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Forums > Technical Discussion > Maintaining Used Kevlar on Staff/Poi

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Aish


member
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Total posts: 38
Posted:What's the best thing to do when you're finished with a burn? I usually have some kevlar left.

How many uses can I get out of a roll at the end of my staff?

When do I know its a good time to put fresh (kevlar) stuff on?


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W. B. Yeats

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Taniwha


member
Location: Aotearoa

Total posts: 138
Posted:Dude, u need to like soak it in kero for awhile before and after each burn. I just leave it in there till i need it again. It can last quite afew years if its good kev and u look after it.

Usually when its badly frayed and starting to fall off the bolts is when i replace it. But some people are fiends and change it all the time. Really depends on the condition of the kev.


Its all just smoke and mirrors

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Astar


member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.

Total posts: 1591
Posted:there is no reason to leave it soaking in kero all the time. Just soak it for a few seconds after a burn to completly extinguish the wick and spin it off and leave it be.

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:when u first get the stick if u soak it in kero for 24 hours each end then light it and let it burn (dont spin it) this seals the wick. when the flame starts to go down smother it with a damn rag then repeat the process 5 times. this will seal the wick so that when u spin you are burning the fuel and not your wick. for the first 50-100 burns it is important to dunk your stick after you finish as this stops the wick from smoldering on the inside, (if you soak the wick and seal it before you put it on the stick you wont have such a big problem with smoking sticks.

when you flame goes out quickly and doesnt burn bright anymore its time to move on to new wick. how long till that happens depends on how well u look after you wick and what surfaces u twirl on, for example cement is much more damaging to wick than grass.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:In my experience, and maybe i am using a different ype of wick...

But, I've done the dunk and light and smother duk light and smother deals several times and notiuced no difference at all in the wick times.

For me, th emost important hing to do is make sure the wick is thoroughly soaked so there is no air pockets in the middle. About 1 minute or two at the most compltely submerged in fuel.

Astar, I beg to differ on the few seconds soaking concept.If you are not going to light up again soon, then soak it for as long as it takes for the wick to cool down, this could be a few seconds or even a few minutes, depending on the size of the wicks, the temp of the fuel and the environemntal temperature.

In my opinion of course...


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:charles, the point in the light smother relight is to seal the wick, so if u spin lots without doing it in a row this will effectivly seal the wick as it will have lots of burn time and you wont notice a difference

but if you light up the new stick and leave it for a bit it may smolder causing your wick to burn which will shorten the life of the wick. so its just a being safe measure to ensure that your wick has a long and healthy life.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Aish


member
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Total posts: 38
Posted:correct me if i'm wrong, but wouldnt soaking a wick ater a burn ignite the fuel in the soaking container? I mean even if its put out and smoldering, its still bound to have a little spark in there. Whats the best WAY to put it out? I just blow em out, but I hear thats bad for the wick.

Aish

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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W. B. Yeats

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MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:Some people actually put their flaming poi out by dunking it in fuel. The flash rating of most fuels are low enough that if you dunk it quick, it wont ignite. Smoldering poi will probably never ignite fuel but those who want to be extra safe usually have a wet towel that they wrap their poi in after a burn for a short time to cool them down. Then put em back in the fuel.

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Ug... this is the one topic that I care about more than I should. I don't know why it bugs me... well actually I do.

The point is:
No one has any evidence that presoaking a wick or prelighting or seasoning or marinading or anything else actually does anything. Yet, they insist on posting about it as if it were handed to them on tablets from Moses.

As far as I know only one experiment using identical poi during the same period was done... by me. And it showed no difference.

People have certainly done the whole "well I used to have a set that I didn't soak and my girlfriend used sometimes and I left in the rain once and they didn't last as long as the ones I made from totally different kevlar and took better care of and didn't hit on the ground as much because I presoaked them" game...

It's a really easy experiment kids. You start out with two poi/staff ends right? Soak one, treat one, dip one, whatever... for a year. And if the one you didn't treat/dip/soak lasts longer MORE THAN HALF THE TIME in all of our poi years... let me know.

