Lexan Fairing

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Bob, Apr 9, 2003.

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  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I am certain this will not be a new question for seasoned members of this news group. That's why I
    am posing it.

    I have been searching for instructions to build my own lexan fairing for my '99 rocket.

    I have seen Rick Wasserman's web page. Excellent work. Of course there are the manufacterers and
    retailers contributions.

    I live in Burlington Ontario. A couple of years ago I heard of a rider in Toronto who has making
    lexan fairings.

    If any one could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

    George Appleton
     
    Tags:


  2. George have U checked with Carey Chen yet? Carey is our resident Guru on all things
    bent...www.ucycle.com 2nd up would be John Riley. IF all you need is a Lexan Blank, try Cambie in
    Vancouver.
    ----------------------------------------

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:vh_ka.3609$h%[email protected]...
    > I am certain this will not be a new question for seasoned members of this news group. That's why I
    > am posing it.
    >
    > I have been searching for instructions to build my own lexan fairing for
    my
    > '99 rocket.
    >
    > I have seen Rick Wasserman's web page. Excellent work. Of course there
    are
    > the manufacterers and retailers contributions.
    >
    > I live in Burlington Ontario. A couple of years ago I heard of a rider in Toronto who has making
    > lexan fairings.
    >
    > If any one could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.
    >
    > George Appleton
     
  3. To begin with, "Lexan" is a brand name. It's one of several that are used for polycarbonate plastic.
    It's usually sold by the pound and is very expensive. Typically, a 4' X 8' sheet, 1/16" thick, would
    go for about $80., US. It has to be heated to about 325 degrees F in an autoclave to gravity-drape
    it around a form or to about 310 degrees F to press it into a new shape. It's also hydrophyllic,
    meaning that it absorbs water. It has to be heat-cured for about 24 hours at 180 degrees F, to
    evaporate all the water from it. If it isn't dried out first, heating to the re-shaping temperatures
    will expand the water inside into steam bubbles, which cloud the plastic and weaken it. Nice thing
    about polycarbonate is that it's very difficult to break and it can easily be cut or sawed and
    shaved along the edges with tools to shape it. Try any of those things with acrylic plastic and
    unless you're very careful, skillful and lucky, you'll crack it.

    Steve McDonald
     
  4. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    The Chicago Recumbent group has a write up. "Build a Lexan Fairing: $25" of similar wording.

    Tom
     
  5. [email protected] (Steve McDonald) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > To begin with, "Lexan" is a brand name. It's one of several that are used for polycarbonate
    > plastic. It's usually sold by the pound and is very expensive. Typically, a 4' X 8' sheet, 1/16"
    > thick, would go for about $80., US. It has to be heated to about 325 degrees F in an autoclave to
    > gravity-drape it around a form or to about 310 degrees F to press it into a new shape. It's also
    > hydrophyllic, meaning that it absorbs water. It has to be heat-cured for about 24 hours at 180
    > degrees F, to evaporate all the water from it. If it isn't dried out first, heating to the
    > re-shaping temperatures will expand the water inside into steam bubbles, which cloud the plastic
    > and weaken it. Nice thing about polycarbonate is that it's very difficult to break and it can
    > easily be cut or sawed and shaved along the edges with tools to shape it. Try any of those things
    > with acrylic plastic and unless you're very careful, skillful and lucky, you'll crack it.
    >
    > Steve McDonald

    Fascinating Steve! I had no idea of the temps. I have aZzipper Lexan fairing on my TT, and I decided
    to experiment with different mounts/positions, and then replace it because of all the scratches from
    moving and glue spots. Seems I was right since I cannot smooth it out when finished. Helpful info!
    So far- an expensive umbrella!!

    Chris Jordan Santa Cruz, CA.
     
  6. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (Steve McDonald) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > To begin with, "Lexan" is a brand name. It's one of several that are used for polycarbonate
    > plastic. It's usually sold by the pound and is very expensive. Typically, a 4' X 8' sheet, 1/16"
    > thick, would go for about $80., US. It has to be heated to about 325 degrees F in an autoclave to
    > gravity-drape it around a form or to about 310 degrees F to press it into a new shape. It's also
    > hydrophyllic, meaning that it absorbs water. It has to be heat-cured for about 24 hours at 180
    > degrees F, to evaporate all the water from it. If it isn't dried out first, heating to the
    > re-shaping temperatures will expand the water inside into steam bubbles, which cloud the plastic
    > and weaken it. Nice thing about polycarbonate is that it's very difficult to break and it can
    > easily be cut or sawed and shaved along the edges with tools to shape it. Try any of those things
    > with acrylic plastic and unless you're very careful, skillful and lucky, you'll crack it.
    >
    > Steve McDonald

    This is the process (and the problems encountered) that Zzipper uses to make their fairing bubbles.
    They sell "experimenter" bubbles for $90.

    If you're wanting to homebrew something, the WISIL guys have posted their experiences at
    http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/whatsup.htm particularly
    http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/bubbles/hpvbubbles.htm

    Jeff
     
  7. You can rub out a lot of the scuffs and scratches from fairings made of polycarbonate or other types
    of plastic. You need some fine-textured rubbing compound, such as Meguiar's Plastic Polish and a
    good rubbing cloth, which is also sold at large auto supply or professional paint stores. Don't use
    the rough-grained compounds intended to smooth paint. The windshields of aircraft are usually made
    of polycarbonate or an impact-resistant type of Plexiglas. The maintenance workers at aircraft
    companies or the aircraft technology departments at colleges are good places to get instruction on
    how to properly do this. It takes lots of time and elbow grease. Power buffers are not recommended,
    although some people make risk more deep scuffing lines by using them.

    Steve McDonald
     
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