Needed a quick and easy reflective surface for a plywood
lamp enclosure. Used foil duct tape, worked beautifully.
Burnished it smooth with a paint paddle wrapped in cloth
to prevent scratching. Only prob is slight blistering from
heat, more cosmetic than disastrous. The tape would
probably have adhered better if I primed the plywood with
shellac or similar gloss finish.
I received a lot of good suggestions on this covering alternative box
construction materials, alternative metal choices, and adhesives.
The alternatives to wood didn't strike me as a good idea because of
their lack of stability when subjected to heat. I liked the idea, but
for now I think I'll stick with wood.
I received multiple adhesive suggestions, and so I think I may try all
of the most attractive. I did rule out the aerosol and brush in favor of
roller application in order to produce a thin, uniform coating.
Silicon bronze seemed like it might be a good idea until I tried to find
suppliers of the stuff in foil form. As a general rule, I avoid
single-source products - but I couldn't identify even a single source.
I've just ordered a 20"x100' roll of the 0.002" stainless steel, and
I'll see how well that works.
Actually, I guess it'd /better/ work out - my two most recent sales
prospects liked the "full metal jacket" idea so well they ordered
without even /seeing/ the final product!
Thanks to all who posted and e-mailed suggestions!
Well, the stainless arrived and it isn't much like I'd expected...
I ordered Type 321, which is a stainless/titanium alloy good for
temperatures to 1800°F. I'd expected something pretty much like kitchen
aluminum foil, and this stuff is more like armor plate! I don't think
wrinkles are going to be a problem, and even at only 0.002" it feels
Woodpeckers beware! :)
I only offered one - but if anyone else wants a business card size
sample they're invited to snail-mail a SASE with a (US) dollar bill
I have almost twice as much of the foil as I need to produce the solar
panels now in the production queue, so I don't /think/ I'm creating a
problem for myself...
I hadn't done any arithmetic - I just figured that the hassle factor of
sending off a SASE plus "not free" would hold the amount of cutting to a
I suspect I might use up more than one pair of scissors if I needed to
cut 9' of this stuff into small pieces...
...and it'll probably horrify the metalheads to hear that I plan to
bandsaw the roll into thirds as the first step. :->
I'm wondering if anybody really knows (and whether it really makes any
difference). Some years ago, I was working in a shop that was making a laser
for the military, the body of which was titanium. We were not to allow any
steel to come in contact with the titanium. All cutters were carbide, vise
jaws made from aluminum, deburr files were diamond and the parts were not
even set on a steel worktable. They claimed degradation of the titanium. I
have machined lots of titanium for commercial aircraft and no such
precautions were taken (or specified by the buyer). I wonder what the
military knows that Boeing doesn't. Hard to believe it's much.
Remember tiny iron flecks might just cause a problem if loose.
If it touches Al, it might burn in oxygen rich or chemically contaminate
something else. Iron is death in a fab line. You would not believe
the issues and isolations needed for ferro-mag IC's and the like.
Remember MIL spec is under NASA and Commercial and user specs are beneath
those of MIL.
Titanium exposed to minute concentrations of certain other metals becomes
=very= hard and *BRITTLE*. All well and good if the entire piece is treated
uniformly, but can cause all sorts of problems if it is a 'spot' treatment.
This is a characteristic of 'nearly pure' titanium, that is not shared by
most titanium compounds.
Some of the metals that cause this behavior in microscopic quantities, applied
to the surface, can be used in macroscopic quantities -- making titanium
alloys -- that do not have the same characteristics.
IIRC, skin panels for "Blackbird" were 'unrepairable' for this reason -- complete
replace of an entire panel necessary.
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