I'm not as cranky as this post makes me seem but this topic has been going on FOREVER and more people are comfortable preaching rumor and wives tales that they overheard than actually testing it themselves. There is no kevlar authority. Not Dupont, not the Poi Gods.

Prove me wrong or prove me right but if you haven't tested it then how can one have an opinion?


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Sterlingspider
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

Sterlingspider

Senator by day, Sith Lord by night.
Location: Suffolk, New York

Total posts: 128
Posted:I will say one thing about the "curing" though it really has nothing to do with wick life or anything...

Doing it this first time I made fire heads gave me a really good opportunity to get a feel for just what it takes to put out a merrily burning wick with a damp towel. This gave me tonnes more confidence in dealing with fire for the first time and in informing my Safety what to do to help me put out my wicks when they started to burn down.

Whether it will extend the life of my wick... I dunno, but at least it gave me /somthing/ positive. Perhaps when this set dies I will try not "curing" the next ones since I have already learned what I think was the best lesson that curing can give. Though soaking them constantly in the fuel is just easier for me as I have a handy dandy empty paint can to throw 'em into which keeps my life far less stinky.


"If the human brain were simple enough for us to understand, we would be too simple to understand it"
-Emerson M Pugh

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:NYC i guess the reason i believe in curing the wick is that u can tell someone its important to soak your stick straight after you have burnt with it but they will still forget to do it. so why is curing the wick a good thing? well once the wick is cured (or just been burnt fully such that all the kevlar is black) the wick doesnt burn the fuel does.

but before this occurs if a person with a new stick forgets to dunk their stick after burning the kevlar will smolder and this does shorten the wicks life. so by getting the new twirler to cure their wick if they forget to dunk their stick the effect of it isnt so bad.

the second stick i made lasted a much shorter time than my first because i let others use it who wherent redunking it after burning and letting it smolder rather than blowing the wick out when it got really small. and yes i cured it and it still burns but my first stick which i always redunk still burns longer

doing the experiment you sugest will show that there is no difference because you will dip the stick after burning it so it wont smolder so it will last the same ammount of time.

so if u are an experienced twirler and do the whole redunking thing and treat your wick right then no u dont need to cure it but as a general rule to help out incase ppl forget to redunk after for whatever reason curing will help minimise the damaged caused from the initial burning period of the stick before the wick self cures


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I've never redunked in my life.

It might help. But I'm not willing to suggest or advocate that without a side by side experiment.

I'm unwilling to accept a comparison of 'the wicks I used before' compared to 'the wicks I use now' because there are too many other variables.

When conducting my presoaking experiment both wicks (presoaked and not presoaked) wore out faster than my first pair that I had made which I did not presoak either wick. Clearly something else was different. I'm not going to start running around and suggesting that presoaking shortens wick life.

Poi/Staff wicks come in pairs. The experiment is screaming to be done. Do it side by side!


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Thanks for your post NYC, I fully agree that people seem to be advising presoaking new wick and lighting it putting it out etc..., without any real evidence that it does anything.

In my experience the single most effective way to ensure your wicks last well is to soak them in fuel immediatly you stop spinning. I know this works because if you don't the wicks smoulder which means they are burning.

I also believe that it helps if you cease the spin while the flames are still fairly big as, by the same logic, the less fuel is on them the more it is going to be the actual wick which is burning.

A tip for putting out biggish flames is to learn to smother them with sheets of newspaper, as they can be very difficult to blow out.

If anyone knows of any reasons for why pre-curing should work I would be very interested in hearing them.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Aish


member
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Total posts: 38
Posted:Whoa.
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I didn't think people took this stuff so personally.

So whats the best way to put out my poi?

1.Blow out, Throw a damp towel over wick and "cure" in fuel.
2.Blow out and "cure" in fuel.
3.Blow out.
4.Throw a damp towel over wick and "cure".
5.Throw a damp towel over wick.

