Grass = Great Wadding Substitute

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Rich

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Hey,

Today I tried an experiment.
My idea was to use some damp grass instead of normal wadding, and it worked really well! I'd recommend it to anyone with low powered rockets. (Motors used for testing: B6-4/C6-5.)
Now I'm going to save myself a few quid as I won't be needing any wadding.
I guess wadding is a better solution if you have it, but damp grass does the job too...

Best not to risk it if you have a nice parachute though, as it isn't easy to measure the quantity of grass that you put in.

- Rich
 

Rich

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Originally posted by Fore Check
Most of my grass is dried out schwag.....
The other thing you could do is get a bottle of water, sprinkle it over the grass. Then put dry grass at the bottom of the rocket body and then put damp (not soaked) grass ontop of it
 

Karl

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Yeh you could just get a bucket , fill it with grass & wash it all down with water. But the water will swell any balsa parts so be carefull. Dead grass is NOT suitable , the ejection will set alight to it and more than likeley you will have some grass on fire left inside your bt.
Karl
 

shreadvector

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if any grass remains inside, after a few weeks it will decay and smell extremely foul.

Luckily you do not have the extreme fire hazard conditions that other locations live with.

Cellulose insulation material is quite low cost. Availability varies in different regions of the USA (Cocoon brand). I'm not sure about other nations.

https://www.cocooninsulation.com/

Originally posted by Rich
Hey,

Today I tried an experiment.
My idea was to use some damp grass instead of normal wadding, and it worked really well! I'd recommend it to anyone with low powered rockets. (Motors used for testing: B6-4/C6-5.)
Now I'm going to save myself a few quid as I won't be needing any wadding.
I guess wadding is a better solution if you have it, but damp grass does the job too...

Best not to risk it if you have a nice parachute though, as it isn't easy to measure the quantity of grass that you put in.

- Rich
 

bcdlr

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I've heard that crepe paper works well, too. In the US, I guess, all crepe paper is required to be fire retardent and is treated with something.
Any body use crepe paper?
This would work well in my Semroc Thunder Bee (13 mm min. dia. rocket). Hardly any room to stick anything in there!
 

shreadvector

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Sure. I pick up used crepe paper wadding all the time (and re-use it). It is stiff and crinkly, so it can have gaps around the edges that allow gas leakage. Be careful using it and fill a lenght of body tube equal to 2 to 3 diameters and then blow it down liek a blow gun. It should go "THUNK" indicating that it has formed a piston shape and is now providing a good gas seal.

Originally posted by bcdlr
I've heard that crepe paper works well, too. In the US, I guess, all crepe paper is required to be fire retardent and is treated with something.
Any body use crepe paper?
This would work well in my Semroc Thunder Bee (13 mm min. dia. rocket). Hardly any room to stick anything in there!
 

JStarStar

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I dunno about grass, you'd have to make sure it was really wet to make sure it wouldn't burn, and then you'd have water warpage problems. I'd stick with dog-barf insulation myself or crepe paper. It's pretty cheap.


When using crepe paper, I've also had the leakage problems around the edges. I always form a mini-tube out of crepe paper and completely encase the chute in that, and then fill the tube with a couple diameters of crumpled paper. That provides a second layer of protection for the chute.
 

rabidsheeep

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i dont even bother using wadding or dog barf with low power, i just take some lettuce and dice it up. havent had a parachute burn through since i started using it.
 

JStarStar

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Hehehe, and if you get hungry between launches, you can just munch on your wadding!! :D :D
 

danscott

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well, i was there when rich put his rocket up and we were expecting a firey plastic mess but the grass worked well, i believe in the us you have drier grass than us whereas in devon the grass is lush and green, ok so the grass came down black but the parachute didn't!!

how does the crepe paper work again? - won't that just burn up!!
 

Karl

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I think crepe paper is just REALY thin paper in the UK . I have a large bag of it somewere but it's been 'missplaced' :eek:
 

eugenefl

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Folks, what works for some may not work for all. In this instance, I would not recommend or condone the usage of grass as wadding on a public forum. Although the usage of grass as an alternative might sound like a plausible idea, the potential fire hazard and liability involved *does* exist and therefore is not suitable as advice that we want to share.

