Wooden/Fiberglass Scantlings

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by JEM, May 12, 2004.

  1. JEM
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    JEM Senior Member

    I'm currently reading Elements of Boat Strength by Gerr. Addresses a lot about foam composite. I love the formulas.

    But there is little to no information regarding scantlings for using plywood core in a composite sandwich instead of foam.

    Anyone know of a good resource for such information that’s presented in a similar fashion as Gerr’s?

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Use the scantlings for wood core with fiberglass sheathing.
     
  3. Not A Guest
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    Not A Guest Junior Member

    foam, wood, and plywood are different materials and have much different properties.

    In the order I have written them they are in order of increasing strength and density.

    I would expect that plywood could be thinner than wood or foam.
     
  4. JEM
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    JEM Senior Member

    I bounced my ideas of a couple of designers and also ordered Designing Power & Sail. I prefer to use plywood/fiberglass as a composite so hopefully I can find or even develop some charts to use.

    Does anyone think Gerr's ratios apply to plywood as well as foam? In other words, once you establish your basic hull lamination, do you think Gerr's ratios for hull bottom, speeds over 10 knots, etc, would be accurate for plywood/fiberglass construction?
     
  5. SeaDrive
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    The only designer that I know of who has made any sort of engineering study of a glass/ply composite is Jacques Mertens (http://www.boatplans-online.com/index.php). I believe he developed his scantlings by building and testing panels, and he considers the results to be proprietary, i.e. a trade secret. I mention this not because it helps you much, but because it suggests that there is something to know that is not in the public domain. Most designers use scantlings for ply and a single layer of light fiberglass just to make the surface finish as durable as possible.
     
  6. Bavarian

    Bavarian Guest

    A plywood core boat misses the point of coring - light and stiff by using strong skins and light core. If you are building a "plywood core" boat, you really want to build a plywood boat and sheath it in a single layer of boat cloth for abrasion resistance and moisture protection. Scantling rules for plywood sailing boats are in ABS Rules for Building and Classing Offshore Yachts.
     
  7. JEM
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    JEM Senior Member

    With the proper lamination schedule, one can utilize thinner and lighter sheets of plywood. Example, instead of 1/2" with a layer of 6 ounce standard weave, use 3/8" with biax.

    That's just a rough example.
     
  8. duluthboats
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    JEM
    There are many ways to measure a laminate. A thin plywood/glass laminate might be equal to a thick foam/glass laminate in one characteristic, but very different in another.
    Gary
     
  9. JEM
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    JEM Senior Member

    Very true. Ok I'll rephrase and say plywood "core" in a "fiberglass composite" layup is my prefered method for now.

    Hopefully I'm not mincing words or cross-pollenating terms. ;)
     
  10. SailDesign
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    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    If you use 3/8" ply instead of 1/2", you finish up with only 43% of the stiffness. This can lead to all sorts of unforseen problems with structure. Plywood was never intended to be used as a spacer material, with reason. It is also denser than solid wood, and less stiff except in a cross-grain application.
    Steve
     
  11. Not A Guest
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    Not A Guest Junior Member

    Jem ---

    If you read Gerr's book a little closer he discusses plywood as cores and plywood as planking.

    I have not examined plywood issues enough to endorse his statements.
     
  12. I don't think plywood is a suitable core; it doesn’t transfer the sheer from the outer web to the inner web of the structure. It is worthwhile as a core where you need the compression strength in the core material for bolts, as in an engine bed for instance. The peel strength is nowhere near high enough to use as the core in a boat. As others have said the weight is also a problem. The bottom line is why would you want to use it.
     
  13. JEM
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    JEM Senior Member

    Simplicity of build with my current skill set.
     
  14. Use the rule for a balsa core and you will get reasonable numbers. Make sure the bond is good or you end up with a real problem. The weight will be much greater then balsa but you already know that.
     

  15. SeaDrive
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    Ply is about the only material that can be the mold as well as the core, which has appeal to amateur builders.
     
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