And furthermore, whats the best way to store them ater theyve been lit? Do they need cool air or something?

Aish

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[ 08. July 2003, 13:19: Message edited by: Aish ]


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W. B. Yeats

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I agree completely with NYC, in that we shoudl all look at WHY we are making statement and whether they are actually based on actual experiments or figures.

Ben-ja-men - I must admit to being confused, how does talking about 'curing' a wick help to prevent people from stopping their wicks from smouldering? From what I can read, this seems to be your arguement but i amy have it wrong becuase it doens't make any sense to me at all.

Oh, and for everyone elses information, I did a calculation about how long my wicks last and an aproximate cost of wick per burn.

Bearing in mind I am VERY hard on my wicks, dropping them on concrete all the time, going for dozens of burns immediately after one another and leaving them smouldering all the time.

It ended up being about 2 cents US per burn. In which case, don't worry about it!

Your fuel costs are going to be the major cost factor out of everything so forget preserving the wick and try to get a discount on your fuel.

In my opinion, of course


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:ok if the wick is smoldering it lasts less time

if you put a wick that has been cured into a fire with no fuel in it it will not burn (it may burn a little as the reminants of fuel burn off)

if you put a wick that has not been cured or soaked at all into a fire it will burn (u have to hold it there for a bit but it does burn)

this is the actual kevlar burning not the fuel.

when the kevlar burns it deteriorates

hence curing the wick seals it such that if you put a flame to it when it has no fuel in it it wont burn

hence curing the wick will make it last longer when it is miss treated (by not being dunked straited after or being left to burn when the flame gets small)

if you are an avid fire twirler and burn dunk reburn you will get the same effect as if you cure it. when the wick is totally black it is cured. you may notice that when your wick goes out it smokes less with time this is why, as with time it is only the fuel that is burning

NYC if you have never redunked i hope that you drink lots of water after twirling as the smoke that comes of the wick is quite toxic.

there are many other factors that affect how long wick lasts for
- how tight the wick is wound
- if there is glue put on the ends to stop it fraying
- if it is twirled on a hard surface
- if it is burnt regularly
- if it is burnt multiple times in a row on each occassion or if there are gaps in between
- if it is dunked after being used
- if it is twirled till the flames go out or if it is blown out when the flames are low
- if it is used to fire breath as the concentrated temperature causes the wicks to be damaged
- what fuel is used
- how fast it is twirled (affects the stick going out early and smoking away)

im sure there are many more variables, however curing them will make them last longer as it will make sure they burn the fuel not the wick


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:So ben-ja-men, does this mean that you can get the same effect as curing by simply ensuring prompt dipping on your first few burns.

I ask this because I have usually seen 'curing' presented as being some special process with specific advice as to lighting for just a few seconds, and not spinning the poi during the curing process.

Whereas (correct me if I'm wrong) you're saying that the same effect is achieved by the prompt dipping of wicks after the first few burns (which I completely agree with)


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Tempest


addict
Location: Sheffield

Total posts: 522
Posted:Is this really needed?

If your entire wick is soaked well, before a burn and dunked soon after a burn, its all good. Wicks should be kept moist whenever possible to prolong their life. I keep my wicks wrapped in plastic so they are airtight.

quote:you may notice that when your wick goes out it smokes less with time this is why, as with time it is only the fuel that is burning Actually, my wicks smoke more the warmer they get. After 5 burns they smoke loads more when they go out than after 1.

Charles was much more on the ball with the fuel comment, we spend a shed load more on fuel than kevlar over the year but the only talk of being economical with fuel is on this thread There are even a couple of little vids.


This word 'cure'. Its not curing anything, just soaking and burning. All that happens is oxides gather on the surface as when you burn any material.


