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Silicone hinges

Old 09-03-2004, 09:00 PM
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seanpcola
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Default Silicone hinges

This may be the wrong forum to post this on but felt the subject would probably only relate to sailplane flyers and builders. I am currently building a 4 meter full house sailplane and decided to use the silicone hinging technique where you temporarily hinge the control surface with tape, lay a bead of silicone along the hinge line, let cure, then remove the tape, leaving a flexible, full span hinge. So far, I am extremely pleased with the results. Looks clean, works well, and the surfaces naturally tend to re-center to neutral. What I am curious to know is if anyone on here has any long term experience using this? How long they last over time, anything to be cautious of? I made several test wing/aileron examples first for practice and to see what it would take to make them let go with satisfactory results.

Thanks to all in advance for your input!
Old 09-04-2004, 04:47 AM
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Default RE: Silicone hinges

Hi Sean,

I have used this technique on a Aeromod Voltij, and I too am amazed at the resilience. The ailerons deflect about 70 degrees each way, with no sign of the hinges giving way or taking a set.

I used this method at the recommendation of Tom Copp of F3X, and also after reading Kevin Newton's (former QFI editor, and now columnist once again in QEFI) description on the application. I trust his judgement implicitly, and believe HE knows about longevity and suitability of these hinges for high dollar / high performance projects.

If you'd like to do more research, I recommend these places:

The soaring forums of rcgroups.com. I find nearly all the glider jocks tend to hang out there. RCU is more for power guys.

Also, here is Kevin's site:

http://www.knewt.com/

and his review on the Voltij describing the silicone hinge method:

http://www.knewt.com/planes/aerobatics/voltij.htm
Old 09-04-2004, 06:09 PM
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seanpcola
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Default RE: Silicone hinges

Thank you for the reply and info. The links are really interesting and I did as you mentioned.... joined RCGroups also. I guess now I will have to spread what little internet time I have between the two sites, both are extremely informative and entertaining. I did learn one new thing from reading Kevin's site, actually something I should have known anyway: He recommends using "aquarium" silicone (I build aquariums and keep fish as another hobby (keeps wife happy too! LOL). I did know in the back of my mind that this formula is the best for adhesion and flexibility. On my current project I used GE Silicone II which seems adequate but now have serious concerns and may eventually clean off the GE stuff and re-hinge with AS. I am willing to wager that the AS is more flexible and bonds better.

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