Foam composite construction

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Pericles, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    On the basis that epoxy and biaxial glass will encapsulate just about anything, it occurred to me that, if designed for the material and built correctly, a big boat could use bricks for its hull. I suspect that the result would not be a planing hull. :D :D :D :D :D

    I learned elsewhere of a tip for sanding hulls using Foamglas, so I looked for a supplier in the UK. Cellular glass insulation is the product description.

    FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation is totally non-combustible and impervious to the effects of moisture of any kind. The latest product from Pittsburgh Corning, FOAMGLAS W & F®, not only enables the outer skin of the building to provide protection against cold, heat and rain, it also provides fire protection, sound proofing and thermal insulation at an affordable price, It has high compressive strength and can be cut to shape with a saw.

    http://www.foamglas.co.uk/pdfs/SEL14213.pdf

    Assume a start from the sheer line upwards and curving the hull inwards towards the keel using thickened epoxy as the adhesive, a bricklayer could build the hull by corbelling. and the basic fairing would start with a long ripsaw. :idea:

    I do not yet know what such a hull would weigh, but as the foam is incombustible I would feel safer using the hybrid power system I suggested here.

    http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=19726

    I proposed using a steam powered dynamo capable of producing 25kW at 110volts DC to drive a 13kW at 96volts DC Thoosa 17000 electric motor.
    The boiler needs to produce 1250lbs of steam per hour at 180psi and would use waste oil from restaurants. Now I am certainly not I. K. Brunel, but if he were alive now, who knows what he would make of the idea?

    Leaving that aside, what opinions are there about a FOAMGLAS® composite boat?

    Pericles
     
  2. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Perry,
    bricks don't :) but Foamglass sounds interesting.
    What about curvature? Do you mean cutting the foam in briks-like pieces? Wouldn't that be labour extensive?
    Cheers.
     
  3. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Hello Guillermo,

    The reason I found Foamglas was because someone suggested using it for fairing epoxy. I've yet to try it for that, however reading about its compressive strength and imperviousness to water, it seemed a better proposition than ferrocrete construction. Thickened epoxy will bond it, so a boat could be built stripper fashion. :D There would be some shaping, but it's easily cut with a hand saw The blocks would be cut with less height to follow the curve of the hull, like the freeform blue building in the pdf brochure.

    OK, I'll call them tomorrow and ask for a sample. I know the idea seems bizarre, but no person thought about using epoxy for boat building until the Gougeon Brothers starting building ice boats and winning every contest they entered.

    Even if it turns out that building hulls is a flight of fancy, perhaps Foamglas would work for building the superstructure on a fishing boat?

    Regards,

    Perry
     
  4. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Keep us informed, please.
    Cheers.
     
  5. Man Overboard
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    Man Overboard Tom Fugate

    Foamglass is rigid; it comes in 18" x 24" sections from 1/2 inch through 6 inches in thickness. Compressive strength ranges from 90psi to 250 psi depending on the particular product. There are no published specs on sheer strength.
     
  6. kwb1312
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    kwb1312 Junior Member

    The plates might be hard to handle, but if you can bind the foamglass "gravel", the smallest size, it might be worth trying. We use the bigger size as insulating material under houses instead of stones, if a reasonable solution for binding is found it will be interesting to try with a mold.
    Or work it into a bowsection instead of kevlar. -But should not fall off occasionally. :D
     
  7. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Tom,

    Sheer strength will be higher than the foams currently used in composite foam core or balsa core boats, especially if the Foamglas is fully encapsulated in biaxial cloth and epoxy resin, rather than vinyl ester.

    http://www.redrockstore.com/resin.htm

    Guillermo

    Have just spoken with Andrew Jones of Pittsburgh Corning UK. Foamglas has been used to produce unsinkable barges. It was a brief chat and he will call me later today to arrange samples etc. I mentioned using Foamglas for fairing boat hulls and he confirmed that it works very well as the Foamglas takes the shape of the surface being smoothed. Now, I don't want to be thought big headed about this, but "Who's the man? Who's the man? Yeah!!!" :D

    Build the hull in two halves and join at the centreline. Do you fancy shipbuilding with me? I retire next month and fancy a move to Galicia. :D :D :D :D BTW Perry is a shortened version of Peregrine, meaning wanderer or pilgrim, which is a bit of a coincidence? Someone named their church after me! Is Praça Galician for Iglesia?

