eco friendly fibre glass

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by bigbowen, May 4, 2011.

  1. bigbowen
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Wales Uk

    bigbowen Junior Member

    Hey all,
    Just out of curiousity, I think we all agree that the various grp resins out there arent the most eco friendly products we could lay our hands on,

    Has anyone on their travels come across anything that claims to be an eco friendly alternative, Ive no idea if such a thing even exists but I thought Id put it out there,

    Id be very interested in peoples experiences,
    Cheers
    Sam
     
  2. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Years ago a university in Mexico did a lot research using corn oil''s to make resin from ,and a step further they used corn plant fibres instead of glass! !! was along time ago 1970s or so !!:D
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Wood ,
     
  4. rxcomposite
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philippines

    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Fiberglass (fiber) is the material made from sand. It is glass. The resin, plastic, or matrix is a by product of oil. Combined, it is called the Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) and it last for a long long time.

    There are substitute for glass fibers from other organic sources such as hemp, sisal, bamboo, and coconut fibers but it is not on the mainstream yet as its mechanical properties is not as good as Fglass, carbon fiber, or aramid.

    I know of some members here who are into research on water based resin. Just dont expect it in the near future as aerospace is developing faster on the use of exotic composite materials.
     
  5. susho
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    susho Composite builder

    Contact herman on this forum, he was involved in a project where 80% of the materials where organic. Organic fibre and epoxy based on pineappletree resin (I think, that's what he had available previous year). Quite expensive, but possible.
    so we have natural fibre, somewhat natural resin, and with cork, balsa, and other corewoods we could create a lot of products in the same way we do now.
     
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I don't know...

    There are a lot of "green" technologies out there that aren't so green after all if you examine the entire production cycle of the products.

    Some important factors to consider environmental impact:

    *How long does the finished product (boat) last before it need replacing?
    *If bio-based, are you depriving people of food?
    *How much water to grow these bio crops?
    *Are fertilizers used to grow the crops?
    *What are the environmental impacts of the bio production?
    *Carbon emissions and energy required to turn the bio into a useable product?

    As RX said, glass fibers themselves are just sand (glass) in very small filaments. Completely inert and no impact on the environment other than gathering sand, processing into glass and making the thin filaments. This all requires energy, but so does a bio fiber.

    Epoxy and other resins are 100% petroleum based, but... that carbon is never released. It is locked into the boat, which is better for the environment than burning it for fuel would be.

    Just some ponderings.
     
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  7. souljour2000
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Environmentally-friendly fiberglass?

    I'm tempted admitedly to re-sound Gonzo's comment...but I wish you good luck and godspeed in your quest.
     
  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Whoops. I forgot to add that I also agree with Gonzo, so long as there are plenty of trees left.
     
  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    How about fast growing species like bamboo?
     
  10. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    This one is made of bamboo.
     

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  11. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Not necessarily


    http://www.ecopoxysystems.com/

    sells an epoxy created from peanuts.
     
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  12. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I suppose I should have used the words, "regular epoxy is petroleum based."

    I'm a firm believer of not using food for fuel and building boats when millions go to bed hungry each night.
     
  13. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    powerabout Senior Member

    if we got rid of the worlds number one problem, too many people the cost of oil would drop and the best way to do that is use renewables so they all starve
     
  14. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    It sounds right, but in practice it appears not to matter.

    The amount of food that spoils, or is discarded in the US, because it is not 'perfect', or just is discarded uneaten, is humungus.

    The millions that go to bed hungry would never benefit from peanut crops grown in the US, that often used to get plowed back into the ground, in many years when the price if peanuts was too low to pick and ship them.

    However, if Peanut Epoxy became the norm, then the 'starving millions' might have a good cash crop to grow, instead of enriching the oil moguls.

    Its an economists nightmare of complexity. Push up the food bills to grow fuel, or push up the fuel bills so that people cant buy food.
     

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    The idea that the USA throws away tons of food (and Australia doesn't?) is far outdated. All westernized countries use food in very much the same way.

    The US does not pay farmers to plow food back into the ground. It pays them to keep the land idle, planting nothing, to keep our food surplus from depressing prices so much farmers can't earn a living. It's that simple.

    If you don't believe the tremendous problems resulting from taking foods and using them for fuel, maybe a look at a world leading expert on our food supplies will help you see some details about the situation. Check this link out and listen to the podcast. It's quite eye opening. Oddly, I heard this on NPR today while driving to get some grinding discs. It fit perfectly into our conversation:

    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/18/136394365/food-shortages-the-hidden-driver-of-global-politics

    You can breeze the abridged transcript to get a general idea (such as that the US has a food surplus and sends food to countries that have major famines in times of need), but instead of that, take the time to listen to the complete interview. In it, he details the way bio fuels are causing food availability to decrease for millions. This is a very real issue.
     
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