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From: Frank Pittelli <frank-at-rctankcombat.com>
Subject: Re: Balsa armor [TANKS]
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 18:55:31 -0400
Reply-To: tanks-at-rctankcombat.com

chris barthelson wrote:
> I'm getting the feeling that the material bvetween the glass dosen't 
> matter so much. I'll probably end up using thin balsa, because it's good 
> to work with (I think so anyway).

Bingo!!!  You win.  It doesn't matter at all what is sandwiched (or 
single faced) by the fiberglass.  The filler is simply used to mold the 
glass.  Real sailboats are made by sandwiching balsa between the glass 
or a poly foam sheet which is the synthetic equivalent.  Very easy to 
cut, easy to shape and very lightweight.  The strength is in the 
"structure", not the "materials"  (Dr. Sommer shouts with great joy 
because someone actually listened during a mechanical engineering 
lecture :-)  And, when you graduate to carbon fiber and kevlar you'll 
never go back to natural materials.

Go now, Grasshopper, and make strong, lightweight, composite structures 
that will amaze your friends and make your enemies tremble.

        Frank "Composites Kick Butt" Pittelli