Question on body tubes

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

KILTED COWBOY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
374
Reaction score
138
Location
TEXAS
Is there a difference in the white body tubes lets say from rocketarium as compared to the brown tubes you get from Estes.
Needing to get some BT-60 tubes for a build and saw that there were these two types available. Thanks
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,415
Reaction score
1,481
Location
Pasco, WA
Is there a difference in the white body tubes lets say from rocketarium as compared to the brown tubes you get from Estes.
Needing to get some BT-60 tubes for a build and saw that there were these two types available. Thanks
not really, just color.
 

gldknght

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
867
Reaction score
154
Location
The Edge of Nowhere
Is there a difference in the white body tubes lets say from rocketarium as compared to the brown tubes you get from Estes.
Needing to get some BT-60 tubes for a build and saw that there were these two types available. Thanks
not really, just color.
If the white tubes are painted, that can cause paint problems if you intend them to be any other color. For example, I have an Estes rocket that came with a purple body tube. I wanted it to be white, so primed it, then painted the white color. The solvents in the white caused the purple paint to crinkle like a crinkle-cut french fry. To fix it, I had to sand all the paint off to bare body tube.
 

Bill S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
386
Reaction score
117
I have noticed dimensional differences in the tubes I got from ASP, versus the brown Estes tubes - nosecones are a tight fit and I get tired of sanding them down. I am phasing out the ASP tubes as I go, and have been buying more brown Estes tubes.

Though in some of the Estes kits I have, the white tubes are not the strongest; in my Crossfire ISX kit and Space Twister, the tubes already show signs of "crunching". As if the tubes aren't as well made, and the seams are already starting to bulge upwards from the surface. In the Space Twister, I put another section of tube (a 24mm "pusher tube" in front of the engine mount to provide some protection vs the hibachi effect and give some extra strength there as well.
 

neil_w

Hunkered down and slowly going crazy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
9,087
Reaction score
2,410
Location
Northern NJ
Though in some of the Estes kits I have, the white tubes are not the strongest; in my Crossfire ISX kit and Space Twister, the tubes already show signs of "crunching". As if the tubes aren't as well made, and the seams are already starting to bulge upwards from the surface. In the Space Twister, I put another section of tube (a 24mm "pusher tube" in front of the engine mount to provide some protection vs the hibachi effect and give some extra strength there as well.
Standard BT5, BT20, and BT50 tubes have a thin wall (.013") and are fairly weak. It makes more sense for the small stuff to cut down on weight, but BT50 is in a grey area where more stout tubing is often a benefit.

For my scratchbuilds nowadays I mostly use heavy-walled BT50 (BT50H) from BMS, which has .021" walls like the larger tubes and is much stronger. Problem is most nose cones are sized for BT50, so if inserted into a BT50H there will be a bit of a lip at the edge of the body tube relative to the nose (inner diameter is the same, so no issues with fit).

Doubling the tube in front of the motor mount is a good idea as well.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
129
Reaction score
46
A good rule of thumb is to use tubes from the same manufacturer for the main rocket body to avoid differences in thickness. I recently picked up some white tubes from Apogee and compared them to the BT80's I have from Estes and there is a very very minor different in thickness that would cause a lip if used together.

Like Neil, I too have moved up to BT-50H for all my 24mm motor tubes. If you run into an issue with tube strength like Bill mentioned, you can get full length coupler from BMS form cheap. Just be sure to stop them before the Nose cone. These come in handy if you have accidently crunched a body tube as well.
 

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
7,456
Reaction score
333
Location
Dallas Texas
I use the brown tubes from Estes. I've always had good results. I find Apogee tubes to be thin flimsy compared to some of the other offerings out there, also they are over priced.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
129
Reaction score
46
I use the brown tubes from Estes. I've always had good results. I find Apogee tubes to be thin flimsy compared to some of the other offerings out there, also they are over priced.
Interesting. I've built a number of rockets using Apogee white tubes and flown them countless times without issue. In all honesty you can't go wrong with either one in my opinion. I just don't recommed mixing and matching due to variations in wall thickness.

They are about .50ea. more expensive per tube if you compare a BT80 from Apogee to ACSupply but the Apogee tubes are longer are longer than 18" vs the Estes 14.2"
 
Last edited:

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
7,456
Reaction score
333
Location
Dallas Texas
Interesting. I've built a number of rockets using Apogee white tubes and flown them countless times without issue. In all honesty you can't go wrong with either one in my opinion. I just don't recommed mixing and matching due to variations in wall thickness.

They are about .50ea. more expensive per tube if you compare a BT80 from Apogee to ACSupply but the Apogee tubes are longer are longer than 18" vs the Estes 14.2"
You can also buy from BMS and get them cheaper. I believe their tubes come in 34" lengths. They also have wood and all sorts of items. I would say BMS is my "Go To" for supplies.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
129
Reaction score
46
You can also buy from BMS and get them cheaper. I believe their tubes come in 34" lengths. They also have wood and all sorts of items. I would say BMS is my "Go To" for supplies.

Good to know. I've used them for couplers and centering rings but never thought about buying tubes from them.

Thanks for the heads up
 

neil_w

Hunkered down and slowly going crazy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
9,087
Reaction score
2,410
Location
Northern NJ
Good to know. I've used them for couplers and centering rings but never thought about buying tubes from them.
I do like their 34" tubes much better than buying shorter. All my long-body LPR rockets a single piece of tubing.

Not that coupling shorter ones together is a big deal, but I like having the option of one piece. :)
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,381
Reaction score
1,030
Apogee tubes are excellent for very lightweight flying -- minimum diameter from Aspire parts, for instance.
 

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
7,456
Reaction score
333
Location
Dallas Texas
I do like their 34" tubes much better than buying shorter. All my long-body LPR rockets a single piece of tubing.

Not that coupling shorter ones together is a big deal, but I like having the option of one piece. :)
ditto
 
Top