    Regards,

    Perry
     
  8. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    You're the one, Perry! :)
    I'll be most content to receive you here (as a St Jacques pilgrim, of course ;) ). We'll discuss boatbuinding by the side of some 'marisco' dishes poured with 'albariño' wine!
    Cheers!
     
  9. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Oh yes!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mariscada.jpg

    Albariño is the primary grape used to make dry white wine in the Rias Baixes (Lower Inlets) section of the Galicia region of Northwestern Spain. Considered by many to be Spain's premier quality white wine, Albariño is also known in Portugal as Alvarinho and often used as a component of Vinho Verde.

    Weather conditions in the Rias Baixes are generally cool, windy and rainy. Vines must be trained high and open to allow winds to dry them out and avoid the ongoing threat of rot, mildew and other fungal diseases. Notably, Albariño grapes develop thick skins here, contributing to their intense aromas.

    Typically, wines made from Albariño are very aromatic, often described as having scents of almonds or almond paste, apples, peaches, citrus, and flowers or grass. Albariño wines are particularly suited to seafood due to their bracing acidity (Jancis Robinson calls it "razor-sharp."). This grape's inherent tartness should be embraced in youth, for wines made from albariño do not age well, and the vibrant aromas begin to noticeably fade within months of bottling.

    Do you drive to Vilagarcía de Arousa every day?

    Perry
     
  10. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Yes, I drive to Vilagarcía every day.
    And I have some bottles of Albariño waiting for friends to come...!
    (But not for a long time, as Albariño wine does not age well, as you correctly say! :) )
     
  11. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Guillermo,

    Samples of Foamglas are en route to me. I shall perform an empirical ex Perry ment by sheathing both sides of a 40 mm T4 panel with biax cloth and West System epoxy and stand on it as if it were a lintel! We'll see what 100 kgs will do to it!:D

    http://www.foamglas.co.uk/product-overview.htm

    Perry
     
  12. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I think it would be useful to accurately know foamglass characteristics and price against the usual core foams, such as SAN, DL PVC, L PVC, and the like. Also what would the final product price per sqm including epoxy resins, and number of labour hour/sqm estimate for a typical boat.

    Have a look at: http://www.boatdesign.net/articles/foam-core/index.htm

    Cheers.
     
  13. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Guillermo,

    The samples arrived just now, with an architect's manual crammed full with brochures and specification sheets. The blocks of Foamglas are surprisingly light, but there's a fair bit of reading to do before I can give you numbers.:D

    Perry
     
  14. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Guillermo,

    T4 (The most likely core to use)

    Size 600 mm X 450 mm

    Thicknesses 40 mm to 180 mm in 10 mm increments

    Density 120 kg / m3

    Thermal conductivity .042 W /mK

    Compressive strength 700 kN / m2

    Flexural strength 400 kN / m2

    Temperature limits From -273.16C to 485C

    Softening 730C

    Water absorption Zero

    Hydroscopic Zero

    Permeability Zero

    Impervious to common acids

    Non combustible, no toxic fumes

    Water vapor transmission Zero

    Perfect dimensional stability

    Price Haven't asked!

    Build time Es muy rapido :D

    Perry
     

  15. kengrome
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    kengrome Senior Member

    So this stuff weights 120kg/m3 and water weighs 1000kg/m3? It seems your entire hull would be completely unsinkable when made from this stuff!

    From the info you posted it seems this foam would not be subject to any type of degradation from heat or chemical -- except physical -- which is more than likely going to be its major drawback in terms of hull building. I suspect it is too britt,e to withstand "banging about" much without fracturing or being crushed.

    How are you thinking of using it Perry? Laminating it with epoxy and fiberglass instead of using softer foams? If so I'll bet you won't use much resin since it is closed cell material. It should be easy to fair too, but probably not very easy to bend. I wonder if it could even be used to build a lapstrake-type boat ... does it bend enough?
     
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