Nida-Core: Looking for thoughts & feedback

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by UNCIVILIZED, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    G'day Gents,
    I was wondering if anyone out there has used Nida-Core much in boat builds? Specifically, using it in lieu of say Balsa, or Foam, in hulls, with a nod from the designer of course.

    It's one possible option I'm entertaining for a build. As it seems to have decent physical properties. Plus it's a lot more inexpensive than most of the other core material options.
    And I know of one obvious "catch" in using it. Evidently it has a fairly low Heat Deflection Temperature. Such that using it in decks is out for any boat that'll spend any appreciable time in warm (semi-tropical to tropical) climates.

    Thus, I'd love to hear about anyone's experiences with it; pros, cons, special techniques required for using it, etc. Oh, & specifically, I'm considering the version which comes ready for laminating, with the scrim layers on each side.

    Also, if anyone reading this cares to chime in with their experiences with similar materials, such as say, Plascore, by all means, please do.
     
  2. gdavis
    Joined: Dec 2014
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    Location: belfast,maine

    gdavis Junior Member

    hello unciv, I've worked with a fair amount of nida core. Pretty good stuff, light, stable, strong and mostly unaffected by moisture. We have used it for bulkheads, dividers, soles, cabinetry, passage doors and on and on. I remember hearing about it being used for a deck but am not sure of the layup. I don't think it would be much good for a hull because of punctures and the stiffness of it. There are plenty of foam cores out there that are much better suited and are definitely worth a few extra bucks. Also in the long run it won't be that much lighter than foam. One thing I have found that with sole lift outs and doors and the like is that they have to be balanced, like if you have 1/4" teak on one side you need 1/4" teak on the other and so on. The panel will warp if this isn't done. Not so for panels that are fixed and well attached. Now that I think about it I have seen it used for cockpit seating and built in furniture on fly bridges. For a lot of the applications the edges had to be decored and filled with solid wood or thickened epoxy. It's not a whole lot of fun, usually done with a router and a straight bit. Most of what I used came with 1/8" okume ply on both sides but that is mostly for the woodworking side of boatbuilding. The panels with the scrim on them can be laminated with either poly, vinyl ester and epoxy and bubble gum.(not really) I hope this info helps and if you have questions that I can't answer i definitely can get you good solid answers...............................................peace....................g
     
  3. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ive used it for a cockpit sole. Nice stuff. Filling the end grain is tedious.
     
  4. lenm
    Joined: Dec 2014
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    Location: australia

    lenm Junior Member

    Hi>
    My current boat (15 foot twin outboard catamaran) has both the entire floor and the hardtop roof made out of 25mm Nidacore. I built the hardtop (used scrim sided version) but not the floor.
    I have no problems with either after 7 years of offshore fishing service.
    It seems to absorb vibrations well and has a bit of 'give' in it.
    I.e. Not as stiff/ rigid as a high density foam/balsa core.
    Not sure anyone would endorse its use in the bottom or top sides of a hull??
    I like it's rot proof qualities. Water penetration of the core has no effect.
    It is not particularly light weight.
    Is prone to warpage by heat. I would not build a part out of it and paint it black!
    Sealing/filling the edges was a nightmare as someone else mentioned above.
    Very very easy to work with, I have thermo moulded it with a heat gun. I bent a 5mm thick panel of it entirely around a 125mm radius. And simply cut the core with a blade.

    I'm building a new boat soon and will consider using it as the core for the decks and surfaced with a 0.6mm rotary cut pine veneer sandwiched between 2 layers of s glass and epoxy (similar to some modern windsurfer decks). Should look beautiful timber with rot proof core.
    E.g.
    http://2004.star-board.com/products/technology.asp
    Thoughts??
     
  5. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    I have used it to re roof a trawler .

    The area is used as a fly bridge , in FL and Bahamas.

    No hassle with heat deflection as its cheap and easy to overbuild .

    IF really worried about it you can easily add a series of ribs to aid stiffness.


    The 10 x 16 panel was made up by glassing one side on a flat garage floor.

    Next day the panel was very carefully flipped and simple spacers created the camber desired.

    This was glassed up and next day hauled outside for the sun to speed the cure from green.

    At about 2 1/2 lbs per sq ft it took about 8 geezers to walk it down the dock and shove it in place to be fastened.

    About a decade in service , no problems.

    For a new build hull I much prefer Airex , it is insanely priced (tho worth it).
     
  6. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
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    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I have to agree with Michael. I am using canacore which is a honeycomb core material. It is great stuff and seems very strong. I agree that it is tedious to fill the end grain!! I think it is worth the effort. I am not using it for hull material however!
     
  7. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Guys, thanks for the input. One more question though. Why is it getting the thumbs down remarks for hulls? It's numbers for sheer & compression look passable enough to use it in said application. Am I missing something?
    I understand that any punctures in it in hull applications would be bad, however if I was going to use it in hulls, it's have some fairly serious skins on either side. So then, where's the catch?
     
  8. Sand crab
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Montana

    Sand crab Junior Member

  9. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    Location: Land O' the Great Lakes

    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Sand crab, Sweet looking boat! Funny thing is, I've seen her around somewhere before, although I can't say as to when or where. Thanks for the tip though.
     
  10. Sand crab
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Montana

    Sand crab Junior Member

  11. gdavis
    Joined: Dec 2014
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    Location: belfast,maine

    gdavis Junior Member

    That's good to know sand crab, sounds well tested to me. I wonder what the laminate layup was. It's also good to see that it can bent into compound curves. Hmmmm, got me thinking now........................adios....g
     
  12. massnspace
    Joined: Jan 2015
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    Location: Seattle

    massnspace Junior Member

    Using Nida-Core

    Hello:

    I think Nida-Core is no more…at least that what I was told when I tried to get some.

    I have used it before for a bridge deck on a catamaran and had very good luck with it…

    I sourced a very similar product called "Plascore"…just bought huge sheets of it for my new cat rebuild…2" thick for the main deck….so far, seems great…I am using it with epoxy.

    Good luck, David
     
  13. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

  14. Alan Dowler
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: south australia

    Alan Dowler Junior Member

    nidacore is prone to breakdown quite quickly when exposed to uv -- It needs to be very well painted as bare glass will allow uv to penetrate through to the niacore --- any hull scrapes that dislodge paint will put the hull core at risk --- have seen the good part of a whole deck core of nidacore become "crunchy" , soft and unstable on a 28ft keel boat after 6 years -- replaced by foam core, no problem thereafter -- I wouldnt use it for anything other than internals where its structural strength and bendy mouldable user friendliness suit best Cheers
     

  15. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Thanks for the help guys. And FYI, if you dig (online), you can still find a few places which have fair sized stashes of the stuff in warehouses. For pretty reasonable prices too, although now, with the UV warning, I'd be "selective" in where & from whom I purchased it.
     
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