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Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

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merl
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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby merl » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:20 am

MutantWizard wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:16 pm
Greets, my first post and thanks for the lot of tips found here.

Here is one of mine. Check the pic. This kite has seen a couple years of action when I bought it as my first and learned to ride on it. Attached it as high resolution so If you close up U will see along dacron on the trailing edge all the repairs. Fabric started falling apart from just touching it. That's when I treated the sail and its now as good if not better than when it was new. Here is how.

Pump up and open the kite. Get a small can of water based clear acrylic varnish or sometimes called acrylic emulsion. Usually this is intended for waterproofing exterior concrete walls. Mix half and half with water and apply one coat on each side of the sail. A brush or a roller is ok, just try not to be to liberal to prevent beads but still apply sufficient for it to soak into the sail fabric. It dries quickly and withing 15-20 minutes the sail is like a new plastic sheet. Try not to get any on the leading edge to prevent soak through and sticking the bladder to it. Welcome to your brand new kite!
Any update on this? How is it holding up over time? (For example, it might flake, crack or do any number of ugly things.

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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby Toby » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:29 pm

How to repair a Kite Bladder:



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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby GregK » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:57 am

Toby wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:29 pm
How to repair a Kite Bladder:
What the video did not cover : when you observe a leak ( see bubbles ), you will want to mark that spot as often the hole is practically invisible, and without a mark, you may not patch the right spot. Marking, usually done with a permanent marker, will require drying the area around the leak first. Often, after drying the area, you won't to be too sure exactly where the leak is, and your first attempt to mark it may be wrong. Repeat the leak location ( more about that below ) to check you have marked the right spot. Marking the second time is usually far more successful, as you have a point of reference ( your first mark ).

In my experience, submerging a bladder in water is not the most effective method for locating pinhole leaks. Big pinholes will show and make bubbles, but tiny pinholes will not present ( make bubbles ) because the deeper the bladder is immersed, the higher the back pressure, or pressure on the outside of the bladder ( pressure at 10 inch depth of fresh water is 0.4 psi ) and water has pretty high surface tension, enough to block gas from going through a tiny pinhole.

Far more effective to pour soapy water over the bladder, such that a thin continuous layer of soapy water covers the area you are watching. Big leaks won't make bubbles, but the air jetting out of them will create a mini geyser of water as you are pouring over them. Small pinholes will create a trail of bubbles.
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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby GregK » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:05 am

And using a string to pull the tip of the LE bladder back into the kite will frequently lead to twists and repeating the installation.

Better to attach the tip of the bladder to a narrow thin flat object like a 12 or 18 inch ruler and use it to feed the bladder tip in access zipper to wingtip( hold the rear of the bladder insertion tool with your back hand, push the LE along the tool bunching it up until you run out of room for LE, clamp down on the front of the tool with your front hand, & use your rear hand to draw the tool along the LE ). Doing it this way you maintain control of the bladder tip and will keep it from rotating as it travels along the LE.
Last edited by GregK on Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby Gigi;) » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:12 am

Tips & Tricks on installing kite bladders:

https://drtuba.eu/tips-tricks/tips-tric ... e-bladders

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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby NorthernKitesAus » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:40 am

GregK wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:26 pm
NorthernKitesAus wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:13 am
Tear-Aid A only good for very small pin-holes or tears. Anything more than 2cm long, and time to patch with ...
TearAid and with an inner layer of thin ( 40 micron ) bladder film behind the cut-out. Have done many TearAid repairs this way, some quite large.

Image

LE bladder from a 9m LF Envy, blow-out was about 14 inches long and 3 inches wide. Repair was done in the summer of 2015 ; haven't heard anything back, so assume it's holding fine.
Hmm interesting. I should have been more specific. Solo repair jobs with tear-aid are best done with proper environment, table and plenty of patience. You cannot get it wrong the first time. Curious, did you get a helper to do that 14inch repair using tear-aid or some device/table/weights to get the material flat and straight without a MM of warp or distortion?

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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby GregK » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:53 pm

Yes, fixturing methods originally developed for welding patches of new bladder film to severely damaged kite bladders also to work well for the application of large TearAid patches.

Here's a recent example of a welded patch of new film applied over the edge seam of a blown-out LE bladder



Last edited by GregK on Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby Claves » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:07 pm

I use only clear water from a hose and let it poor out over the bladder it can find even the smallest holes in the bladder. I have tried soap and under water in big bucket but this way helps me the most if its a very little hole

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Re: Tips and Tricks to Repair Kites - add your experience!

Postby GregK » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:36 am

When air leaking through a tiny hole in a kite bladder forms an air bubble in water on the outside of the bladder, it must overcome both the water pressure on the outside of the bladder and the surface tension of that water.

Water is about 1,000 times denser than air, so submerging a bladder in a water even just a few inches deep will create enough back-pressure when combined with water's surface tension to prevent flow through a tiny hole in the bladder.

Adding lots of dish soap to the water will significantly reduce the surface tension of the water, making it far easier for little air bubbles to form at a leak.

Mix several liters of water with 50 -75 cc of dish soap and let the bubbles at the top settle away ( takes a while, or blow some warm air on them from a hair dryer and they will melt away far quicker ). Put the area of the kite bladder under test on top of a catch basin of some sort, so that you can collect and re-use the soapy water.
Pour a slow continuous stream of soapy water over the bladder and watch for :

- Big leaks - the stream of soapy water will be blown away over a big leak ( often you can feel the jet of air from a leak this big with your hand, face, or eye, so you'll likely have already found and patched the big leaks before doing soapy water leak location )

- medium leaks - will form lots of bubbles as soon as the stream of soapy water covers them

- tiny leaks - won't make bubbles at first as the stream of water is too thick and hence heavy ( too much back-pressure ) but after you have stopped pouring and the stream of water becomes a thin film, they will create small bubbles

Claus - if you haven't had good results using soapy water, your water may be very hard ( lots of dissolved minerals in it ) and the dish soap isn't reducing its surface tension very much, maybe try some additives into your soapy water to soften it. Or you may not be spreading the soapy water effectively ; spreading it by hand I've found to be completely ineffective & hit once in a while but more often miss. Try pouring a gentle stream of soapy water over the bladder surface in the same way you are currently applying water with the hose.


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