Quantcast

Heat tightening fabric (Polyfibre) - question

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Battson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
610
Location
New Zealand
Hey,

So I have been through the Polyfibre manual and I can't see an answer to this one.
When you do the final tighten on the fabric, at 350*F, is it normal to smell a little bit of "plastic" melting odor at first? I had just calibrated my iron and the fabric didn't seem to relax, so I don't think I went too hot.... but that is my fear. Easier to find out now than later. My other thought is maybe I had a little spot of glue on the fabric which melted.
But generally speaking, is there a small amount of odor associated with the final tightening process?

Cheers
 

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,606
But generally speaking, is there a small amount of odor associated with the final tightening process?
Not much. You should check the whole surface of your iron; there might be a hot spot there somewhere. Lots of them do that. If the fabric gets too hot you can sometimes see glazed areas where the fibers started to melt and flatten out.

Dan
 

racegunz

Active Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
29
Location
Indiana usa
Certainly there could be some odor and usually some steam from the moisture boiling out of the fabric, what I did was use a radio shack infrared thermometer and follow the iron as you sweep it across the fabric, it will tell you how hot you are getting the fabric which is more important than how hot the iron is.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,969
Location
Memphis, TN
It can have a plastic smell. As long as you know the iron is not going over 350 your ok. 375 what happens is it tight but when you have a hot summer day, it will relax and look floppy; cool it off it will tighten up.
 

PTAirco

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2003
Messages
3,596
Location
Corona CA
If in doubt, err on the low side - this stuff shrinks with tremendous force. It can easily bow a 3/4 x 0.049" longeron. (Don't ask me how I know...) It's a good idea to leave the fabric on the loose side when cementing it on, so that the final 350 degree shrink doesn't start distorting things. It's amazing how much slack you can leave and still get it taught.
 

Battson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
610
Location
New Zealand
Not much. You should check the whole surface of your iron; there might be a hot spot there somewhere. Lots of them do that. If the fabric gets too hot you can sometimes see glazed areas where the fibers started to melt and flatten out.

Dan
We have a winner - there was a hot spot. It was making 360*F which I have corrected. Luckily I was only testing on the door skins (internal) so no harm done really. The second door gave me lots of steam but much less plastic smell (still a little bit), and like you say - no glaze on the fabric.

Thanks all for the helpful advice.
 
Top