Forums > Technical Discussion > Some sort of fireproof plastic sheet?

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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:I'm trying to make a flaming stunt kite. Basically, what I'm looking for is a material that's very thin and lightweight, durable, non-absorbant, and totally fireproof. I'm planning to make the frame out of fibreglass or graphite, with the bridle made of kevlar string. I'll have kevlar wicks at strategic points along the frame, or perhaps kevlar rope along the outer edge. I just can't figure out what to make the wings out of. Any suggestions? Thanks!

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:Won't be extremely durable, but cheap and easy to replace.... you considered simple tin/aluminum foil?

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[noodles]
[noodles]

*Property of Pigeon Wigeon*
Location: Locked In Pigeons Chimney
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
Total posts: 893
Posted:Fireblanket maybe? Not sure how well it'd work and it's not exactly light weight but it's all I can think of. I've also had a few thoughts about a flaming kite but yeah, material for the wing is the needed bit.

Could somebody stop the room please... I'd like to get off

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:If you google under fireproof fabrics lots of possibilities come up... no expereince with any of them, but sounds interesting! Curious to see how it will work, hope you post pics and a vid!

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:Hello Sparkey,
Both Fibre glass and carbon fibre WILL burn if you get them hot enough, or more accurately the RESIN holding the fibres in place will burn.

Aluminium foil melts quite easily as well: not a great amount of heat required, and it certainly becomes weaker after heating and more likely to tear, even when it has cooled down again.

I would suggest that before you construct anything big that you perform pretty intense "testing to destruction" on your materials, think how much pull you feel on a stunt kite... How will your materials stand up to the kind of forces you will be exerting on them?

Try to get some samples of all materials you are considering using, set them on fire and seriously traumatise them, bend-twist-pull-fold them, both hot AND cold, before and after fire.

Don't get me wrong :-) this is a truley tasty idea which I wish I had thought of first, just be d#mned carefull what you use constructing it..... And first time out please fly it on a big, empty, sandy beach, Preferably just after it's been raining!

We want photos when it works!
best of luck,
M


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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Be very careful of so called "fireproof" fabrics because what most of them actually are is flame retardant/resistant. This does not mean they will not catch fire, it just means they have a treatment on them that will slow down how fast they will catch fire and they will usually smolder rather than burst into flames.

Squarefish is right, the only way you are going to find a suitable fabric is to run tests. Stress the fabric to the max and see if it is still flameproof. Take lots of care when you do it, wear goggles and protective gloves etc.

Good Luck!


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Moka
Moka

is a medium/large scary man
Location: Victoria, Australia, Earth, Mi...
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
Total posts: 420
Posted:Go to a welding supplier, alot of welders use a fireproof plastic screen/curtain (much like a shower curtain) for segregating welders from the rest of the factory/workshop they are slightly tinted to stop welding blindness but may be a little thick for what you want. Worth a try though...

And these are actually certified firePROOF even with white-hot sparks from welding they won't catch fire...


Contact juggling was invented by dung beetles.

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Docta
Docta

member
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 20th Oct 2005
Total posts: 81
Posted:I don't think fire proof and plastic belong in the same sentance do they???

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kuno
newbie

Member Since: 10th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3
Posted:What i have done in the past, on a 2 string kite is replace a section of the flying string with thin wire around 2 meters before you get to the kite, in the centre of the wire make 2 attachment points. twisted length of around 4" wick as long as the bridle width and secure between each point on the wire,

although the actual kite isn't on fire it still looks good in the dark and keeps full control of the kite.

sorry not good instructions but hopefully you get my point.

hope this helps

russ


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Moka
Moka

is a medium/large scary man
Location: Victoria, Australia, Earth, Mi...
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
Total posts: 420
Posted:Written by: Docta

I don't think fire proof and plastic belong in the same sentance do they???


As I mentioned this plastic is treated (probably by some voodoo magic) and it guarenteed to be fireproof...


Contact juggling was invented by dung beetles.

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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Hang on a minute . .



umm



Other than that, I can be of no help.

Sorry.


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:Moka those curtains are ment to stop the sparks, slag and to some degree the UV light from welding, not to be magical fireproof sheets of wonder. They can and will burn when exposed to open flames.

