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Microballoons

Old 01-11-2004, 01:04 PM
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FletchNJ
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Default Microballoons

What the heck are microballoons?

I am building a GP Extra 300S as my first kit, and in reading ahead waiting for parts to set and dry I ran across this step:

28. Glue the pushrod tubes to the slots at the end of the
fuselage with microballoons and epoxy. Completely fill the
slot with the microballoons and epoxy so it can be sanded
flush later. Glue the pushrod tubes to the formers with
medium CA.
Note: Talcum powder may be substituted for microballoons.


Now what I think is that talc or these microballoons add easily sandable bulk to the epoxy? I am assuming this as later you sand the excess down flush with the fuse.

BTW, as many have posted, the kit is great, parts fit well, and I am really enjoying taking my time, going slow and doing this right. Also, I can't say enough about the GP instructions, AND this site! Everyone here has made this hobby so much more enjoyable. A lot of you old timers may have forgotten how hard it was when you started. Lots of questions, and answers required a phone call or LHS visit. (That's always good for about $40!)

I recently finished building a shop in my garage, and my next addition is to revive an old laptop to mount in there on the bench so I have quick access to RCUniverse!
Old 01-11-2004, 01:31 PM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: Microballoons

You got it right ! That's what the microballons or talc is for. [&:]
Old 01-11-2004, 01:50 PM
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Rodney
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Default RE: Microballoons

Micro balloons are far superior to the talcum powder. There are two types, white made up of small hollow fiberglass balloons and a brownish colored type made of a plastic of some type. Both work very well but the white ones are easier to paint over.
Use a slow epoxy (30 minute or slower) and mix in enough of the balloons until it is a real thick paste. The thicker mix works easier and doesn't run or sag. And, yes, it sands much easier than just the epoxy does. The brown balloons sand the easiest.
Old 01-11-2004, 02:57 PM
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CafeenMan
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Default RE: Microballoons

Yep - buy the micro-balloons and skip the talc. If you mix it too thick, you might have problems getting them to stick, but a little experience with them and you'll know how much to add.
Old 01-12-2004, 12:09 PM
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FLYBOY
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Default RE: Microballoons

Don't breath them when you mix them either. I buy them by the 5 pound bag. Thats a lot of micro balloons. Course I use them like crazy on the full scale. I have started using a good resperator when I mix them. Haven't for the last 10 years, but am starting to be a little more consious of what I am breathing when I am working on it since I have so many friends dying of cancer. Not fun. I use good ventilation in the shop at all times anymore.
Old 01-13-2004, 12:41 AM
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spokman
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Default RE: Microballoons

They get in the air really easily... I wouldn't use them. I use baking soda for filling small gaps. Works great and doesn't eat your lungs. I'd investigate some other material besides fiber glass.
Old 01-13-2004, 01:39 AM
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mikenlapaz
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Default RE: Microballoons

When you mix them, go for a consistency of thick peanut butter, when mixed it will peak up and stay put. Lots of airspace very little epoxy. 2nd keeping them out of your lungs.
Old 01-13-2004, 02:40 AM
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4*60
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Default RE: Microballoons

I thought the white ones were glass balloons not fibreglass?
Old 01-13-2004, 03:10 AM
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CafeenMan
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Default RE: Microballoons

ORIGINAL: 4*60

I thought the white ones were glass balloons not fibreglass?
Well, fiberglass and micro-balloons are both glass. But yes, the balloons are hollow glass spheres and fiberglass is glass strands.
Old 01-13-2004, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: Microballoons

ORIGINAL: 4*60

I thought the white ones were glass balloons not fibreglass?
They are, and with a little precaution, they are as safe as anything else. I wouldn't be afraid to use them, just wear a mask to keep them out of your lungs. Just like anything else, if used right, it is a great tool, if not, it can be bad.

There are a lot worse things out there to be breathing, but why push it.

I only use the white ones. Have been warned away from the others for many different reasons. I don't know much about the others, but I do know the white ones work really well.

There are also products that are called Flox and Cabosil. Both are mixed with epoxy. Microballons and cabosil are fillers and flox is for strength. Cabosil is used a lot in molds or glass parts as a filler, where flox is used to bond parts when you need a filler and a ton of strenth. I use it on gear blocks and firewalls if I can't get triangle stock in.
Old 01-13-2004, 02:49 PM
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Jimmbbo
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Default RE: Microballoons

ORIGINAL: FLYBOY

I buy them by the 5 pound bag. Thats a lot of micro balloons.
Wow! 5 lbs - that's a roomful of microballons!!! Do you have an online source?