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:quote: So ben-ja-men, does this mean that you can get the same effect as curing by simply ensuring prompt dipping on your first few burns.yes as long as you blow it out before the fire gets to small (some ppl smother rather than blowing it out)

quote: I ask this because I have usually seen 'curing' presented as being some special process with specific advice as to lighting for just a few seconds, and not spinning the poi during the curing process. its like in maths where you get taught in bits that are relevant to your particular stage whereas later on not all of the steps are necessary, like in high school they teach you that calculus is about finding the area under a curve, then at university the first thing they tell you is to forget everything they taught you at high school.

by presenting curing as a special process that must be done everyone does it, rather than saying burn your wicks several times in a row dunking straight after you finish your burn, as the new twirler may get distracted by any number of things and not soak their wick and leave it smoldering.

quote: Whereas (correct me if I'm wrong) you're saying that the same effect is achieved by the prompt dipping of wicks after the first few burns (which I completely agree with) yes as a good practise i would say for all burns just to stop any smokeyness

quote:
If your entire wick is soaked well, before a burn and dunked soon after a burn, its all good. Wicks should be kept moist whenever possible to prolong their life. I keep my wicks wrapped in plastic so they are airtight. yes ive found plastic melts when it comes in contact with kero though

quote: Actually, my wicks smoke more the warmer they get. After 5 burns they smoke loads more when they go out than after 1. i was actually refering to as weeks and months pass, i think you are refering to when you redunk in the kero rather than the smoke coming off the wick itself when it goes out

quote: Charles was much more on the ball with the fuel comment, we spend a shed load more on fuel than kevlar over the year but the only talk of being economical with fuel is on this thread There are even a couple of little vids.as far as money goes yes, for me my staff is my staff and its special to me i find i develope a familiarity with it over time and slight differences occur from staff to staff i like my staff to last as long as possible to stop from going through that rediscovery process maybe thats just me though

quote: This word 'cure'. Its not curing anything, just soaking and burning. to cure means to perserve a product so i think its kinda an applicable name

to summarise i think that the curing process is a valuable ritual to promote for the breaking in of a new stick such that people who are unaware of the effects of not redunking a stick dont accidently damage their stick. for pyros who burn none stop it makes no difference either way but i think that their is merit in promoting the curing process to avoid accidental unintesional damage


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Actually, I'm bumping this up because somehow I expressed myself on the 'curing' 'redunking' rumors and wives tales much better here than on the recent threads.

If 'curing' actually does protect a wick then I support it's use as a word, but using the word 'cure' without any real evidence that the wick is protected is a bit silly.

Bah... I said it better above...

"Prove me wrong or prove me right but if you haven't tested it then how can one have an opinion?"


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Ben-ja-men.

You say when you stick the kevlar in a fire uncured the kevlar itself burns...How hot is this fire?

I know the wick here at HomeofPoi will resist degradation until it reaches at least 650 degrees F. The kevlar in the wick wouldn't burn at all.

Perhaps putting it in a fire that has been burning for several hours and near hot coals will destroy your wick. But the Kevlar itself shouldn't burn like cotton or some other combustable material. It will simply flake off and degrade, but it won't feed any energy into the fire itself.

Well, thats my understanding of the substance anyway...


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Deimos
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Deimos

Cinnamon Girl
Location: Hfx, NS, Canada

Total posts: 191
Posted:Man, I just read this whole thread and realized everything that the girl I spin with is killing her wicks! Once, she got really pissed that her wicks were smouldering so bad and she assumed that there was still fire so she beat her poi against the ground... now it's all frayed and scary looking. I'll inform her to redunk now, and to be kinder to future wicks!

P*L*U*R

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:The old curing story. I wish I knew where this started. So far, noone has explained the mechanism behind curing. I don't buy it.

The story about keeping wicks moist also doesn't seem to have any logical mechanism behind it.

Immediately re-soaking after extinguishing one's wicks does seem to make some sense. I haven't done parallel testing of this, but heat is clearly destructive to wicking (yes, even Kevlar). One thing I have found is that bigger wicks burn hotter, and deteriorate more quickly. This was a surprising (to me) result, but there you have it. Minimizing exposure to heat by quenching the wicks should help the lifespan.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:quote: You say when you stick the kevlar in a fire uncured the kevlar itself burns...How hot is this fire?