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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:"I don't think fire proof and plastic belong in the same sentance do they??? "

Ever heard of Kevlar smile ?

"Moka those curtains are ment to stop the sparks, slag and to some degree the UV light from welding, not to be magical fireproof sheets of wonder. They can and will burn when exposed to open flames."

Bother. That sounded promising, although I had suspected that might be the case.


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:"totally fireproof" ??? well I certainly cannot help with something like this and those courtains are certainly not "lightweight"...

all I can suggest are those translucent sheets that are used for colouring the spotlights. photographers use them, stage-lighters use them. they are far from cheap and "totally fireproof" is in my doubting. "cinefoil" is another term popping up in my mind... check a theatre- cinema- photostudio- supplystore for them.

sorry for not being a great help here... shrug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Docta
Docta

member
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 20th Oct 2005
Total posts: 81
Posted:Written by: sparkey

"I don't think fire proof and plastic belong in the same sentance do they??? "

Ever heard of Kevlar smile ?





Dude I don't think Kevlar is "plastic" as such.........but I don't wanna get too technical on you..........It was just a comment made for laughs you know ha ha and all that............Boy, there's some serious dudes on this website Sheeeesh !

Doc wink


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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:"Boy, there's some serious dudes on this website"

Yup biggrin


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[noodles]
[noodles]

*Property of Pigeon Wigeon*
Location: Locked In Pigeons Chimney
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
Total posts: 893
Posted:On a slightly separate note. Tesco do some great kites. 8 for a 2 line parafoil one and 5 for a smaller delta style stunt kite (again 2 line). They are fun and I'm going to experiment with a adding a little something glowing to them because flying a kite at night is fun. biggrin

Could somebody stop the room please... I'd like to get off

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:I still say the heaviest duty tin/aluminum cooking foil you can find is going to be your best bet.. It probably won't last too long but for fire durability, weight, and price I'd say it's worth a shot.... Plus it's shiny so it'll look like you've got more fire than you do wink

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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:Aluminum really wouldn't work. To be durable enough to withstand the heat and air pressure, it would be too heavy to be properly kite-like.

Perhaps my supreme ultimate miracle material doesn't exist after all. Oh, well, I can always light something else on fire.


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:well I just reread your description up there... why not just find something as close as you can to what you want and modify your frame a little bit to extend the wicks further away from the 'wing'.. kind like how fire hoopers put the wicks on arms sticking out, its not like anyone would notice if you're flying it at night

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Isn't balance going to be a problem then Lurch? The wicks on both sides would have to have the exact same amount of fuel on them and burn at the same rate or one side would end up heavier than the other..... That is if I'm understanding your extention of the frame plan right.

Maybe that wouldn't be a problem? I don't know enough about kites to say.


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:I don't know a whole lot about kites either, so I would say it would depend on how its going to be controlled. I do believe most 'stunt kites' have to control lines coming off them them so one should be able to adjust for balance... Maybe.. Who knows..

I don't think fire directly to a fiberglass frame is a good idea though..


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Docta
Docta

member
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 20th Oct 2005
Total posts: 81
Posted:Written by: Lurch


well I just reread your description up there... why not just find something as close as you can to what you want and modify your frame a little bit to extend the wicks further away from the 'wing'.. kind like how fire hoopers put the wicks on arms sticking out, its not like anyone would notice if you're flying it at night





Written by: Skulduggery


Isn't balance going to be a problem then Lurch? The wicks on both sides would have to have the exact same amount of fuel on them and burn at the same rate or one side would end up heavier than the other..... That is if I'm understanding your extention of the frame plan right.



Maybe that wouldn't be a problem? I don't know enough about kites to say.







Don't know about you guys, but if I were going to all this trouble to make a super flaming kite, I'd what it to be a super flaming STUNT kite, that I controlled with two hands, and it'd be darting all over the sky, lighting up at night in a firey blaze of glory, so the rate at which the fuel burns and exact lengths of trailing wick arms or whatever would be somewhat negligible. Or you could have a kite the doesn't wizz around the sky, and just flaps up there in the breeze, and have to worry about all that other stuff..............trailing burn rates or whatever.



Anyhow........





