anyone use gatorboard?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by robwilk37, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. robwilk37
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Location: san diego

    robwilk37 Senior Member

    i recently came across a stash of this stuff.

    http://tri-dee.com/gatorboard.htm

    polystyrene core with wood fiber outer skins. im thinking of using it for non-structural core with glass/epoxy over. (hatch lids, interior doors, locker lids and partitions etc) anyone have an opinion?

    tia
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    what I read is it has paper skin, not wood. it says it is good for exterior use, so the adhesives are likely moisture resistant, but it seems kind of costly. It is sold as a panel for making art or displays. Seems kind of risky to use in long term applications.

    Why not just buy foam panels? Can you get the material cheaper than you can buy foam panels? Even than, compare the time and effort to make your panels, and the cost making them, as compared to what you would save using known materials.

    You will have a layer of unknown adhesive in the board under your epoxy, so it seems to me there are some unknown properties. Have you done a boil test on it?

    It looks like interesting stuff to play around with, the distributor is not far from where I live and have driven by Tri-dee a number of times, I might drop in and take a look at it in person, perhaps gets some samples.
     
  3. robwilk37
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Location: san diego

    robwilk37 Senior Member

    4' x 8' panels free for the taking so yeah, way cheaper than the usual suspects. i havent actually touched them yet, but the site claims they are hard, rigid and lighter than ply. the part that piqued my curiosity was that any water based paint will stick, so epoxy should have no problems.

    the boil test to me is extreme. if my boat is ever exposed to boiling temps im likely to have bigger things to worry about. ill try to grab 1 sheet and lay up some test panels though, just wondered if anyone had any experience with the stuff... until today id never heard of it
     
  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    the boil test is a means of simulating long term exposure to moisture, but faster. the heat will speed the adhesive break down process that might normally occur over a long time at room temperature. It is a standard test for durability for any material to be used or exposed in a moist environment, like a boat!

    Take a strip of it and boil it in water for 10 min. Take it out, let it cool and dry overnight, and than compare its strength/condition to a fresh piece. If the strength properties are similar, you are good to use it!
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    GatorBoard is a substitute for the pultruded PVC corrugated and foam core sign material they've been using. It's not especially good at anything (tension, compression, elongation, etc.), but for decorative applications, sure, it'll work. The rosin coated skins are weather "resistant", suggesting a solid type II pass, but a marginal type I WBP result. It appears to be a standard foam core board, just with a different face coating over polystyrene, instead of the clay coat paper, used on the more traditional artists foam core.
     

  6. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    Besides that, calling hatch covers "not constructive" is a bit hairy to me.
     
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