On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 15:44:53 -0700, David Erbas-White
Since the foam appears to be sprayed-on and cured in-place (similar to
the two-part polyurethane foam many of us have used), I have an idea:
Simply stretch some kind of "netting" woven out of fiberglass, kevlar,
or carbon fiber over the outside of a bunch of foam spacers that have
been glued at intervals to the surface of the tank (or "dollops" of
the same foam), and then spray on the foam so that the netting is
embedded just below the surface of the final foam layer. To visualize
this, think of a high-tech cross between the nylon mesh netting that
forms a "carry bag" for Butterball turkeys, and the wire mesh
supported on concrete blocks that is used for reinforcing poured
concrete slabs, like driveways.
The fiber net would be lightweight, but very strong in tension, and
would "toughen" the surface of the foam, holding any cracked pieces
larger than the gaps in the net firmly in position. That way, even if
the foam cracks into huge chunks, it won't fall off the tank and
damage anything during ascent.
- Rick "dollops?" Dickinson
Rick Dickinson - email@example.com
National Association of Rocketry (NAR) # 73975 Level 2
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