Kite Membrane UV Degradation Solution
Its well known that ordinary kites suffer greatly from
extended UV exposure. On the other hand, fabric covered airplanes are
known to live in sun happily enough; even a decade outdoors is not too
unusual, as long as the fabric is minimally maintained & passes annual
It turns out that aluminum paint pigment traditionally protects airplane
fabric from UV. A thin aluminum coating can similarly extend the lifespan
of "industrial" kite fabric without much added cost or weight.
~Dave Santos 2011
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!
Terms and aspects:
Commentary is welcome:
- Solar-energy conversion via kite surfaces
- Dan Parker wonders about how electrically conductive fabric in a
kite system will affect the system.
- Conductivity is good. You can even buy fiberglass cloth that is 40%
aluminum by weight to help deal with lightning. ~~ Bob
- Conductivity of the kite itself seems like a minor issue, as all
sorts of aircraft are aluminum & take lightning strikes with only minor
damage. Conductivity of a tether seems like the more dangerous
condition, especially if breakaway drags the long conductor across power
lines. There seems to be greater risk proportional to a longer
conductive path. Fortunately nonconducting UHMWPE lines are fairly UV
Metallic oxides of aluminum or titanium are UV resisting options that
reduce or eliminate electrical conductance...