Additionally, grass is not and has not been deemed "a flame-resistant or fireproof" wadding.

See the NAR's Safety Code:

10. Recovery System. I will use a recovery system such as a streamer or parachute in my rocket so that it returns safely and undamaged and can be flown again, and I will use only flame-resistant or fireproof recovery system wadding in my rocket.
 

KermieD

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I'm with eugene on this one. I don't know if there's a governing safety code across the pond for grass, and the grass may be greener over there (pun intended), but in the USA, if I were RSO for a NAR launch, I wouldn't let a rocket with grass as the wadding fly.
 

jetra2

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I'd like to see a study of sorts done to see how much the grass burns. You could tyr if with just-plucked grass, stuff from a lawnmower, normal grass wetted down, etc., etc.

I do agree with Eugene though. Until it can be totally proven that grass is NOT a good wadding substitue, no matter how wet it is, stick to the good ol' dog barf...it's cheap!!!

Jason
 

Elapid

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idea...

except for the flammability issues...
 

KermieD

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Guys, a couple of things here.

A) Please keep this topic on track. No more references to illegal activities please.

B) Even in jest, please don't suggest using things like "matchsticks and dryer lint". Anyone with experience knows better, but remember that we have potential rocketeers with no experience coming in here looking for ideas.
 

arthur dent

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Hi rich,welcome to the forum.if you buy QUEST motors they come with sheets of wadding included in the box so you always have a supply.I allways fly on a beach so im going to try damp sand as a new wadding product;) :D
 

Bill

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Originally posted by arthur dent
if you buy QUEST motors they come with sheets of wadding included in the box so you always have a supply.

Estes motors bought at Walmart also come with wadding. Estes is really killing the hobby shops with this decision; they should include wadding with all motor packs or don't put it in any of them.


Bill
 

wwattles

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Originally posted by arthur dent
Hi rich,welcome to the forum.if you buy QUEST motors they come with sheets of wadding included in the box so you always have a supply.I allways fly on a beach so im going to try damp sand as a new wadding product;) :D
Dentarthurdent,

If you use damp sand, wouldn't that add a fair amount of weight to the rocket, and dangerously affect your stability margins, since it's going to be back towards the motors and not the nose?

WW
 

eugenefl

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Not only would the sand add a significant amount of weight, but it wouldn't be very effective in trapping burning particles.

If one considers what the mesh in the Aerotech cooling system does or how wadding or even cellulose is effective, each of these tends to "trap" or collect hot particles as they exit the fore end of the motor. Sand is so loose and fine that the ejection charge would blow right through it. In some larger applications, this is exactly what happens to HPR users when not enough cellulose is packed into the airframe.

If a Nomex chute protector was utilized, which would pretty much put an end to the inventive solutions offered here, there wouldn't be a need for wadding at all.
 

Silverleaf

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use some damp grass instead of normal wadding
*sniff*..but, but..what about the grasshoppers and cadydids and crickets, not to mention the praying mantis ? - they all deserve a comfy home..safe from grass-eating rockets. *sniff*

Seriously, why screw around with experimental wadding ?

Use what has been established as safe and within the rules and etiquette of rocketry. Heck, even "dog barf " works well as does lettuce...just leave the crickets native homes alone.

me like crickets, they make me sleep... 8))
 

DynaSoar

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I believe the phrase "Just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done," applies.

You could make very efficient specialty semiconductors that move "holes" rather than electrons by using variously doped water frozen into ice. You could.

Same thing.
 

Mike

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Seems a bit of a false economy you only have to burn one shock-cord and you're gonna lose a rocket that's worth more than a few packs of wadding! (not forgetting what it could land on)

That way you avoid any chances of burning grass starting fires...I'm sure British grass is capable of that too!
 

arthur dent

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Originally posted by wwattles
Dentarthurdent,

If you use damp sand, wouldn't that add a fair amount of weight to the rocket, and dangerously affect your stability margins, since it's going to be back towards the motors and not the nose?

