Spray-on clothing - possible aeromodelling applications

Sorry for re-post - I wrote "spay" instead of "spray"!
Spray-on clothing - possible aeromodelling applications
Spray-on clothing is mentioned here: http://www.fabricanltd.com/index.php
I am pondering possible aeromodelling applications. These might include:
- Local fuselage strengthening - with alternate layers of material and epoxy resin.
- Making a fuselage by making a light former - possibly a space-frame covered with film - and then spraying layers of material interspersed with resin.
- Same with a wing.
- Varying thickness to give stepped varying strength and weight.
There must be many possibilities! What can you think of?
--
Chris

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On 09/20/2010 06:46 AM, Chris wrote:

After watching the video, all I can think is that when you do it to an airplane, your fuselage won't be sitting there thinking "I'm getting paid for this, I'm getting paid for this". Or perhaps "I have to get a new boyfriend, I have to get a new boyfriend".
This is done with fiberglass -- it's called "chopper gun layup". It's how you make shower stalls and cheap boats and other items where strength to weight isn't important. It takes a skilled operator to get an even layup, and it is exceedingly difficult to get sufficient material into inside corners without excessive build-up in the surrounding areas.
Fiberglass mat* is made with chopper-gun layup, too, with a low-strength binder instead of resin. But it's made on a flat platen or web, with a machine doing the spraying. So it comes out (hopefully) in a nice, even, controlled thickness, which higher-quality manufacturers then lay into molds by hand for much better quality control.
For comparison, Corvette bodies are made** in matched metal molds. A measured blob of goo that consists of chopped fibers mixed with a heat-sensitive polyester resin is deposited in some strategic spot (perhaps several) on the mold, then the matching piece is put in place, squishing the goo across the whole mold. Then steam is injected into the molds which activates the resin. The resin starts curing; when it's partially cured the part is taken from the mold and put onto a buck to finish curing, hopefully without warpage. As a way of making fiberglass parts it results in something that's even more overloaded with resin than chopper gun layup, but it is quick.
* Not veiling mat -- that has longer fibers. Veiling mat is available in both fiberglass and carbon fiber. I don't know if there's an equivalent to fiberglass mat in carbon fiber, but if there is it's probably made the same way, backed up by some very frustrated mechanical engineers trying to keep the chopper blades sharp.
** Well, possibly _were_ made -- my information may be out of date.
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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