Here's the suite of my strut repair:
Stephan from KiteAid has contacted me and offered a sample of the new leading-edge patch to try. Which i've got, so here we go:
This is my last attempt in repairing the strut with the "regular" KiteAid, after 5 days of riding and sun exposure:
Note that it's already pealing off and it took no effort to remove it, even though right after the application it was rock-solid.
Here's the cut in question, note that the surface has been sanded and prepped:
Still don't know what I did it with, but my kite deflated after I accidentally landed it in the water while walking away from shore. The kite rolled, then I've relaunched it fallowing by the complete loss of air. The cut looked surgically-sharp through both the strut fabric and the bladder. Caught a piece of shell while it was rolling?:
The struts on this particular kite model don't have a zipper at the bottom, so I've got a whopping 2" of the access opening to work through:
Made a 2" flatbar out of the 1/4" thick Lexan piece. Nice and flat. Doesn't absorb heat too well.:
Cleaning the internal surface with alcohol through the cut:
The new patch is ready, note the mark in the center for the alignment purposes:
The new patch in place - already aligned and the flatbar is placed underneath. Had to roll the patch into a small tube, feed through the cut and unfold inside... What was the name of that film where they had to perform an ear surgery through the patient's ass?:
20 seconds of ironing and here we go:
Actually it's twice the 20seconds as the patch was much wider than the flatbar underneath. So i did it in 2 halfs, just like I had to apply the old-style patches because of the seam:
And a piece of DACRON on top for good looks:
The whole process with pictures and bladder removing/installing took about 1.5H and I wasn't too hard pressed. The patch feels very solid and nicely glued in place. Can't speak about it's long-term effect as our season is over up here, so this kite won't see any flying till February at least. It's a good idea to give the patch some curvature (pre-stress with the original strut's radius) while it's still hot - just a good idea...
That's about it, stupid simple and clean.