WW
[/QUOTE

please note the winking face in my original statement....;)
 

danscott

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ok, it seems that you in the us have strangely different grass to use of the uk (across the pond). if you have ever been to our quaint little island you will realise that it is very very rainy here!!!

all the same i am coming round to ur way of thinking, but just to make the point, is hpr rocket dogbarf style stuff made of cellulose, grass is made of cellulose and wet cellulose at that

yes i agree with you : grass + ejection charge = fire = bad

but if grass i9s used again in a rocket i will retreve the grass and photograph it as evidence of how burned/unburned it is

what's more grass strewn across fields is much better than recovery wadding!!

i think jury is out on this one still
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by danscott
ok, it seems that you in the us have strangely different grass to use of the uk (across the pond). if you have ever been to our quaint little island you will realise that it is very very rainy here!!!
I think this ties into my original post "What works for some may not work for all." The advice given in this thread may be misleading. I could definitely agree that experimentation is necessary in every facet of life, but this idea is generally only limited to those whose climate offers such dense and wet grass. On a more personal note, I just think it's almost too petty to consider as an alternative given the options available. The risk is just too high to be labeling grass as a safe alternative for everyone.

To be quite honest, I shuddered when I read the thread title. Florida grass, especially when it's not raining, is quite dangerous to even launch rockets from. A few clubs in the state cancel launches when there hasn't been rain in their areas. Fire hazards are very real and very dangerous in certain parts of the US (or in the world.) Most people will take any advice at face value and not consider where it's coming from.

No personal attacks here, just trying to make it clear that this is NOT an acceptable method of protecting ones recovery device since it does not apply to everyone.
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by arthur dent
Originally posted by wwattles
Dentarthurdent,

If you use damp sand, wouldn't that add a fair amount of weight to the rocket, and dangerously affect your stability margins, since it's going to be back towards the motors and not the nose?

WW
[/QUOTE

please note the winking face in my original statement....;)
Oops! Didn't catch that! :)
 

sandman

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I KNOW!!!

If yer on the beach...use wet seaweed!

You won't start a beach fire!
 

Mad Rocketeer

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;) Just A Joke ;)

If you live in Florida, use those ubiquitous sand spurs! Yikes! If the rocket manages to fire its ejection charge near the ground, you've got a bloomin' shotgun. :eek:

Also, they would do a number on the chute that flaming particles could only dream of, and for that matter, they woldn't do much to stop the hot stuff either.

;) Just A Joke ;)



Serious:

Actually, it seems to me that for rcokets too small and/or cheap to be worth a real piston, one could use a sanded-to-fit slug of balsa and a lightweight braided metallic leader to hook it in. Simpler to do than a more elaborate piston, and light enough in small rockets. Probably ought to coat the bottom of the piston with something to protect the balsa, maybe a few layers of aluminum foil or flameproof wadding material glued in place.



:p Silly But Semi-Serious: :p

Now for something really different. Y'know when your kids make those Jell-O wigglers? They make Jell-O, but use considerably less than the prescribed water. It comes out rubbery. It's still mostly water, but the pectin ties it together to the point that it's almost chewy. One could make those in molds the same diameter as the body tube, either in short peices or in a long cylinder to cut to length at the launch site. (Might have to dust the curved sides to get it to slide into the tube.) The only trick would be keeping them cool until launch time. Choose the colors for maximum visibility, and they double as a marker. I'm betting an inch or so of this would stop particles from most low-power motors.

The downsides, as I see them are:
1.) Weight. Jell-O, even when made really stiff, is mostly water.
2.) When ejected, it may melt and smear some, gradually soaking the tube.
3.) Ants. Most of what isn't water in Jell-O is sugar. The tubes will eventually get sticky and attract ants.

A final upside, though, is that Jell-O is biodegradable, water soluable (heck, when warm, it will melt on its own), and aesthetically and enviornmentally friendly.

I may try this on a scratch-built rocket some time. It might be good for a minimum diameter card stock rocket if the Jell-O slug is kept thin enough and the streamer is flame resistant crepe paper anyway.

Thoughts?


[Hmmm. Now you know why I call myself the Mad Rocketeer, I guess. ]:p :) ;)
 
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