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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:04 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

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Originally Posted by Mike Schreiber View Post
Please define soft fastener in a way that does not include fabric.
We used masking tape to hold the pool noodles in place to make stapling the sailcloth easier. That would be a paper tape, not a fabric tape.

Duallock is definitely a fastener, it isn't really hard, and it certainly isn't fabric.

As regards OP, I expect this is a persistently light gray area:
  • Light gray because it will most likely be allowed at most events.
  • Persistently gray because even if you ask Q&A they will almost certainly kick it back to the inspectors.

Curiously, my initial read of OP was that there would be different types of cloth in different parts of the bumper. Other than using the singular for the cloth, I couldn't find any rules against that.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:06 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTwo View Post
We used masking tape to hold the pool noodles in place to make stapling the sailcloth easier. That would be a paper tape, not a fabric tape.

Duallock is definitely a fastener, it isn't really hard, and it certainly isn't fabric.

As regards OP, I expect this is a persistently light gray area:
  • Light gray because it will most likely be allowed at most events.
  • Persistently gray because even if you ask Q&A they will almost certainly kick it back to the inspectors.
Which, as we find, isn't viable as an option because inconsistency between inspectors is the work of the devil. (my brother and I have both inspected at multiple levels , though I haven't in a few years)
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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:14 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

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Originally Posted by Mike Schreiber View Post
The rule I quoted was R29. It specifically allows soft fasteners to be used to attach the pool noodle to the plywood. Is a layer of fabric wrapped around the pool noodles and attached to the plywood not a soft fastener?
That's an interesting interpretation of that part of the rule. Knowing the history and discussion here on CD that led to that language, I know that it was added to allow teams to use a reasonable amount of duct tape to hold the noodles in place while they secured their bumper fabric over them.

Trying to apply it to the OP's idea, however... it starts to fall apart. Fabric, by itself, is not fastener unless knotted, and I don't think anyone is suggesting you tie the fabric together in the back of the bumper. I could maybe see it as a fastener if it's sewn into a loop and is used to hold things together that way, but I think it's a small stretch. But, as normally seen on bumpers, it's fabric that is attached to the bumper with fasteners (bolts, screws, staples, etc), not a fastener itself. After all, you wouldn't say that a shirt is a fastener, it's the buttons on front of it that act to fasten things together. So, in most situations, I think that's where that argument falls apart.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:23 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Is thread used to sew pieces of fabric (or other material) a fastener? I'd consider it one - something used to hold something else fast (stationary).
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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:24 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
That's an interesting interpretation of that part of the rule. Knowing the history and discussion here on CD that led to that language, I know that it was added to allow teams to use a reasonable amount of duct tape to hold the noodles in place while they secured their bumper fabric over them.
So teams now have to selectively dig into the CD archives to properly interpret rules?

How about adhesive backed fabric being used to hold noodles in place?
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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:31 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

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Originally Posted by scottandme View Post
So teams now have to selectively dig into the CD archives to properly interpret rules?

How about adhesive backed fabric being used to hold noodles in place?
No one said that. I provided it for discussion, and followed it up (the part you didn't quote) with actual reasoning and interpretation of the rule.

"adhesive backed fabric" covers a lot of things. Duct tape, for example, is composed of three layers - polyethelyne, fabric, and adhesive. Gaff tape, on the other hand, doesn't have that polyethelyne layer - it's just fabric and adhesive. It's also a lot more expensive.

Anyways, I think the background I provided, and you quoted earlier, pretty much answers that second question, doesn't it?
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Unread 10-12-2017, 04:48 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

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Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
Fabric, by itself, is not fastener unless knotted
I disagree, but don't have the energy to debate this anymore.

To the OP:

We've been using multiple layers of fabric for several years. We've never been questioned in MI or St Louis. Hopefully Jon doesn't inspect us in Detroit this year, because I have every intention of doing it again.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 05:33 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Oh, bumbers.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 05:38 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schreiber View Post
I disagree, but don't have the energy to debate this anymore.

To the OP:

We've been using multiple layers of fabric for several years. We've never been questioned in MI or St Louis. Hopefully Jon doesn't inspect us in Detroit this year, because I have every intention of doing it again.
Or, you know, ask a clear question on the Q&A (or multiple if needed) until there's a clear universal answer that resolves the issue. But why take the easy way
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Unread 10-12-2017, 05:43 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
No one said that. I provided it for discussion, and followed it up (the part you didn't quote) with actual reasoning and interpretation of the rule.

