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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Hey everyone. I was lookin around and i found a place near me that sells composite materials. So i was wondering...
What is the best material to use for fire poi. Ok, here are my choices.
First material is Carbon fibre.
The different weaves and weights.
2/2 Twill - 95g
2/2 Twill - 240g
Plain -90g
Plain - 200g

Then we have Kevlar.
2/2 Twill - 300g
Plain - 175g

Next is Carbon/Kevlar.
2/2 Twill - 188g

And finally there is Alufibre (also known as Silver Glass). Its aluminium coated glass fiber.
2/2 Twill - 290g

There is also Carbon tape which is a plain weave. Cant remember the weight though.

So, what would you guys suggest?

I did try to do a quick search but my internet is quite limited on my phone.


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Paddington Bear
SILVER Member since Jan 2010

member
Location: , England (UK)

Total posts: 118
Posted:purely from familiarity if say kevlar but i have no expertise at all

fire is alive. it lives and breathes. it consumes and destroys. but we control it and live with it, we are fire dancers

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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:I suggest kevlar. I know something fiberglass based wouldn't turn out very well. Fine if it has some in it though. But think of it this way, there's a reason everyone uses Kevlar. I'm not sure what the properties of the others are, but I'm guessing Kevlar wins out since that's what we all use.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Scottie~MacK
GOLD Member since May 2008

Scottie~MacK

Naval High Comander
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Total posts: 31
Posted:Buy a small piece of each material that your really interested in and experiment with them. Burn the hell out of them and watch what happens. Maybe,try different fuels, high temp may melt the fiberglass?
EDITED_BY: Scottie~MacK (1294585491)
EDIT_REASON: Im a crapy spelor


Originally Posted By: Pablo PicassoI am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Now why didnt i think of that? I did see that they sold sample packs, so i think i'll have to give it a go. Only problem is, i wouldnt be able to compare how well they hold their fuel.
Anyone else have any ideas what is best before i go spending money?


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Scottie~MacK
GOLD Member since May 2008

Scottie~MacK

Naval High Comander
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Total posts: 31
Posted:Maybe you could take a same sized piece of each and have a measuring cup with fuel and soak each one individually and see how much fuel is absorbed. Though you have to account for spin off somehow, how much fuel will stay in the wick. I wish I had a similar store around me, I think it would be a fun experiment. If you try it out let us know the results!

Originally Posted By: Pablo PicassoI am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Yea, that would work to see how much they absorb. My main problem would be its ability to hold the fuel though.
Looks like its gonna have to be trial and error lol.
I'll pick up one of their sample packs tomorow and see what happens. I recon my 3000C blow torch should do the trick lol.
I found the place by googling composites in my area. Also, have a look on ebay. You can get carbon, kevlar... from there.


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Ok. So I went down to the composites place and had a chat with one of the lads. He was very helpful and knew exactly what i wanted to do. He showed me the differences between carbon, kevlar and alufibre. He said that kevlar should be the best to use. After a nice chat, he gave me some off-cuts of 2/2 carbon, 2/2 kevlar and some 2/2 alufibre.
For free! When i got home, my first impressions... How fragail! The 2/2 twill weave is a very loose weave and it makes it very difficult to work with.
My next test was heat resistance. I pulled out one of the weaves from each and held them infront of a blow torch. A good 3000 degrees ish.
First up was the alufibre... No good at all. Looks pretty, but it just melts into a blob of glass.
Next was the kevlar... Good, but it burns away.
Finally, carbon. Now the guy said to me that this would burn away. It did, but nowhere near as fast as the kevlar. I was quite surprised.
Next test in next post (im limited to 1024 characters)


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Now, the next test was, how well they behave as fire poi.
I wraped each of the materials around a flat steel bar type thing with holes in. I never bothered with the alufibre though. The carbon and kevlar were ok to wrap, once the edges were folded in, but to make the hole for the bolt to go through the middle was quite difficult with the kevlar.
Once i made my crude fire poi, i soaked them in a lamp oil then put them to the test.
I gave them both a quick spin off then had the carbon in one hand and the kevlar in the other. I lit them and spun away. They both lit easy, but the kevlar seemed to go out fairly quick. In fact, the carbon lasted 2 or 3 times longer than the kevlar. Tried to relight it, but it didnt last.
I did this test a second time, with a bit more fuel and got the same result.
So, from these basic tests, it seems that carbon fibre is the way forward.
So, on my next pay day, i shall be purchasing some more carbon and making myself some space age fire poi and see how things go.


