the ironing is the best way to fix the bladder seam leak. Instead of we cloth just use baking paper
We also have our "old" RE-POSITIONABLE bladder patches still in stock. They are now replaced with TEAR-AID, but if somebody wants them just PM me
Here are some useful video how-to's in bladder repairs
Kite Bladder Blowout Repair
NOTICE: with 2014 we switched the bladder adhesive to TEAR-AID. With new adhesive additional patch edge gluing is generally not needed anymore (maybe only on really damaged or heavily talced bladders).
HOT-MELT Repair Tape - Kite Bladder Repair
Step by step procedures:
HOT-MELT BLADDER REPAIR (CLEAN CUT)
S1. Pre-sand the area with fine sanding paper
S2. Clean the sanded area with alcohol swabs and leave to air-dry
S3. Cut oversized piece of hot-melt patch and round the corners
S4. Place the patch over the tear (hot-melt side facing down!)
S5. Place heat shield over the patch and iron the patch for 3 - 5 seconds
S6. Remove air bubbles as much as possible after 1st phase
S7. Repeat ironing for 12 - 15 seconds, apply pressure
HOT-MELT BLADDER REPAIR (BLOWOUT)
S1. Cut off the wrinkled area (if any)
S2. Pre-sand the area with fine sanding paper
S3. Clean the sanded area with alcohol swabs and leave to air-dry
S4. Cut 2 oversized pieces of hot-melt patch and round the corners
S5. Place 1st patch inside the bladder (hot-melt side facing up!)
S6. Place 2nd patch over the tear (hot-melt side facing down!)
S7. Place heat shield over the patch and iron the patch for 3 - 5 seconds
S8. Remove air bubbles as much as possible after 1st phase
S9. Repeat ironing for 12 - 15 seconds, apply pressure
Bladder must be well cleaned and dry at least in the ironing area from the inside and outside.
Dirt, sand or salt may damage the bladder when ironed if not properly cleaned!
You can even invisibly repair a small tears in the kite's canopy! The procedure is the same as fixing bladders, but iron the patch for 20-30s. Lay patch on the bottom side of the kite.
You can find more useful how to video manuals on our vimeo channel:
Note: do not attempt to fix a seam leak with the patches intended for pin-hole leaks. It doesn't work, and it makes fixing the seam using volkswagner's ironing method (see below) much more difficult. Here was my experience with the iron method:
- - I couldn't get the seam to weld together without melting the plastic onto the iron, so I used a wet cloth on both sides of the bladder material, not just the bottom (so iron never touches the plastic).
- I used an old set of boxer shorts for the top cloth since that was the only thing I could find that was thin enough to work properly ( I would guess the top fabric was 0.020" thick). The bottom surface was a cloth-covered ironing board. If you don't have something compliant on the bottom, you won't get enough pressure along the length of the iron, since it has a slight curve to it.
- Push as hard as you can on the seam with the edge of the iron. Thermoplastics won't bond without pressure.
- Apply iron edge for about 10 seconds to make the weld. You need to wait a few seconds after the hissing stops from the evaporated water, since the plastic won't melt until the water is gone at the contact point (250F melt temp > 220F boiling pt).
- Wait ~30 seconds for the plastic to cool before you try to remove the top cloth, otherwise the bladder material will stick to the cloth.
volkswagner wrote:A method of repairing bladder blowouts that I have had success with is using a regular cloths iron.
-Heat up the iron to full temp.
-Place a WET cloth underneath the area to be seamed
-Make sure both sides of the plastic are COMPLETELY flat and ripple free.
-Then use the very edge of the iron and quickly press and roll the iron off the bladder.
-This will form an air tight seam line similar to factory.
I've used this to repair a seam blowout and to shorten my L.E. so that it doesn't stick out the ends of the kite. I don't know if it would work on the middle of a bladder. Be careful of ripples because the iron will melt through them leaving a hole. If the cloth isn't wet the plastic will melt into the cloth and it will likely tear when you go to separate them. GO SLOW and take your time for best results.