"adhesive backed fabric" covers a lot of things. Duct tape, for example, is composed of three layers - polyethelyne, fabric, and adhesive. Gaff tape, on the other hand, doesn't have that polyethelyne layer - it's just fabric and adhesive. It's also a lot more expensive.

Anyways, I think the background I provided, and you quoted earlier, pretty much answers that second question, doesn't it?
Minimized the quote for brevity. The suggestion that teams need to know the CD background for a rule isn't supported by the actual rulebook. The rulebook and q&a are the only official sources.

I honestly don't know what you're trying to suggest for the adhesive backed fabric question. My suggestion was that teams can already legally use a robust and durable fabric tape underneath their "outer layer" of bumper fabric, so I don't really see the point of your general interpretation here.

There are plenty of expensive laminate fabrics that are both rugged and smooth (if that's the intent). I don't see the point in disallowing teams to layer fabrics to meet the same goal - especially since they can already skirt the rule by making the base layer adhesive backed.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 05:48 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

I know teams that use other fabrics under their bumpers in the past. Normally it was for display purposes etc. Some of them had skirts that went over them, others had two sets and had red and blue permanently mounted over them.

I wouldn't fail multiple fabric layers based on the 2016-17 bumper rules. Things could change (based on 2018 rules / Q&A) but as they are written I can see multiple ways (as others have stated above) that I would allow it. The teams are trying to make their bumpers more durable and consistent without getting a competitive advantage.

If you are spending time in the off-season to think about your bumpers I am not going to try to punish you when a far greater number of teams can barely get their bumpers to stay on or meet the basic requirements in the first place.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 08:26 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Hm. I read the rule same as Jon. It's pretty clear that multiple layers of cloth* are only allowed to accommodate R26. That means the purpose of the layering must be to facilitate displaying a particular colour**, or I guess to hide bumper markings that are prohibited by R27***.

All that said, who cares? If a team shows up with multiple layers of cloth without a legal justification as above, I wouldn't make them remake the bumpers. I really can't imagine there being much strategic advantage available. It would honestly just be a big waste of time having nonrugged cloth above rugged cloth because you'd have to keep replacing the top layer of cloth. So I wouldn't care. But maybe that's why I'm not an RI.


* whether or not the cloth itself is thick or layered is not discussed by the rule. Presumably you could use a thick/layered cloth given that it doesn't have seams?? That seems to be what's implied.

** Mike's idea about having the other colour underneath is dumb and obviously wouldn't satisfy this. It doesn't matter what the lower colour is because it's clearly not there to display that colour.

*** lol
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Unread 10-12-2017, 08:49 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

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Originally Posted by Type View Post
My team for the past two years has used the slick bumper material sold by AndyMark due to my team's strategy always being offensive, and wanting to slide past robots easier. We have had lots of issues by the end of the season (2016 and 2017) with our bumpers having nasty gashes and fairly bad rips. Is it legal to combine bumper fabric? Ie. sewing or adhering the slick bumper material to one side of a thicker and (most likely) more durable bumper material? And if so, has anybody done this before, and have it work as it should?
We have used this fabric** and Cordura. Both fabrics have torn on robot appendages. The thicker Cordura is easier to patch so we just stick with it.

I don't have any evidence that using a thick backing fabric would protect the slick outer layer. Most damage I've witness has been from glancing blows that cut the fabric. Would be easier to repair though.

I think it is a more expensive way to do the bumpers for a marginal gain.

David

** Hopefully this will not be too shocking. We used a backing fabric - more for color than toughness.
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Unread 10-12-2017, 11:15 PM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

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Or, you know, ask a clear question on the Q&A (or multiple if needed) until there's a clear universal answer that resolves the issue. But why take the easy way
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Unread 10-13-2017, 08:24 AM
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Re: Combining Bumper Fabrics

Guys,
Sorry I am coming in late on this discussion but having read through the thread I can't help but think all are speaking about nearly the same interpretation but attacking it from different directions.
To be clear, there is no rule that speaks to multiple layers of fabric (changeable colors have been legal for years) but there are other sections of the bumper rules that also apply. i.e. Multiple layers should not be used to compress the pool noodles to an extent that causes the bumper cross section to vary greatly from Figure 8-5. Like wise, there should not be so much fabric to increase that dimension shown in Figure 8-6. 2017 was the first year in which the bumpers were included in the overall volume of the robot. It is unknown if that would be the case in the future. If the volume were not a consideration in the future, a multi-layer bumper may give a team an advantage. That design would be evaluated at that time for the rules that would apply at that time. Do not interpret this discussion as giving you a pass on all multi-layer designs.
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