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Scottie~MacK
GOLD Member since May 2008

Scottie~MacK

Naval High Comander
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Total posts: 31
Posted:Nice! Thanks for the update! What's the price difference between the kevlar Vs carbon fiber?

Post a pic of your poi once you've got them finished, space age indeed! If your future poi hold true to your tests you may have a very impressive burn time. What kind of poi head are you going to make?


Originally Posted By: Pablo PicassoI am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:No problem. Just trying to get poi to grow and evolve.
Price difference. Actually, not much at all.
2/2 195g carbon is 20 for a 1m x 1m square.
Plain 200g carbon is 20 for a 1m x 1m square.
2/2 300g kevlar is 20 for a 1m x 1m square.
Plain 175g kevlar is 18.56 for a 1m x 1m square.
Finally 2/2 188g carbon/kevlar is 21 for a 1m x 1m square.
If its ok with the mods, here is their website.
easycomposites.co.uk
Oh, dont forget, even though the prices are the same, the weights are different and VAT (tax) is added after as well.
Once i get my poi made, i'll definatly get some pics and vids posted.
Ok, type of fire poi? Not too sure yet. Dont think a cathedral would be good with cloth, but i'll be able to make it with carbon tape. Just need to work out what length i need.
I was thinking of making a basic cylinder type poi, or maybe a double cylinder depending on weight. Unles you could recomend the best type of poi for a newbie to fire.
Sorry its taking so long to reply, doing all this on my mobile.


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Scottie~MacK
GOLD Member since May 2008

Scottie~MacK

Naval High Comander
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Total posts: 31
Posted:Very Cool. I bought some kevlar rope just before you started your thread. I almost wish I hadn't! wink easycomposites.co.uk carbon fiber tape appeals to me

My preference for poi heads are the rope knot type, less exposed metal. I do have cylinder type which were made for me by a friend and they work quite well.

Good luck!


Originally Posted By: Pablo PicassoI am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Im sorry. I came up with the idea the other day when i was looking at alternatives to kevlar. Saw that people made denim poi as a cheap alternative. So i gave it a go to see how it behaved. Then started looking at other things like emergency fire blankets, nomex (used in race suites). Then, while i was on the thought of racing, i thought... CARBON! I wikied it, googled it and then i came on here.
I shouldave come here first.
I was thinking of the carbon tape as well, because that would be best for cathedrals. Although I think i'll start off with the cylinder style. That way, I can show off the fact that its a 'Space Age' Carbon fibre fire poi, because theres more of the fabric surface on display.
Oh, before anyone says anything. I do NOT reccomend using denim for fire poi. It works, but does not last and will break away and fly away while its still burning.


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:I dont think thats true fibreglass. I think thats a plastic that looks like fibreglass or its plastic covered fibreglass.
I was given some alufibre with my samples. Basically, its tiny strands of fibreglass, coated in aluminium, bunched together, then woven into what looks like a shiny silver cloth. When i tested this with my blow torch, it just melted into a blob of glass and the aluminium just evapourated away. There was no smoke or fulmes or anythin.
Either way, its no good for fire poi because of the low melting point of the glass.
Im still waiting to get paid, so i can get enough carbon fibre to make a proper pair of poi.
When im done, i'll get you all some good pics and maybe a couple of vids.


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Ok, bit of an update on this.
Now that i have been paid, i went down to Easy Composites today to get a couple of sheets of carbon. I decided to get 2x 50cm x 100cm strips of 200g plain weave carbon. Its heavier that the 2/2 twill and its a tighter weave.
So, sometime over the weekend im gonna make up the carbon poi and put it to the test. I'll also get some pics and vids if i can find my camera.