Thanks

Jim
Old 01-13-2004, 05:11 PM
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Default RE: Microballoons

Aircraft spruce.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/ntoc.p...cat=thickening
Old 01-13-2004, 11:43 PM
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Default RE: Microballoons

Hmm, I like microballoons instead of baking soda or talc.

That said, they are a real hazard to use. Glass beads or fibers are extremely damaging to lung tissue since they cause irreversible scaring to it. Exposure results in silicosis and possibly death.

Always wear a proper filter or respirator when working with them.

!!!Please, don't forget to use a mask when sanding or grinding a microballoon treated area!!!

In addition, the shop needs to be cleaned top to bottom with a HEPA certified vacuum and damp mopped afterwards. For this reason, I do all my glass work outside.
Old 01-14-2004, 12:49 AM
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shenion
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Default RE: Microballoons

I always heard microballons wer PVC balls. I know an old ARF I had came with PVC microballoons (used to strengthen CA.)

PVC is not good either, I remember the same safety warnings came with the old stuff.

I remember driving home with a small ziplock bag of white powder from the hobby shop. Had the thought if a cop pulled me over there would be a lot of explaining and little believing......
Old 01-14-2004, 01:00 AM
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Default RE: Microballoons

I've always been told that they are microscopic hollow glass balls. I get mine from a aviation mechanic friend of mine and that's the story she's telling me. There might be other types as well, though.

A cop performing a field sniff or taste test on microballoons would be a very bad thing. [X(]
Old 01-14-2004, 11:24 AM
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Default RE: Microballoons

Microballons are tiny glass shperes. There are some PVC ones, maybe the tan ones, but they are not suggested in any of the stuff I use. Only the glass ones are approved for the full scale I am building. They are great, but you do need to wear a resperator. I didn't for years, but as I get older, I start thinking more. Probably die of microballon infestation before I finish the darn thing.

I use one of those masks with the double charcoal filters.

When I start sanding a lot of it, I am thinking about getting a bio suit with a fresh air hose vented outside. There will be a lot of it in the air. Don't need to breath that stuff any more.
Old 02-14-2004, 07:19 AM
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Patrick Tamellini
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Default RE: Microballoons

Question:

But Microballons are not the same as the "Very Light Filler" item used to fill dents and scratches?
Old 02-14-2004, 08:24 AM
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barto
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Default RE: Microballoons

No they are different, dont know exactly what vlf contains but its just a kind of paste.
Those charcoal filters wont help very good to prevent microballoons inhalement. Charcoal filters are for several fumes, like paint fumes, you should use a decent dust filter.
Old 02-14-2004, 12:27 PM
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FletchNJ
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Default RE: Microballoons

After all the talk of inhalation, I just went and used Green Squadron Putty to finish the surface after using epoxy to secure the control rod tubes. Came out perfect, and looks great after covering.
Old 02-15-2004, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: Microballoons

Hi!
Brown microballons are much easier too sand than white...But don't use ordinary epoxy glue when using microballoons........much better to use 24 hour industrial grade epoxy or polyester resin.


Regards!
Jan K
Sweden
Old 02-16-2004, 09:54 PM
  #21  
timnjes
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Default RE: What are microballoons?

I heard that microballoons were a by product that accumulated in the smoke stacks of steam generated coal fired powerplants.

Until they found a use, it was a waste product that had to be discarded. Tiny little glass spheres.
Old 02-17-2004, 01:26 AM
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crashawk
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Default RE: What are microballoons?

I believe that you are refering to fly-ash, it's sold to concrete companies and is a very important part of concrete but it's not glass balls (btw, plants that add ground tires to the coal have a cleaner, hotter fire and produce more fly-ash) I really wouldn't be surprised though if it turns out microballoons started out as a bi-product. how many other products we use did?

personally, I should be using a resporator through most of the construction of any plane, I am now mildly alergic to balsa dust. I end up with extreme hayfever symptoms, heartburn (that's weird) and sometimes sinus infection if I'm not careful to keep from breathing the dust when I sand. I've found that a good micro plane helps a bunch, I can get the wood down to a close profile and not sand near as much, cuts microballoons too.

Jason[]

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