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Hansen Design
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Bladderless Construction

Postby Hansen Design » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:11 pm

Inflatable kites are the only widely distributed product that still relies on a sewn case and internal bladder with associated expense, weight and producer / consumer frustration. For quite some time I have been advocating to nearly every major brand, fabric suppliers and production facilities to pursue R&D on new materials and seaming technologies to ultimately result in bladderless construction. With the development of the Aluula material, perhaps this obvious improvement in construction will now become a reality as other equally promising materials and seaming technology will surely be developed.

Congratulations to Ocean Rodeo for dedicating their resources and daring to pursue non-conventional approaches. Everyone will ultimately benefit with improved performance, durability and value.
Cheers!
These users thanked the author Hansen Design for the post (total 5):
knotwindy (Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:27 pm) • PullStrings (Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:34 pm) • Kamikuza (Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:20 am) • jjm (Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:25 am) • naishdude (Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:06 pm)
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PullStrings
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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby PullStrings » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:33 pm

I'm sure it can be done
Maybe start by doing bladderless struts
Then after it's perfected go for the leading edge

michaelb1
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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby michaelb1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:56 pm

For years I’ve been wondering about the feasibility of a rigid frame kite much like the kind of small kites people fly on the beach.
I image you could make a kite with flight capability that retains it shape via insertable light weight poles like a tent. It could have pockets in the structure for strategically placed foam inserts to keep it from sinking and aid relaunch.

longwhitecloud
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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby longwhitecloud » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:34 pm

That was the kite ski mid 90s.. problem with rigid is it hitting people.. wing tip batons disappeared from all leis for this reason.

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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby TomW » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:34 pm

Ive got tubeless tires on my bike. They are fantastic to setup and ride. They're new, so the jury is out on long term experience.

I would expect kites to work better than bike tires because they are lower pressure and don't have to keep pressure for long periods

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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby Greenturtle » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:36 pm

It would totally work. By far most whitewater rafts etc are bladderless with all glued or welded seams and they are tough as hell. If the material weight was scaled down and optimized to kite lightness etc it could be great.
It’s possible a coating on the inside of traditional dacron kites would work but that’s essentially what the bladder is anyway. And there are some advantages of bladders of course depending on circumstance.

leeuwen
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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby leeuwen » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:49 pm

Greenturtle wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:36 pm
It would totally work. By far most whitewater rafts etc are bladderless with all glued or welded seams and they are tough as hell. If the material weight was scaled down and optimized to kite lightness etc it could be great.
I don't think you can say: it works for boats so it will works for kites.
Not only are the weight constraints totally different, the material is different AND types of forces on whitewhater raft and kite are not comparable.

You need to attach the bridles somewhere to the leading edge and that needs to hold a LOT of pulling load.
Same for the actual canopy to leading edge attachment, lots of pulling load although probably less extreme / problematic.
You might really need stitching through the material to disperse that load over a wider area.

Also whitewater rafts products and lineups look totally different.
Scaling down the technology to smaller surfaces and tighter curves might be a problem.
Also guessing they only sell a few models of rafts and have those production lines running for maybe 10-20 product years if not longer.

Maybe it can be done with kites but I imagine the costs will increase significantly.
My guess is that the current system, although consisting of more pieces, is pretty cheap to do.
A factory mass-produces the bladders (I asssume some fully automated press/molding thing).
The dacron part can be sewn in any shape (unique for each kite model/size per year!) in a low-wage country with easy/familiar tech for those workers.
Moving the dacron/whatever to a new material with some high tech seaming systems that needs to be absolutely perfect each time (no leaks!) seems seriously more expensive to me.

But I don't produce kites so what do I know, maybe it is very doable :D

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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby naishdude » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:08 pm

Hi Bill nice to hear from you once again on a very interesting matter.

Some years ago, as you will remember, North sails experimented into the windsurf and sailing world, with some layup/reinforced/preshaped sails, some only usable on one side for speedrun purposes.

Maybe these kind of fabrics could be layed up in different shapes ( poles etc to make hollow tubes) and integrate the wired reinforced conections for bridles etc. for kiting purpose

The layed up sails were not rigid, they could release the overpower by releasig it in the top and trailing edge but still keeping the most performant shape as possible, as a sail designer I am sure you know what I am talking about.

These materials and technologies must have improved over the years, which would make them an interesting feature to look into for what you have in mind, you could press/cook/ glue these fabrics in a mall in a lot of shapes.

Hope you are doing fine!

best regards Frank

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Re: Bladderless Construction

Postby Greenturtle » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:36 pm

leeuwen wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:49 pm
Greenturtle wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:36 pm
It would totally work. By far most whitewater rafts etc are bladderless with all glued or welded seams and they are tough as hell. If the material weight was scaled down and optimized to kite lightness etc it could be great.
I don't think you can say: it works for boats so it will works for kites.
Not only are the weight constraints totally different, the material is different AND types of forces on whitewhater raft and kite are not comparable.

You need to attach the bridles somewhere to the leading edge and that needs to hold a LOT of pulling load.
You are correct the forces on kites vs whitewater craft are not comparable. The rafts have to be much stronger. 8 guys stuck mid current bouncing on a shark fin rock, multiplied by ten times per weekend all summer with no leaks just minor scuffing. Can attach a winch to a few of their glued-on d-rings and pull a loaded down gear raft off the rocks.
Thats what makes me think a lighter weight version of the same construction technique could work or some hybrid version. But its very true that for material to be light enough to work well on a kite, it gets real thin and needs to be something completely different probably .


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