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Old 2016.11.01, 03:53 AM   #1
Racer-HH
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Ageing of RCP and how to keep the track in shape

Dear fellow racers

our local club runs an RCP track for ages... maybe 8+ years now. What we see is that rough side more and more gets grainy with lot of small RCP dust or thicker pieces in the body after running a pack of cells. Some tiles on the rough side look nearly smooth in the meantime.
When switching to the smooth side, the track will not build up traction at all - even after weeks of regular driving (Marka and PN rubber tires). The surface seems somehow shiny and you can clearly see change in surface "reflection" when swiping your hands on it.

The track is placed inside the club, no direct sunlight, no extreme temperatures.

So my question is: did the track get (too?) old? And if so, can it be somehow refurbished?
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Old 2016.11.01, 06:55 AM   #2
arch2b
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Excellent questions! always wondered about this myself as out club also has run tracks for many years. we've rotated in new tracks about every 5 years or so on average. i've just built it into my club operating cost to replace the track every 5 years or so.
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Old 2016.11.01, 07:59 AM   #3
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I've added tracks here and there over the years however I'm still using my original 3 wide L's that I purchased over 10 years ago.

I don't do anything specific, I just vacuum them them and keep them clean. I also store them stacked on a pallet in my garage, and the ones we use the most stay inside in my basement.

this is the same track our club has been using since I purchased it.

I also tried the smooth side of the track and even after several weeks and races on that side we couldn't get any traction so we flipped it back over.
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Old 2016.11.01, 10:28 AM   #4
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We do vacuum the RCP tiles regularly as well. Dust / dirt on the rough side reduces for 1 or 2 meetings (as does grip) and then goes back to normal, aka really dirty inside the body after one pack of cells.

The smooth side was vacuumed, washed (with little green soap) and washed again. The water after this procedure indicates a lot of dirt was removed, nevertheless the RCP does not feel like the new tiles do and, as mentioned above, does not build any traction or grip for months now.
Also the tires do have a shiny look after 5-10 laps, which additionally decreases grip. After a quick run on the tire truer the tires work again and look as supposed, but another 5 laps later it starts all over again.

Therefore we think something has happened to the RCP itself over the time and wonder how to restore the original behavior. As we do run 2 big tracks plus 1 for the 1:28 online world series replacement will come quite costly - and as it was not planned no reserves for exchange have been saved during the years.
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Old 2016.11.01, 12:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Also the tires do have a shiny look after 5-10 laps, which additionally decreases grip. After a quick run on the tire truer the tires work again and look as supposed, but another 5 laps later it starts all over again.
Same thing happened to us. Somebody ran Silicone tires. http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showth...t=tire+problem

There's a youtube video showing how to clean the track (don't have the link right now)
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Old 2016.11.01, 06:18 PM   #6
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I have heard of people using silicone tires on the track and as a result loosing much of the traction. There are some ways to remove the silicone as mentioned above. I've never used silicone tires, so haven't had the issue on my tracks.
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Old 2016.11.02, 07:15 AM   #7
briankstan
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I know in our case that silicone tires have never been used, especially since we had never ran on the smooth side before. we never got the traction to come up.
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Old 2016.11.02, 07:18 AM   #8
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DC had similar experience to Brian. after years of continuous use on the rough side, the smooth side just didn't catch on. we vacuumed, wiped down, misted with water to clean, etc.
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Old 2016.11.02, 06:20 PM   #9
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Thats the strange part...we ran rough side for years, switched to smooth side a couple months ago. Plenty of grip.
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Old 2016.11.04, 02:51 AM   #10
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Thanks for joining in, Brian and Arch. Seems our club is not alone. Too bad the manufacturer seems to not have a solution to this issue, looking at the reply of RCP Tracks above.
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Old 2016.11.04, 07:03 AM   #11
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for the rough side, wear and tear of traffic can smooth out the surface, likewise can exacerbate the texture as it gets gouged, scraped, etc. it's just going to happen and no way to really prevent it as it's anticipated wear in my opinion. over time, you may need to replace certain tiles. vacuuming the tile itself will accelerate wear and tear if your using a motorized brushed vacuum that has contact with the surface as your scouring the textured surface. we don't actually vacuum our track but maybe a couple times a year. we just beat the tiles like a rug to shake out dirt, etc. before putting them down each time.

for the smooth side, my theory is that over the years of repeated assembly and disassembly, sliding around on carpet, the surface is almost polished in a sense. it's constantly being shifted over a very low pile commercial carpet of unknown composition itself while also grinding in whatever happens to be on the floor, everything from dust/dirt to chemicals your shoes track in from outdoor sidewalks, etc. this is my theory based on our own experience and assume there is no restoration of the surface, or at least none that we are inclined to do ourselves as a result of time, materials, etc. this is why i budget for track/tile replacement, the track is a consumable product and certainly expected to change with wear and tear, like any racing surface or floor finish. i'm currently waiting for the new shipment of rail colors to arrive before ordering a batch to replace rails that have gotten torn up.

when RCP was released, no one really cared about what tires were made of or what effect they may have on EVA foam. that level of interest developed over time as it became more obvious that certain compounds were having an effect and manufacturer designs improved for better compounds specifically for RCP.

RCP is a consumable product like any other. how long it lasts is dependent on care and usage.
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Old 2016.11.04, 11:36 AM   #12
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RCP is a consumable product like any other. how long it lasts is dependent on care and usage.
I would add climate to that list as well.
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Old 2016.11.05, 06:44 PM   #13
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Climate is a definite factor. I'd add another one being the base that you setting up on. Setup on Concrete vs Carpet can make a difference as well as temperature.
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Old 2016.11.06, 03:19 AM   #14
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Newbie question coming up... I have a bunch of tires and how can you tell if they have silicone in them? How can you tell if they are made of rubber?
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Old 2016.11.08, 09:24 AM   #15
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Arch, thank you for your idea with the polishing of the smooth side, when facing the ground / carpet for years. This is a good theory, although proof is difficult. But maybe someone has an idea for unpolishing the smooth side?
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