I am considering useing 3 M  reinforced polyurethane foam with continuous fiberglass strands instead of plywood,,to plank a boat. I would like to know if it is an acceptable substitute.  Has anyone used it?  What radius can it be bent to without fracturing

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RE: Rpfc

The answer is a definite ... maybe.

First, what boat design are you planning on using it for? That will mostly determine if it's acceptable. You should check with the designer.

If it's a conversion froma wood design, keep the following in mind:

1. okoume weighs 18 lb/cubic foot. 3M RPF-C weighs 15 to 26 lb/cubic foot. It jumps from 15 to 20 with nothing in between, so the weights will not match the specified plywood.

2. the foam is not available in the same thicknesses as plywood so all the internal dimensions will be wrong and will need to be adjusted. The minimum thickness I've seen is 9mm, but that's not in all weights.

3. the foam must be 100% covered in glass, something that plywood does not necessarily need so you may need more epoxy & glass than in a wooden version. Since this is a composite panel (not just abrasion protection) calculating the schedule will be more complex.

Finally, the foam is significantly more expensive than even okoume plywood.

So definitely check with your boat's designerto see if it's even a good idea and be sure to look into all the hidden costs. Boats that are specifically designed to use foam panels can be very successful, but conversions are tricky.



RE: Rpfc


Nice reply.

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