DIY flameproof fabric

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Sooner Boomer

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Has anyone tried making their own flameproof (actually flame-retardant) fabric for a recovery blanket? I was thinking this might be better for mod rock stuff than buying ejection wadding, bog darf, or crepe paper. Better for the environment, anyway, since all the above are single-use. Was thinking of trying some "flour sack" towels (light weight cotton), soaked in a saturated solution of washing borax (sodium borate).
 

rharshberger

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I have used the borax and boric acid solution on cotton canvas, it does work....BUT...they dont last as long as nomex protectors do.
 

SharkWhisperer

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Borax (sodium borate, laundry "detergent")and boric acid (cockroach killer) are what Estes uses to treat it's cheap-ass TP and then sell to suckers for %1000 profit. Make your own. Simples. Easier and cheaper is using plain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) that costs a buck or less for a 1 lb box in any grocery store. Make a saturated solution (as much as will dissolve in boiling water in a pot--it's non-toxic), wet your material (TP or paper towels) and hang it up to let it dry out. Ta da!!! Perfect chute wadding. Know, however, that if you use paper towels or thick TP (unlike the single-ply crap Estes uses from China) that it might need to be balled up and then relaxed--crunch it up in your hands--so it is flexible enough not to get hung up in the body tube during ejection.

No, disposable treated TP is not the polymer Nomex (Kevlar's baby sister) but it is cheap as chips and more importantly is biodegradable. There was recently a "litter-free" thread, where Nomex was touted. Indeed if you tie it to your shock cord and reuse it it is indeed "litter-free", but if you lose it somehow, it is most certainly not act biodegradable by any definition. It's still just plastic litter. Treated TP or cellulose insulation (Dog Barf) is indeed akin to "litter", though it'll blow away and degrade within a reasonable (weeks-months) time frame. Nomex? Dunno its half-life, but it is definitely a whole lot longer than wood pulp (years-decades+)?

Best judgement needed. Nomex will possibly pay for itself (it's not cheap) over time. But it doesn't last forever. Good fire protection? Sure, Nomex is great. Firefighters and race car drivers across the world wear Nomex fabrics. But disposable and earth-friendly Bicarb-TP, especially in smaller diameter (<3" BT) rockets, might be more cost-effective, depending on individual needs. And it's not plastic.
 
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