I know the wick here at HomeofPoi will resist degradation until it reaches at least 650 degrees F. The kevlar in the wick wouldn't burn at all. 650 K is only 380 C

"The outer core of the candle flame is light blue -- 1670 K (1400 C). That is the hottest part of the flame"

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/JaneFishler.shtml
br>
this is for a candle, bearing in mind that the wick is in contact with the hotest part of the flame all the way through the burn. So the bigger your wick the hotter the temperature ....

"Will not burn or smolder"
http://www.thermostatic.com/techdata/kevlardata.shtml
br>
this is under normal use though not when it has been soaked in a flamable liquid and set on fire.


quote: Extinguishing equipment:

Blow out fire from the bottom of the wicking. If they don't go out after two blows place them on the ground and smother them with a damp towel. (Do not smother with a damp towel if that gear needs to be reused later in the performance. In an emergency, USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Do not let the kevlar wick smolder, as it will not last as long

http://www.homeofpoi.com/fuel.htm


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:quote:this is for a candle, bearing in mind that the wick is in contact with the hotest part of the flame all the way through the burn. So the bigger your wick the hotter the temperature ....Ah, I'll have to disagree with you there - College chemistry has told me otherwise. The hottest part of the flame is what's called the C sector. Here's a crappy drawing:
code:
[Top of flame]
__
/D \
/ \
/ \
/ C \
| |
| |
\ B /
\ /
\ A /
\ /
[Heat Source]Consider this is 2 dimensional, and in three dimensions, A would be right at the surface of your poi, whereas C would be suspended quite a bit farther away from the heat source, or fuel/kevlar. Try it: Melt something right at the surface of the flame, and melt it 2/3 of the way up the flame, and it will melt SIGNIFICANTLY faster 2/3 of the way up.

Further, you say the larger your flame the hotter it is... quite the opposite. The larger the flame the COOLER the surface of the kevlar, as point C is a further distance away from the surface.

Edit: Here's a better picture... the flame is the hottest where it starts turning purple, inside the red part.


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Yeah...thats what i thought too, i had to go home and do some research which baby didn;t let me do so thatnk you, Millienium, much appreciated.

Also, Ben-ja-min, your link says that Kevalr doesn't burn or smoulder. That's correct, but kevlar wick isn't made soley out of kevlar, as 100% has a very low asborbancy, and looks all yellow and waxy.

This why towelling soaks up so much more fuel than wicking, and also why it falls apart after a burn or two, rather than the wicking whichlast for flippin ages.

Most kevlar fire wicks are a combination of kevlar and/or cotton and/or fibreglass.

It is the cotton first of all that smoulders/burns.


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:MillenniuM i thought that the flame structure was as u drew it with a layer around the outside that was a hotter temperature, i guess i was mistaken.

quote: The larger the flame the COOLER the surface of the kevlar, as point C is a further distance away from the surface. i get that the c spot is further away from the surface but wouldnt the overall temperature of all the points in the flame be hotter?

quote: It is the cotton first of all that smoulders/burns if thats true Charles then wouldnt the cotton burn away faster if the surface of the kevlar had not been oxidised ie burnt?


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Nope coz the cotton is on the OUTSIDE of a thread of kevlar!

Or sometimes woven with the cotton (but not many wicks are made like this).


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:quote:i get that the c spot is further away from the surface but wouldnt the overall temperature of all the points in the flame be hotter?Although the overall energy expensed is greater, as more excited atoms (fire) are moving, the temperature in any given point on the wick (excuse the lack of proper vernacular) is lower, only because of increased distance between the kevlar and point C. It's true that if you harnessed the energy released through the flame it would be a larger amount than having a smaller flame, temperature per area would remain similar.

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5. Learn > How to make your own gear > Fire Poi > What to use as wick? *help/resource misleading  saying that aramids or kevlar do not burn or degrade is far from...

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