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8.1.2. I'm building the 'XXX' R/C Rocket Glider and it uses foam core wings. Are there any things I should know about working with foam?




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This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.

8.1.2. I'm building the 'XXX' R/C Rocket Glider and it uses foam core wings. Are there any things I should know about working with foam?

The first thing to know is that certain paints and glues dissolve
foam. Both the stuff made out of white beads (referred to as "bead-
board") and the blue (Dow Styrofoam (tm) ) or pink (DuPont Foamular)
extruded foam will behave in the same way. Once sheeted a foam wing
can sometimes be finished in a paint that ordinarily dissolves foam
if one is careful about not putting too much on at a time. Here is
a list of what will dissolve styrofoam and what won't:

Will dissolve foam:

Nitrate and butyrate dope
Ambroid
"Model Airplane Cement" (you know what I mean)
Polyester resin (sold as "fiberglass resin" at K-Mart)
Thick and thin cyanoacrylates (excepting UFO)
Paints from spray cans
Dope and paint thinners
Gasoline
Dope thinner, acetone
Solvent-based contact cements

Won't dissolve foam:

Polyurethane paints and varnishes (inc. Rustoleum)
White or aliphatic glues (Elmer's, Titebond)
Epoxies
Ethanol or methanol (sometimes used to thin epoxies)
UFO superglues
Water-based contact cements (eg. Southern Sorghum)

Follow the instructions provided and you won't go wrong. Most struc-
tural building is done with white glue and epoxy is used for sheeting
the wing and/or putting down fiberglass, graphite or kevlar cloth.

 

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