Recycled plastic melted to form hulls?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by chowdan, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. chowdan
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    chowdan 1980 PAC41 Liveaboard

    Hey everyone,

    I'm no boat builder, nor am I a professional in the industry. I've had this idea on the back of my mind for many years, and never really brought it up to anyone.

    I know boats of fiberglass do not rot like wood does making them last for essentially, ever.

    With all the used plastic bottles sitting in dumps and in the oceans, couldn't we put this material back to use in boats by melting it down and pressing it into a hull?

    Granted the expense in developing the machines, forms and such to get the plastic melted and pressed into a hull shape would be quite expensive, but overall having a 1/4" - 1" thick would be plenty strong and reliable and if done correctly, you wouldn't have to worry about things like soft spots like we see in fiberglass.

    Has anyone ever done something like this?

    I personally would prefer purchasing a vessel made of recycled plastic bottles as this means we have a new use for the **** ton of plastic in our world.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There are several companies making boats with rotomolded plastic. They range from small dinghies to about 25 foot powerboats.
     
  3. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    The Watertender and Bass tender line of small boats are vacuformed plastic, that is they start as a flat sheet of plastic, are suspended over a male mold, then sucked down over the mold by vacuum. These boats are two part and are joined at the gunnel.

    I had one, was a great tender. would plan w 5hp and 1 person, weighed 105 lbs, and was pretty rugged and durable.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Dolphin-Water-Tender-9-4-Feet/dp/B002GXJ0NW

    :cool:
     
  4. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I'd love to have a dinghy mold... steel & 2 piece where you throw in a couple of hundred milk jugs.... used with labels still on.... warm up... squeeze.. & pull out a "Dairy Farmers Dinghy" skin... unfortunately I don't think I'd get my tooling money back........

    Jeff
     
  5. Saqa
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    Saqa Senior Member

    I think they can only be recycled into more bottles. It isnt a very good grade of PE for long term use
     
  6. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Maybe I'm greatly mistaken but I think the bottles are made of plastic and boats should be made of plastic reinforced with fiberglass.
    Once you know this, how you can use bottles (crushed, I guess) and how they can be reinforced with glass?
     
  7. Saqa
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Saqa Senior Member

    TANSL, in Australia and NZ there are a couple of very popular brands that make all sorts of fishing boats from HDPE, no glass in it at all
    http://www.polycraft.com.au/model-range/599-frontier
    http://www.macboats.co.nz/shop/product/mac-600-double-centre-console
    http://aquatruck.com.au/

    From US
    http://www.triumphboats.com/boats/215-cc/photos.php

    Just some examples of the more popular brands. They all reckon they the toughest boats but the sledgehammer types testing doesnt damage any. You have seen my cat project, I am using the same material just welded seams instead of rotomolded
     
  8. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Do they made bottles in HDPE?. Is it the same material used in these boats than to make bottles ?. I guess not.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  10. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Roto mouldings can be done in several materials PE and PP the main ones, but nylon and PVC too.

    One problem with recycled material is they loose some of their original 'strength', so you have to factor that in. Something like PP can be recycled about 5 times before it is useless. Quite a lot of bottles are PET but with an additional coating which may need separating as well before it can be used. So if the OP wishes to go down his original route he/she would be well advised to check the material properties that can be obtained prior to considering the material. There are also options of mixing with virgin material which may be a good compromise.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There is also laminations which uses a lighter or cheaper core with denser outside skins. I am not sure how much it can be deformed or molded to make a hull.
     
  12. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    All of that is great, but will not be more expensive and complicated that "recycling" than use new material appropriate to the application that will give.
    Of course, if the boat has to be approved by any oficial organization, I have some doubts that you can build with this material.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  14. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    That's not true.
    The Spanish administration, for example, does not like mat projection system for boats.
     

  15. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    In none of these sites is said that plastic bottles are recycled to make kayaks. It is said that they recycle their own waste for reuse.

    Who is "CE"?. What can do "CE"?. Nothing, because "CE" is not a natural or legal person.
    "CE" is a trademark administrations of the countries of the European Community grant to vessels complying with certain regulations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
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