamer, the material has to whip back and forth in the air stream. That's why competition models fold pleats in their streamer duration model recovery systems. Crape paper with all the crunched folds and wrinkles is fine for Sport models but really need to be replace after a few flights. You'll note that Estes, Quest and other manufacturers supply 1" wide orange tape "steamers" with some models... most are about 12" long... see the relationship?
To answer your question: NO the material can be as thin as 1/4mil. (.0025"), it's the ability of the material to flap back and forth that makes a difference. I've used the sheet type plastic wrapping paper in strips taped together for some sport model streamers as well as 1" and 2" surveyer's tape, 2" causion tape and don't forget the crepe paper 2" and 3" wide rolls.
hope this helps
 

astrowolf67

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I use this stuff a lot, but only in very small, or very light models. In using it, you are more or less just letting the rocket blow apart, and free fall. The streamer just makes it more visible. It works good for rockets about the size of the Estes Alpha.
 

teflonrocketry1

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I use Teflon Pipe Thread Sealant Tape for streamers. The Teflon holds up to the ejection charges, since it melts at almost twice the melting point temperature of polyethylene and Nylon. You don't need to use any wadding with Teflon streamers; this same material can even be used for wadding. The 1/2 wide stuff is perfect for micromax applications.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
 

xxxREKxxx

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Originally posted by teflonrocketry1
I use Teflon Pipe Thread Sealant Tape for streamers. The Teflon holds up to the ejection charges, since it melts at almost twice the melting point temperature of polyethylene and Nylon. You don't need to use any wadding with Teflon streamers; this same material can even be used for wadding. The 1/2 wide stuff is perfect for micromax applications.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
Question time. How do you keep the tef tape from sticking to itself and generally fouling it touches. I use it all the time for its intended purpose but haven't had much luck as a streamer, it seems to get all wound up on itself. Am I missing something here? (I usually do). I use flagging tape just 'cause I got miles of the stuff.

BTW... Thanks for the info on the pleats and crinkles, they always bothered me but now I find that they are good.
Bob
 

edwardw

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the material can be as thin as 1/4mil. (.0025"),

I always though 1 mil = 1/1000 (.001) of an inch. So wouldn't 1/4 mil = .00025?

Edward
 

flying_silverad

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REK


Question time. How do you keep the tef tape from sticking to itself and generally fouling it touches.

...a little talc powder should do the trick! Like flour on pasta!!
:D
 

Micromeister

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Talc baby powder teflon plumbers tape before the first folding your streamer or stuffing a teflon tape permanent wadding pom-pom. McMaster-Carr has a heavier grade also in widths from 1/2" to 2" in very ligth colors red, yellow & orange. Very helpful on small models.

Teflon is not a competition streamer material, it will not hold a pleat nor can you get the wider widths (3" and up) needed, but makes an OK material for small light sport models Micro-Maxx to 18mm and/or a Geat material for permanent Sport flight wadding pom-poms, tied below your normal type recovery systems on the shock cord.

Your correct edwardw: I missed a 0 ;)
 

teflonrocketry1

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I use Talcum baby powder like Micromister said!

Make sure you use only powdered Talc kind, some types of baby powder contain corn starch which can burn.

It is cost prohibitive to get wider widths of Expanded Teflon (PTFE) film which is what the Pipe Thread Sealant Tape is made from. I have parachutes that are made entirely from this material; they work great, no wadding required! I think the best quote I have is $400.00 for a 10lb roll, about 1000 yards of 11" wide .003" thick material.

The standard expanded Teflon won't pleat but the denser Military grade (1.45 g/cc) will to a some extent.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
 

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