Soller fiberglass sleeve - techniques?

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Dustin Lobner

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Hi everyone,

I'm working on a 3" rocket to get experience with glassing airframes, dual deploy, etc prior to starting an L3 build. I'm using a Soller fiberglass sock/tube over a cardboard tube. I know there are multiple techniques to make sure it's applied smoothly - from what I've seen, vacuum bagging, hand squeegie, or Soller's heat shrink tube.

What are people's thoughts on each technique? I'm not terribly interested in the vacuum technique due to the buy-in cost, especially if other techniques work fine.

Thanks in advance!

Dustin
 

JDcluster

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What works best for me with the Soller Composite sleeving is; insert the tube into the sleeving before applying any resin. cut about 2 ft extra length, use a set of CR in the tube connect with a motor tube or broom stick ... use either tape or some sort of clip system and tootsie roll the tube leaving 1 ft on each side of the tube. apply resin with a brush or foam brush.
 

Dustin Lobner

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What works best for me with the Soller Composite sleeving is; insert the tube into the sleeving before applying any resin. cut about 2 ft extra length, use a set of CR in the tube connect with a motor tube or broom stick ... use either tape or some sort of clip system and tootsie roll the tube leaving 1 ft on each side of the tube. apply resin with a brush or foam brush.
Makes sense, thanks for the idea. Have you tried their shrink tube? How'd that compare if you did?
 

prfesser

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What works best for me with the Soller Composite sleeving is; insert the tube into the sleeving before applying any resin. cut about 2 ft extra length, use a set of CR in the tube connect with a motor tube or broom stick ... use either tape or some sort of clip system and tootsie roll the tube leaving 1 ft on each side of the tube. apply resin with a brush or foam brush.
Wondering...do you really need a foot extra on both ends? In ordinary tube-rolling I cut the fiberglass about 4" (10 cm in the Smart System ;)) to leave excess of 2" on each end. I've never used the sleeving so I don't know the specifics.
 

OKTurbo

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I’ve never used Soller sleeves for rockets, but have for some free flight planes. These are smaller diameter and were made on a mandrel using heat shrink tubing. The heat shrink worked great for this application. The pics will give you an idea of the finish you’ll get. FF is going for minimum weight so the resin content is kinda low.

The plane is an example of the application...except it has a rolled balsa fuselage. My example with composite flew away from me many years ago when it found a thermal. D/T didn’t bring it down.

5A36515F-3BEE-4F0D-BDD0-244582771691.jpeg
3BE3D663-3812-4CA6-B112-BE819ADE53DB.jpeg
D74CB18F-77AD-4D20-80DE-B276A269C1BE.jpeg
 

Dustin Lobner

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Wow, that looks really nice with the shrink tube...might be worth it
 

dhbarr

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Turbo, what mandrels do you have over there in your shop? It's driving me mad knowing that I drive by you wizard's castle twice most days ^_^
 

JDcluster

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Wondering...do you really need a foot extra on both ends? In ordinary tube-rolling I cut the fiberglass about 4" (10 cm in the Smart System ;)) to leave excess of 2" on each end. I've never used the sleeving so I don't know the specifics.
It depends on what size sleeving vs what size tube you are working with. The sleeving doesn't always match the tube size. I have used 7.67" and 5.5" LOC tubes for this process. When you slide the sleeving over the tube you loose some length to the stretch. It's woven like Chinese finger traps.
 

Dustin Lobner

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Seems to me like if you use the heat shrink, you probably need less overhang? I have some other ideas that may or may not be overkill...if I end up doing something interesting, I'll be sure to post it back here.
 

OKTurbo

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Turbo, what mandrels do you have over there in your shop? It's driving me mad knowing that I drive by you wizard's castle twice most days ^_^
Well they’re very sophisticated mandrels. I think these were precision formed on an old shower curtain rod. For my P30 sized planes I usually select the old pool cue...it has a good taper for the tail section.

I was wondering who that was that keeps driving by the house...
 

Dustin Lobner

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Got the tube cut (see different thread) and then made an attempt at the hand squeegee method...even before getting the epoxy out, I knew I was going to fail, lol.

Just ordered some of Soller's shrink tube. Feel like I'm actually going to have success with that.

Thanks for all the input everyone!

Dustin
 

ericm541

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I did my first tube earlier this year, sleeve with heat shrink, a 2.5" body tube. I had an issue with the epoxy I used, I may have used too much,heating the shrink tube from the inside out it didn't squeeze the epoxy like I wanted. I will say Soller has amazing service, I stopped in and picked up everything I need for a large project, he did ask what epoxy I would be using but recommended what they have.I used US composites on a test piece, what epoxy are people using?
 

rharshberger

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It takes practice young Padawan, my tubes are usually rolled not sleeved but I am finally starting to get to the point that they are reasonably presentable nekkid. I have some Soller carbon sleeve as well as fiberglass sleeve for when I eventually get back to building rockets.
Got the tube cut (see different thread) and then made an attempt at the hand squeegee method...even before getting the epoxy out, I knew I was going to fail, lol.

Just ordered some of Soller's shrink tube. Feel like I'm actually going to have success with that.

Thanks for all the input everyone!

Dustin
 

Dustin Lobner

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Regarding the Soller heat shrink, is a good 1800 watt hair drier enough to shrink it, or does it need a legit heat gun or similar? The hair drier should be a more "diffuse" heat so I'm hoping that it works, just don't know if it's too diffuse.
 
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