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Recoating kite fabric

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Re: Recoating kite fabric

Postby axel_lotta » Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:49 am

Regis-de-giens wrote:except humid sand :rollgrin: :rollgrin:

Bahahaaaha! (sorry Foilholio).

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Re: Recoating kite fabric

Postby PugetSoundKiter » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:55 am

Winter here after the holidays and had some time to do some more experimentation… Some may ask why or really or wtf is this going to prove. Probably nothing but I’ll crowdsource for feedback anyway, maybe spark some new ideas, save others the hassle, or encourage humor.

Products previously applied in to the flysurerfer speed2 silver arrow skytex nylon:
-Nikwax Tech Wash
-Nikwax Wash In
-Silicon Water Guard
-Tent Sure


Goopy experiment supplies:
-Marine Goop, 10.2oz Tubes
-Mini 4-Pack, Marine Goop, 0.18oz Tube (for test sample)
-Xylol Xlyene, 1 Gallon
-Mini Paint Rollers, 4” Long, 1/4" Nap
-Foam Paint Brushes, 1” Wide
-Metal Bucket, New & Clean For Mixing

SampleTest.jpg (57.31 KiB) Viewed 226 times

I first test mixed the 0.18oz mini tube of marine goop in the metal bucket with xlyene using a foam paint brush. Used about 3:1 xlyene to marine goop and painted it on the middle bottom of the kite and let it dry. Found out the xylene dissolved the goop after stirring for a few minutes, the bucket brushes and rollers all survived the xlynene bath no problem, after 2 days of drying in 30-50deg temperatures in a shed the kite did not smell like xlynene and the goop had dried and left a slight sweet scent of new rubber/glue. The material felt slick and slightly stiffer and did not add yellowing or discoloring. The tent sure coating had already yellowed the fabric slightly and I understand goop may yellow more over time.

ReadyToStart.jpg (72.1 KiB) Viewed 226 times

One clear dry 40deg day I laid out the kite and mixed half of the 10.2oz tube in xylene about 3:1 in the metal bucket and used the small paint roller on a 6’ painting stick and working semi quickly I was able to coat entire no-bridle side of the kite with the mix. I covered the bucket with a plastic lid after I dipped the roller to slow the evaporation down. I rolled the cell seams first then wetted in between the seams second. When I was done I cleaned up and took some time for lunch and to give me some time to detox from the fumes. About 2+ hours later the kite was dry and not tacky so I turned it over and used the other half of the tube to coat the bridle side. I let that sit for 2hrs and then I hung the kite in the shed for 3 days. The shed is well vented to the outside between each rafter. The kite stunk quite a bit when I hung it and after 3 days it only had a slight odor similar to a new kite. The two kite surfaces only stuck together where I had test coated the kite (so it had 2 coatings there) but easily pealed apart and did not leave any residue or bits behind. I don’t know if the previous wax/silicon/urethane coatings kept the surfaces from sticking, or if there is not really enough coating to make it stick together but again at the double coated areas there was enough adhesion.

InflateTest.jpg (27.7 KiB) Viewed 226 times

I did not do any weighing of the kite but I did do a simple fan inflation test right before I coated the kite. It would not inflate beyond half way with a 6” fan blowing on high thru the rear zipper. After the 3 days of drying I did the same fan test and it almost fully inflated so that gave me a little optimism. For weight the goop spec says 45% solids and assuming I could apply about 90% of the 10.2oz tube that would be 4oz/114grams added to the 15m kite, or 57grams per side, or 57g/30msq = 1.9g/msq added weight. Skytex comes in 36, 40, 45 and 55g/msq. (reference). So my coating added to skytex36 would add 5% to the fabric weight or to skytex55 would add 3.5%. This would still be quite a bit lighter than the standard fabric (non silver arrow) kite.

A few weeks later we had another high pressure weather system roll in to give a light breeze to fly in. Without any adjustments to flying lines, bridles, or ring-lines the kite fully inflated including wingtips. So I’d say adding a styrene butadiene rubber coating can decrease the porousness of fabric whereas wax, silicon, and/or urethane coatings did not seem to.

Flight1.jpg (16.7 KiB) Viewed 226 times

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Re: Recoating kite fabric

Postby JakeFarley » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:52 pm

I might have missed it in this post but did anyone test to see if the porosity was mostly at the seams or generally spread all throughout the kite/fabric?

Also do the kite manufacturers recommend or make a product that works? (probably not as they want to sell more new kites)

What is the life span of a foil kite? I recently purchased a brand new Speed 5 and this issue has me really concerned.


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Re: Recoating kite fabric

Postby Regis-de-giens » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:15 pm

Lot of intertesting questions ! My opinion after 5 recoatings methods on 3 FS speeds:
- the porosity of cloth vs seams will depend on the use of the kite , as I think the root cause is not the same : intensive use and loops (like mountain climbing) is bad for sews while cloth porosity is more linked to Sun UV attack (so proportional to hours of use more than charge on the kite)
- in the case of my ex Speed3, porosity was more coming from the cloth itself , even if the sews were actually more "open" compared to new ; indeed I used 12 bottles of expensive seamgrip to fill-in the sews holes ; After 12h of painting work on the knees, still poor results (but noticeable anyway); Then I used PU+Acetone on the cloth itself it was better (but not tested its aging behavior)

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