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Oh, on another note.
While i was down at easy composites, the guy there showed me some new kevlar fabric that they got.
First is Kevlar Protective Felt.
Then Kevlar Protective Loopback Fabric (like the soft side of velcro).
The other is Heavyweight Protective Fleece.
I had a look at them... Sooo soft and fluffy lol.
He gave me a sheet 33cm x 33cm of the felt fabric to test and see how i get on.
Brought it home and had a good look at it. Its about as thick as 10 sheets of printer paper. Looks like it will hold a lot of fuel as well.
I cut off a tiny square and put it to the test with the blow torch. Still burns away but its better than the 2/2 twill weave. Dont forget though, the blow torch is about 3000 degrees C.
I rolled it round a 10mm pipe to see how big the poi would be and i managed to make a 100mm long x 40mm thick cylinder. So its a nice size. On its own, it only weighs 15g.
I will post back soon with more tests and stuff.


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Well, I have made a short vid for ypu guys to look at and make your own judgements.
Unfortunatly I didnt have any spare Kevlar weave to show you, but the Kevlar Felt behaved exactly the same way in the burn up test.

Ok, the the video itself.
1st part is a quick pic of a small piece of Kevlar Felt. Just a lil over 1cm square.
2nd part is the same piece, dipped in a lamp oil/lighter fluid mix (burns a bit hotter) then set alight. No squeesing out any excess fuel...
3rd part is the same piece again, subject to about 3000 degrees C. Well, I think thats what my blow torch burns at.
4th part is a strip of Carbon Fibre weave, folded into a loop and then put up against the blow torch. Now with this test, I am trying my best to cut it away and make it fail. Putting it up against the most powerful part of the flame.

Hopefully, some time this weekend I'll have a vid of the Kevlar Felt fire poi. Im just waiting for the glue to completly set. Its already made up (sorry, no pics yet) and is surprisingly VERY light.
Its made of 3 strips of Kevlar Felt about 10.5cm wide and each about 30cm long.
There is a steel tube core thats 12cm long, 10mm in diameter and a wall thickness of about 1.5-2mm (not 100% sure)
It has a couple of holes drilled through it for sewing wire through it to secure the wick and another for the chain.
The overall diameter of the wick once rolled onto the tube is about 4cm.
With all this and the weight of the glue, the fire head weighs in at a massive 41.2g.
So, some time this weekend, I'll show you it in action. And also, I should be constructing my Carbon Fibre fire heads as well and I'll get you some pics and vids of those as well.

Ok, so heres the video of the Kevlar vs Carbon.
Any questions... Please ask.

Enjoy smile



EDITED_BY: Night Crawler (1296915060)


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Scottie~MacK
GOLD Member since May 2008

Scottie~MacK

Naval High Comander
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Total posts: 31
Posted:Nice vid! It'll be interesting to see them in action!

Originally Posted By: Pablo PicassoI am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Right. The poi are all made up and are in the oven to set the glue.
The carbon fibre poi are quite heavy. They are 9cm long and about 5cm wide. Each weigh 130g (dry). To me, thats heavy. But I have never had proper fire poi.
The kevlar felt is about the same length but only 4cm wide. These only weigh 40g (dry).
Im just waiting for it to go dark now so i can put them to the test.
Watch this space tomorow for sum pics and vids on how they perform.


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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Hey guys (and gals smile ) Sorry for the delay, but here it is.
My Carbon Fibre poi and Kevlar Felt poi.
First off, I appologise about the quality of the video. Only camera I have is the one on my mobile phone.
Also, Ignore the poor spinning. Im more concentrating on how the poi are behaving.

