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Author Topic: K2 E-series - kite materials  (Read 1225 times)
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vigli
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« on: October 13, 2011, 05:34 AM »

Hi to all
I found this video
Interesting materials are used for  this kite , spetial on the wing tips-some glossy finish.
K2e cometa acrobatica


I feel like kid in candy shop when I look in all those kites on internet-all those materials and finesses. No end in nice kites, new materials....
But the best thing is real connection with a kite in the air, all other things are next....
Nice work...
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 09:11 AM by vigli » Logged
Will Sturdy
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 07:15 AM »

At the tip that's a reinforced mylar laminate - Basically a sandwich of mylar with most likely polyester but sometimes technora or twaron fibers as a reinforcement scrim with fabric either laminated to it or sewn with the laminate on one side.

Those kites are built by a windsurfer sail maker. Pretty much all windsurfer sails utilize laminates these days, so they have easy access to some funky stuff there. All available laminates are far heavier than light fabrics though.

If sport kiters were willing to give up the variety of colors we have with PC-31 there are other affordable fabrics out there that have much better flight characteristics.
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Craig
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 07:30 AM »

If sport kiters were willing to give up the variety of colors we have with PC-31 there are other affordable fabrics out there that have much better flight characteristics.

Interesting, could you elaborate?
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mikenchico
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 07:52 AM »

If sport kiters were willing to give up the variety of colors we have with PC-31 there are other affordable fabrics out there that have much better flight characteristics.

Interesting, could you elaborate?

Like to hear more details too, since our only retail source of Icarex/PC31 is dropping the line and was recently flooded out we may not see Icarex here in the States for awhile. Alternatives and suppliers would be valuable.

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jaydub
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 09:00 AM »

Having sailed dinghies (sailboats for you lot Wink) for most of my life, I'm amazed that there isn't more of a cross over of spinnaker cloths into kite making.  Bainbridge International, Contender and Dimension all make (and continue to develop) spinnaker cloths that must be suitable for kite making.  Some kites do use them, e.g the Veyron from Diamond Kites predominantly uses Bainbridge's Airx cloth.
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 10:34 AM »

Most kitemakers rely upon kite industry sources for their nylon, so we're pretty much subjected to nylons using out of date technologies and thus nylon has gotten a reputation for huge amounts of distortion with moisture.

The sailing industry at this point has gone pretty much entirely back to nylon. In the beginning, spinnakers were mostly nylon and they did get baggy and had some annoying tendencies. That's the nylon most kitemakers who use nylon use.
When polyester came around, many switched over to it and enjoyed the greater dimensional stability it offered. The problem with poly is it has no give. When a spinnaker luffs and then fills again, it loads up quickly. The nylon absorbs these shock loads well, giving a bit and then returning to it's shape. Poly generally doesn't give, and when it does the fibers either break or are permanently distorted.
Cloth makers have developed coatings for nylons that are long lasting and help lock in the fibers better than the older fabrics coated in urethane and other such stuff. The modern performance 75 weight fabrics are also generally lighter than old .75 oz nylon.

I've been working on a new design and have been messing around a bit with materials. The PC-31 sails are overly responsive and twitchy. Any hole in the wind, which are inevitable at the heights we fly in, transfers directly to movement. With F75 nylon, there's just enough give for the kite to remain finger-tip responsive to the pilot while absorbing some bumpiness.
Moisture doesn't affect the sail nearly as much as on older nylons. I was flying this kite in wildwood and dumped it in the water - there was a slight difference in response for a few moments, but after thwacking it around the sky for a short bit it flew the same as it had before.
The sail shape is better with the F75. The cloth adapts better, so even with some odd broadseaming there aren't stress wrinkles in flight.
The dynamic properties of the cloth give me a lot more control as a designer over the shape the sail takes in air versus pc-31.

The downsides of F75? It's slightly heavier - this hurts the low end of the wind range some, although having the mass distributed in the sail as opposed to adding weights in the frame gives the kite a slightly more balanced feel.
F75 only comes in red, white, and blue.

DP recently released a lighter version which I have yet to try, F65. It will only be available in white.

Most light performance nylons out there come in a narrow range of colors. The market isn't big enough for it to be profitable to have a wide range of colors - most sails are either for larger performance boats which use cloths heavier than we want or for cruising boats who want something durable.

Of course there's lots more to how a kite flies than the fabric, and changes in construction methods need to be made with different fabrics. Fabric orientation is not a simple subject and placing and shaping reinforcements so as to help as opposed to destroy the sail shape is a bit tricky. As a sailmaker it's kinda frustrating to see how so many kitemakers mostly ignore such things.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 03:33 PM »

Another attribute of Nylon verses Polyester, Nylon is more abrasion resistant then Polyester.

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Stuart99
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 06:50 PM »

the magic question:  How much does the F65 and F75 cost compared to PC-31, and how easy is it go get?
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 08:21 PM »

They are less expensive than PC-31 by a good bit. PC-31 is ridiculously priced these days when compared to just about every other light weight material out there.

At this time no such cloth is available retail. If there's much of a demand for it from kitemakers we could figure a way to change that.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 08:29 PM by Will S » Logged
Ca Ike
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 12:41 AM »

They are less expensive than PC-31 by a good bit. PC-31 is ridiculously priced these days when compared to just about every other light weight material out there.

At this time no such cloth is available retail. If there's much of a demand for it from kitemakers we could figure a way to change that.
Funny it seems as demand from sailmakers dropped since its not a prefered cloth for spinakers anymore the price on PC-31 went up as well as PC-40
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 03:32 AM »

I think that's partially due to economies of scale but mostly the exchange rate...
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