Running EV help

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MomCoach
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Running EV help

Post by MomCoach » February 4th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Hi all,
We encountered a puzzler when running Electric Vehicle at an invitational a couple weeks back. One of the teams pulled out their wheel cleaner and it proved to be lacquer paint thinner! It is a direct violation of the rules (3g I think) to use something like that, but we stopped them from using it on the brand new gym floor for their second run.

I am not going to let them damage the floor. What would constitute a 'safe' cleaner?

Do we let them potentially damage the floor and give the the violation, or stop them from damaging the floor and give them no violation? If we hadn't stopped them, they would have used the thinner on the second run.

Mikey

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Re: Running EV help

Post by A Person » February 4th, 2016, 4:34 pm

I think that's definitely a good reason to not let them run with it. I'm pretty sure a safe cleaner is completely at the judgement of the judge that day, but I agree with your choice. I would say that don't let them run at all with the paint thinner. Just give them the option of running without it or maybe with water, but I wouldn't risk the trouble. So let them use water or something to clean the wheels of the thinner/don't use the thinner, and let them run. No violation and no damaged floor.

Man, that's crazy. Why would someone think that anything apart from water or maybe some soap or something is allowed for cleaning wheels? Maybe using the thinner then wiping it down with water? That seems alright. Not just using thinner, though.
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Re: Running EV help

Post by iwonder » February 4th, 2016, 7:22 pm

I used to use isopropyl alcohol to clean wheels (while we're listing alternatives) it worked well and you could watch the small ammount evaporate away before setting the vehicle down.

I feel like most teams will want to use some cleaner that evaporates, water would not be a good choice here. The benefit is that it cleans off oils and leaves the surface of the wheel absolutely dry. Acetone, isopropyl, things like that work well, and aren't outside of household use at all. Water won't clean off oil, and certainly won't dry fully (without drying with a towel, which is best to avoid), and getting soap off the wheels completely, strikes me as difficult (no running water).

Certainly paint thinner risks damaging the surface of the gym floor, if I were running that event I would just tell the team no, to avoid the facility damage. No need for the penalty imho.
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Re: Running EV help

Post by MomCoach » February 4th, 2016, 7:35 pm

The rules state that anything that could damage the floor cannot be used on the wheels. Acetone would be particularly bad. The problem may not be what evaporates on the wheels, but that you have some amount of the cleaner that could be spilled. The gym floor for our event was bran new (and gorgeous).

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Re: Running EV help

Post by iwonder » February 5th, 2016, 4:38 am

Well as we said, it's a judgement call by the supervisor on the day. In my opinion acetone would be just fine, and I've used that technique in multiple competitions and many gym floors without issue. Regardless, stopping the, before they used it was the right thing to do. The rest of the discussion here is going to be a matter of opinion.
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