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Blue Tube Airframes

Announcing the most exciting product release in High Power Rocketry in years...

In conjunction with Phenix Tube, ARR is proud to announce Blue Tube, a new airframe material borne from the most unusual source, TANK AMMUNITION!

Wanna skip all this? Blue Tube Quik Facts Non scientific data here: Golfing with Blue Tube

Highly abrasion resistant, with massive acceleration potential for a spiral wound product. Able to withstand g-forces that exceed 10x anything any high power rocket flight can present to it. No glassing necessary, no huge gaps to fill, no prepping, no sanding, no nothing, and most of all, COMPATIBLE with existing components!

How can we make these claims?

Drake Dämerau at www.rocketmaterials.org has tested three 3 inch diameter 9 inch long samples at his testing facility at General Dynamics and has confirmed that Blue Tube's axial peak stress was about 2.6 tons and was not prone to shatter or crack like fully cured phenolic.. Drake said "Tough stuff! It didn't break like phenolic does. Gives a lot more under stress."

Here is the data from the test: Numerical Data Graphed Data

Here is the burst strength data sheet from the manufacturer as well.

What does all the data mean?

Well, to put it simply, one must first understand the difference between "flexible phenolic" versus fully cured phenolic. Fully cured phenolic is very strong and very stiff, but is very brittle. So, to adapt to the needs of the HPR community, non brittle phenolic was introduced. I use it, I like it but what most people don't know is that it's the same thing as regular phenolic but just not cooked (cured) as long in the oven. That's it. What's the catch? Well, you have a product that will not be as brittle and more shatter resistant, in exchange for strength! (Bet ya didn't know that!) So, you end up with a really nice airframe that is much stronger than glassine paper tubing but no where near the load bearing of fully cured phenolic. That's where Blue Tube comes in.

Why is this important?

If you buy Blue Tube for your next project, you get far more abrasion resistance, zero cracking, zero brittleness, far more strength than partially cured phenolic, and far more radial strength than all three!

Where did it come from?

This material, manufactured under contract by Phenix Tube for the military, is ALREADY in use as a component in a military weapon that exposes it to an environment where acceleration exceeds 1000g's, as a component inside a warhead of the 155mm Howitzer, and 105mm Abrams Tank ordinance.

Plus, this is 28% more dense than phenolic (because it's NOT phenolic) and 36% lighter than fiberglass.

See below:

Product Sample Length Weight Weight per inch
Blue Tube 3" x 48" x .062 wall 577.9 grams 12.04 grams per inch
Plain phenolic 3" x 48" x .062 wall 423.9 grams 8.83 grams per inch
Glassed phenolic 3" x 48" x .062 wall 868.8 grams 18.1 grams per inch
Filament wound fg 3" x 48" x .062 wall 907.2 grams 18.9 grams per inch
Carbon fiber I don't know, can't afford it. Really light I'm sure! (Really light I'm sure) / 12 in per foot.

There is no question that carbon fiber and filament wound fiberglass is the ultimate in airframes, but, who can afford it?

Why bother when you can have something that is easier to work with and able to take a ride down the barrel of a tank, and 40% cheaper?

Manufacturing process:

(Click to enlarge, will open in a new window, disable pop up blocker.)

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Finished product:

Accessories

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Airframes | Couplers | Extended Length Couplers

ITEMPRICE
Airframes
Blue Tube Airframe 29mm x 48"$12.49Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 38mm x 48"$16.49Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 54mm x 48"$23.95Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 2.56" x 48"$26.95Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 3" x 48"$29.95Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 4" x 48"$38.95Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 5.5" x 48" (loc / pr compatible)$56.95Out of stock
Blue Tube Airframe 6" x 48"$64.95Out of stock
Couplers
Blue Tube 29mm x 4" Coupler$6.98Out of stock
Blue Tube 38mm x 4" Coupler$7.49Out of stock
Blue Tube 54mm x 4" Coupler$8.95Out of stock
Blue Tube 2.56 x 5" Coupler$9.25Out of stock
Blue Tube 7.5” x 12" Coupler$24.95Add to Cart
Blue Tube 7.5” x 16" Coupler$29.95Add to Cart
Blue Tube 5.5" x 12" Coupler (loc / pr compatible)$18.95Add to Cart
Blue Tube 6" x 12" Coupler $19.95Add to Cart
Extended Length Couplers
Blue Tube 38mm x 8" Coupler$7.49Add to Cart
Blue Tube 54mm x 8" Coupler$8.95Add to Cart
Blue Tube 2.56" x 8" Coupler$8.95Out of stock
Blue Tube 3" x 8" Coupler$9.95Add to Cart
Blue Tube 4" x 8" Coupler$10.95Out of stock

Accessories

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