Right, the vid... Well, the notes during the video pretty much explain everything really.
So, the Carbon.
I was quite impressed with how the Carbon Fibre performed, but I think it can be made better though.
The flames were not huge but a fair size to start with, but it soon settled down.
I think the problem is that the carbon was rolled up pretty tight and not allowing all the fuel to transfer from the core to the outside. I can tell this because the flames kept going out while spinning. When I finished recording the video, I relit them and kept them still. This allowed a further 6 to 7 mins of burning. I let them burn themself out so I could try and burn the carbon up, but it held itself together very well. There were a couple of stray weaves that were sticking out the side and even they were still there.
Im guesing that the best way to make a fire head with Carbon Fibre would either be a slimmer roll, or somehow make a cathedral wick instead. Only problem is, the weave in the carbon is quite a loose one, so it would have to be folded just right.

Now, the Kevlar Felt.
This seemed to be pretty good as well. It was a lot lighter than the carbon, weighing only 40g (dry). It soaked up quite a bit of fuel and held it, but when I spun it off, there was quite a bit collected. Probablty about half of it.
It behaved pretty well and held a fairly decent flame, but it lasted nowhere near as long as the Carbon.
With the Kevlar Felt, I think the best setup for this would be the cathedral again, purely because of the exposed surface area and with it being a felt, there wouldnt be any stray threads to worry about.

The cost of the stuff.
For the Carbon Fibre poi, I brought 2 strips (1 for each poi). 100cm long and each 50cm wide. This equates to the smallest 100 x 100 size that they sell (on their site). Only costs 20 + VAT (24). For this style poi, this would actually be too much carbon.

The Kevlar Felt was a 30cm x 30cm sheet cut into 3 10cm strips. This is the smallest size they do (on their site) and this costs 15.57 + VAT (18.68).
So it actually works out cheaper to buy the carbon.
All the details can be found on their site easycomposites.co.uk (I hope its ok for me to advertise them on here, because Matt is helping me out loads).
Also, here is a bit of info from wiki about Carbon Fibre and Kevlar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_%28fiber%29
br> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevlar


So... Here is the video as promised. It is quite boring, but its purely to show the differences between Carbon Fibre and Kevlar Felt.




Let me know what you guys think.

Also, I would like to give a special thanks to Matt from easycomposites.co.uk for supplying me with the samples and the full materials.

Oh, I have just come up with another idea. I might try making a Kevlar Felt and Carbon Fibre fire head. Sort of, sandwich the kevlar between 2 layers of Carbon Fibre or something. But this would have to wait a while.


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Scottie~MacK
GOLD Member since May 2008

Scottie~MacK

Naval High Comander
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Total posts: 31
Posted:Thanks for the video!

Originally Posted By: Pablo PicassoI am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:No probs.

Does anyone have any views / comments / suggestions?


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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:I think the resaon the carbon fiber had the weird burn-time properties is that it's not as absorbent and spongy as the Kevlar felt. So the fuel stays locked in the wick and very slowly makes its way to the outer layer to be burned. twocents

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:I dunno, I wouldnt say the Carbon Fibre was less absorbent, because when I fueled it up, I recon it pretty much doubled in weight. I do see your point with the fuel being locked in though and I'll have to try and work round that somehow. Maybe with a larger core and less carbon.
Im actually waiting for an email back from Matt to see what other products he can get hold of. Hopefully he will be able to get hold of something similar to the Kevlar tape from the HOP shop, but made of carbon instead.


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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:I think it's more about that it doesn't transfer fuel well. I'm not sure what the name for that property is so I just said spongy laugh3

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Night Crawler
BRONZE Member since Sep 2010

Night Crawler

newbie
Location: Staffordshire. UK

Total posts: 46
Posted:Lol, spongy is cool.
I think its something to do with cappilary action, or something.
Then again, thinking about that, the strands of carbon fibre are made up from loads of tiny carbon fillaments. A lot thinner than human hair. So that should aid the cappillary thing.
I'll have to see what I can do. See if theres any way to make it better.

Im being sent some Kevlar fleece and Kevlar loop back material. Should get it some time this week. These should be interesting because they are quite thick and SHOULD hold a lot of fuel.


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