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Let's talk dirt.

Let's talk dirt.

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Old 03-17-2011, 06:16 PM
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Default Let's talk dirt.

I have a track at my house and am trying to get the dirt conditions better for racing. The dirt, in farm speak, is black sand. When wet has great traction and dry's out fairly fast after a rain. The down fall is there is a lot of loom to broom off after every couple races. I am considering incorporating bentonite to see if this helps with the drying out issue and the loom. I do not want to turn it into a clay surface just control moisture and loom. Any help or suggestions? I can't find a lot of info on this type of tech specific to RC tracks. How much to add. How to incorporate it, till, rake? Thanks for anything.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:33 PM
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Don't discount clay, just use a little of it at a time.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:40 PM
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Anyone used bentonite to stabilize their surface? I found something on an oval coarse forum about it but zero specifics. Some Canadian sight about the qualities of it but nothing pertaining to RC.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:07 PM
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buy a little bit, till it in and let us know.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:00 AM
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It's hard to say where tracks actually get thier dirt from.
Some tracks use clay, others just use normal everyday dirt
you can find anywhere. I prefer hard packed clay over anything else,
I love running pink taper slicks. Next thing to that is asphalt
for radial tires. and last is carpet, carpet keeps your cars even cleaner
and you can run foam tires too.
I have raced on it all, and even have some dirt oval experince.
Dirt oval is pretty cool because you can run lots of laps in so short of time.
On big 1/8th tracks you might get 7-10 laps, oval maybe 25-30 laps.
The most ive ever pulled on a dirt oval is 76 laps in 6 mins, that's
me being on my game and super consistent with no wrecks.
BTW im glad someone made this topic, hopefully others have a
chance to share thier racing information with us. =)
I can list some chemicals ive seen tracks use, one of them is laundry detergent, some even use powdered sugar(odd I know).
On asphalt ive seen people use ginger ale, I have no idea why either.

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:18 AM
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a list of items i've seen used on a track (various types).

wood dust - on wet track to help dry it
concrete dust - absorbs moisture
calcium chloride - absorbs moisture
laundry detergent (usually contains a chloride) - absorbs moisture
biodegradible track sealant
vht - keep dust down, add bite
soda (pick your flavor) - keep dust down, add bite

here's some info from the epa along the same lines..

http://www.epa.gov/owow/NPS/gravelroads/sec4.pdf
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mason View Post
vht - keep dust down, add bite
VHT is basically glue, if you get it on yourself or anything you can't get it off, I'd shy away from it for use on dirt. And the OP said he didn't want a full clay surface, VHT would be even worse.

I'd say go with the Bentonite Clay, add small amounts and till it in a bit, should help the surface stay together and hold a bit of moisture.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Phatkat View Post
Don't discount clay, just use a little of it at a time.
Bentonite is actually a form of clay. There are many different grades, including a FOOD GRADE variety.

Now im not a bentonite master or anything, but i have worked with a few different types. Most of the ones ive worked with can be really nasty/sticky. If you want to try it i would look into some of the different types. Depending on what you can get, you may want to play with different amounts until you get the consistency you want. It is definitely some good stuff for holding some moisture.

Also dont discount some mulches and organic materials. They can hold moisture for a while too, while not getting really nasty and they fit the bill. Really loamy dirt usually contains some kind of organic material anyway.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mason View Post
calcium chloride - absorbs moisture
That is probably the stuff i mistook for powered sugar, as it's white..
I see people put that on the base of a jump.
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:00 AM
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bump. i'd love to hear more about bentonite. i want to build track in back yard and my soil is quite sandy/dusty. i have easy access to cheap bentonite pellets. bentonite is used in my area on farms agricultural dams to form a seal. given that its a type of clay then surely its good for making crappy soil more suitable for rc car track?
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:30 PM
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the white stuff is calcium it is used a lot in racing for track prep. so are different forms of sealer. both are used often where i live.
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