Today, we worked on the fins! Both our sub-scale and full-scale rockets need fins, so we decided that instead of spending hundreds of dollars on fins, we could very cheaply buy each material and glue them together. We are making about six fins for each rocket, we only need four, but extras are always good. The fins are made of Balsa wood, a material not known for its strength, so we are adding a layer or two of carbon fiber, and a smooth layer of fiberglass as a cover. To allow these layers to adhere, we are applying an epoxy, an adhesive mixture of two chemicals.
Notice that the fins are not yet cut. This is because it is easier to fully create the fins before cutting them. This sheet can create a large amount of fins. Below is a diagram of the layers of the fin, just to make it simpler. The balsa wood layer is there to create a cheap base for the fin. Because it isn't strong enough, the carbon fiber layer is there to support it. Lastly, the fiberglass layer is a smooth finish, but mostly acts as a fail-safe so that we don't sand through the carbon fiber. Each layer is connected with epoxy.