Smooth Sailing with Epoxies
Summer has officially arrived, and the soaring temperatures make us seek opportunities to cool down at the beach and in or ON the water. If you like sailing trips, epoxies have a lot to offer to you!
Epoxy resins have been used in boat building for decades for just about anything, from the actual building to repairing, reinforcing, fabricating, and attaching components.
One of the reasons for this is that epoxy adheres to and bonds with just about any material, including wood, metals, and cured polyester and vinylester laminates. It is suitable for building and repairing fiberglass, wooden, and metal boats.
Given its high adhesive strength, epoxies make it possible to combine different materials, such as adding reinforcing composite stringers to wooden boat hulls.
With advances in both epoxy resin handling properties and the infusion process which has been adopted from the wind energy and aerospace industry, boat manufacturers are today producing lightweight boats with improved hydrodynamic performance and speed and a Class A, blemish-free surface finish. This new ability is also improving workplace cleanliness, when compared to manual fabric lay-ups, and reducing VOC emissions.
Epoxies, are a class of extremely strong materials with high elongation, tensile strength, and modulus/stiffness properties. The superior performance profile allows boat builders to optimize the number of laminate layers used for a hull without sacrificing strength or performance. A lower number of layers cut overall structure weight providing for greater hull speed and reduced fuel consumption.
As a cherry on the cake, epoxy resins have a cured shrinkage of less than 2 %, allowing boat builders to produce an outstanding smooth surface directly from the mold. This significantly reduces the labor-intensive secondary finishing typically required on boat hulls. Needless to mention, that improved surface finish also provides reduced hydrodynamic drag resulting in higher boat speed.
There we have it again, smooth sailing with epoxies in the truest sense of the word!
(Picture reference: Freepik)