copy of – laminating film research

this post, taken in its entirety from simply to keep tabs on my own findings


Plyable – Premium clear gloss (CP)

* balisti-cover light: 11gm/sq ft Very similar to Monokote but sticks to raw cut EPP foam and best for light duty applications, not well suited for crashing or HIGH wing loading.

* CP 10 mil: (balisti-cover heavy) 24gm/sq ft strong and stiff but reasonably pliable, good for fuses (lots of compound curves)

Stiff – Digital Imaging (DI) – comes in 5 (light), 7 (med), and 10 (burly) mil, are more rigid but as a result dent easier. Great for grassy terrain.

* DI 3/2 5 mil: (plastic ply balisti-cover light) 20gm/sq ft, dimensionally stable, easy to apply without creasing but lots of pleating on every compound curve. Could make a tough light stiff fighter wing.

* 7/3 LL 10 mil: (plastic ply balisti-cover /burrly) 29gm/sq ft, harder to apply

note: 3/2 is the lamininate to glue ratio. The first # is the laminate thickness the second # is the adheasive thickness. More adhesive doesn’t necessarily stick better. The 3/2 is stiffer and more rigid than the 2/3. Get free samples of laminating films by e-mailing

Apply color underneath or on top of film? Using paint, tape or additional covering?

– paint: Most film is applied in the 230 degree range. Should not have any issues with krylon paint underneath the laminating film. Just keep the paint thin.
– colored tissue cutouts
– shrinkwrap
– sharpies

on top
– paint: use a plastic adhesion promoter from an auto body repair supply shop.
– tape: Zagi, Colored packing tape, or other tape
– shrinkwrap: any shrink wrap such as solarfilm and most likely ultracote will cover the burly and turn out quite nice (Vinyl also sticks well)
– sharpies

What type and thickness(s) of film to use?
elevons: 3 mil
fins: use the 1.5, 3 or 5 mil (DI) on balsa tails and planes where you are trying to keep light – a balsa Alula tail with some lightening holes in it covered with 1.5 mil is a great replacement for the 3mm depron. Highly recommended. Also- 3/32nd Balsa, shaped, CA’d all over (spread CA with plastic card) and then covered in NS, almost indestructable and way better than corroplast.
fuse: cover the fuse with the Ballistiply heavy – wrap it like ultracote – lots of pleats and it conforms to the curves well. The Ballistiply heavy has some elasticity to it, so it will stretch some as you iron it.
– wings: Karl: 7/3 DI on the bottom (landing on the flexible stuff is more forgiving on the underside of the wing), 10.0 mil CP on the top gives a better, smoother surface finish and a slightly stiffer wing. The 3/2 DI (5 mil) creates a very rigid structure and is the lightest of the two options. The CP 10 mil is for those who are looking for maximum durability and better conformability. A hybrid wing can be done by putting 5 mil Light on the top and 10 mil Heavy on the bottom.
LEG Guppy: DI 3/2 5 mil

Where to buy the film?
* (now only available when you buy a glider)
* laminatorwarehouse.comDI 3/2 5 mil, CP 10 mil, 7/3 LL 10 mil

How much will it weigh in comparison to other common coverings?

DI 3/2 5 mil: 20 gm/sq ft
CP 10 mil: 24 gm/sq ft
7/3 LL 10 mil: 29 gm/sq ft

UltraCote: .3 oz/sq ft = 8.5 gm/sq ft = 91 gm/sq m
Microlite 1.8 gm/sq ft = 20 gm/sq m
MicaFilm: 25 gm/sq m
others… gm/oz

– all this stuff has the same heat activated liquefying adhesive on it. It activates at about 210F but, the heavier the covering the longer it takes for the heat to get through the covering – do a bit of scrap testing and if you’re still nervous keep the iron under 250F and just go slow. The final thing to look for is the actual look of the porosity of the foam through the covering.
– use the largest domestic iron you can find
– hinge tape sticks fine on film surface
– cover the wings with two pieces — one for the top and one for the bottom. LE overlaps, top panels applied first, and overlapping way back to your spar, where the surface is generally a tad mucked up anyway. Cover one side and then firmly wrap the remaining covering for the LE around the LE until it reaches the spar on the other side. Best results obtained bagging the wing/New Stuff with metal sheet.
-leading edge: If you want to add strapping tape to the LE, cover the top of the wing as typical with 1.5″ LE overlap, than apply your strapping tape to the laminate on the LE, sticks GREAT, then cover the underside of the wing again overlapping the LE and the tape.


The NEW stuff!
FAQ – The Predator’s “New Stuff”
NS: New Stuff Techniques and Feedback

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