Carbon fiber alernative

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by cerckert, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. cerckert
    Joined: Jul 2009
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Huntington, NY

    cerckert New Member

    We ate seeking a carbon fiber alternative for a 40 foot express yacht. We would like it to be a greener alternative even if it needs to used with epoxy. If the epoxy can be replaced as well with a greener version that would be great as well.
  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Wood Epoxy! Proper designed, perfect executed, a real competitor, well under carbon composite, but ahead of the rest.

  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    If you are not in a hurry to get after this project, you may wish to do some reading on soy based epoxy-like compounds that are coming along nicely as a replacement for straight epoxy. The potential for a much greener adhesive in the composities industry is just around the corner.

    Similarly, there are green possibilities as replacements for everyday fiberglass, depending on the applications as needed and the willingness to "look around" a bit. Fibers such as Hemp and Kenaf are showing very good properties if one is open to a different build style and somewhat different modulus, etc, expressions.

    Do some snooping, look specifically into what is coming along in the research departments of some select, major universities and ask a whole lot of questions of those who are doing the discoveries. You will find that there are a plethora of products about to explode on the scene as viable alternatives in these areas.

    The established composite industry will do and say what they can to discourage this process. Do not let the self-serving limitations of others slow your adventure in this regard. We are slowing moving away from petro-chemical products out of pure necessity, as well as future pragmatism.

    If you get involved in the cycle now, it will be a whole lot less confusing when it is part of the norm.

    Wood does work right now, as do combinations of epoxies from conventional sources, but that is going to change, no matter what the wags have to say in defense of their established positions.

    Whatever it is you use, have a blast and get out on the water.
  4. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Agree. I own a 30 year old boat with a hull of Western Red Cedar and WEST System epoxy. The hull is as stiff as the day it was built.

    I have sailed on many Wood/Epoxy boats and they can be beautiful as well as stiff and strong.
  5. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Partially hydrolyzed keratin glue has proven the test of time. It is easily storable as a hard block, resin-like material, it forms a fine, flexible joint and does not become brittle with age. It is water-soluble and some say not water"proof" but ungulates have always used it and I don't see a problem there. Also, have you looked into hemp, the "wonder fiber"? Some might poo-poo the idea of building green but as born out by green coffee cups that hold a hot liquid for sometimes hours, GM and FORD green paint that will last over a year, and many other proven successes, I think we can conclude that, in general, taking the best technology and shelving it is a damned fine way to proceed. Where can I purchase your finished product?
    Of course, you wouldn't be a party to Picea sitchensis aurea genocide or that of its distinct wonderful cousins.
  6. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    My real recommendation? Perceptions are what matter. Put a solar panel on it and a hybrid drive in it, use bamboo where applicable, and build the best dang boat you can. Outfit with hemp napkins, or whatever and go stark on decorations - it can be eligant in simplicity. By the way, I love the wood/epoxy suggestion but green?
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    The first person to really build a boat with soy-based epoxy or hemp will get what he wants - a queue of coffee shop employees wanting to buy. Might have to trim the excesses a bit to make the boat affordable...
  8. cerckert
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: Huntington, NY

    cerckert New Member

    Could you do a soy epoxy over hemp fiber?

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Actually hemp works quite well in an epoxy matrix. Might suggest Spectra as a replacement for carbon. You'll really like the price point in comparison.
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