Doc smile

EDITED_BY: Docta (1137283282)


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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:


__________ kite
/
/ wire
/
*---------* fire platform
/
/wire
/
0
/II\ pilot
/ \

= solution!
Sorry rushed post,figure it out guys.
(Wire held in hand not attached to cranium)


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SonicalFlair
SonicalFlair

newbie
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2005
Total posts: 4
Posted:would Nomex work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomex


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Sporky
Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow
Member Since: 25th Jul 2005
Total posts: 663
Posted:If you can get a thin enough sheet then I'm sure it will but I think its very expensive (not sure though so don't hold me to that).

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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Kathain_Bowen
Kathain_Bowen

Good Ol' Yarn For Hair
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Member Since: 24th Jan 2006
Total posts: 422
Posted:Okay, so looking at this rationalliy, I would have to agree with the people making recommendations to use kevlar wicks on the frame. I do think the idea of a flaming kite would be interesting, but I don't see exactly how it would work.

For one, it's going to be truly hard to find something that will fit an additional quality as per performance aspect that I don't think has been addressed. People have already pointed out a need to find a material that is going to be both durable to withstand the heat of the fire, but also lightweight enough to allow for flying. You're also going to need something that is going to be a good fuel carrier, wicking it as opposed to just pooling it on the surface (*people don't generally like fire splashing at them)

Ok, so looking at that, most of your lightweight fabrics and materials are going to have a thin, but tight weave to it. You're already rather limited as per the materials you can send up just because of the nature of kite flying. The material is only going to get heavier with fuel. You can compensate for this by carefully selecting kite design and experimenting with kites that will have more lift to handle the increased load on them. Or, perhaps, you could adjust the design of the particular stunt kite you favor to handle the additional weight of the fuel.

I'd probably start by studying indoor and low wind kites. They're aleady designed to compensate lifting a load (while very small in this case a very small and slight load due to ultralight materials) with very little current or force applied to them. <a href="http://www.windpowersports.com/kites/stunt/indoor.html">Wind Power Sports</a> has a bunch of indoor or low wind kites based off of one style of design, and I want to say Go Fly a Kite should have cheaper models if you decide to Franken-Kite one of them.

At any rate, experiment with designing a kite with the comfortable control and movement that you want but with the ability to either haul a slightly heavier load than usual, or the ability to fly in low wind conditions just as easily as moderate winds.

I know, I know, you're thinking, "Fuel, big deal. Not a hell of a lot of wieght."

Still, better to be precautious.

The real beef of pointing all that out is: burn time. I'm betting you're probably going to have an exceptionally slim burn time on the actual material burn. Any wicks would have a decent burn time. So, I'd prolly agree with the aforementioned recommendation to use a shiny or reflective material to maximize the appearance of the flames, if at all possible. This way, once the material goes out- you still have the impression of it from the wicks' reflections.

Ok, so, you've got the kite in the air. Here's where I'd have to agree with most to select a rather desolate patch of beach or desert to practice. My biggest concern for you, as opposed to the aforementioned design considerations, is less in regards to those notes. I'm sure you've already thought of that. My biggest concern, however, is small, flaming chunks of fabric breaking away from the kite and becoming little bits of flying doom. Many thinner materials are either going to smolder, melt, and shrink, or just break apart when engulfed to the point of destruction.

Just have your safety techs ready with fire blanket and extinguisher on hand and avoid any dune and grass preservation areas, particularly in dry seasons. And, as always, bring you friends with access to video, digital or traditional cameras to document the event for all to see.

Happy burning, let me know how it turns out.

(oh, and onto a more relevent note: try swcoping out McMaster-Carr. They might have something of interest as per flame retardants or other fun toys that might be helpful with your experiments!)


"So long and thanks for all the fish."

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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:The extra weight in fuel is exactly why I don't want the material of the kite to be absorbant. I think I mentioned that someplace, but no matter. The integrety of the kite shouldn't be a problem; the wicks will be secured quite well so they won't fall off. The only problem would be if the wings aren't sufficiently fireproof, and therein lies the problem. I'm currently wondering if there's anything I could use to coat some lightwieght cloth, perhaps cotton, to make it both flame proof and non-absorbant. Oh, and Mr. Flair and Senior Spatulaphile: Nomex is essentially the same thing as Kevlar, with only a few different properties.

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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