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Thread: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

  1. #1
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    Default Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    ...something that will keep them from slowly disintegrating into small styrofoam balls?

    They are still in pretty good shape/not holding any water... just getting old and shedding the little styrofoam balls some.

    Some kind of sealer? Maybe coat with Titebond 3 which is a waterproof glue?

    Thanks for some suggestions.

    Hal Nash
    Waldport, Oregon

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Can you shrink wrap them?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    I made some years ago and glassed them.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Cover them some way, don't coat them.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    No mention of of dimensions or type of boat that you have. I have sewn polyester fabric covers for expanded polystryene floatation which I installed under the seats on a little sailing dingy. This boat originally had molded rigid plastic covers for the flotation which cracked and failed over time.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Cover them some way, don't coat them.

    Kevin
    Why not coat them?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Depends on what kind of foam they are. If they are the beaded type and you weigh one of them, I think you will find that they have already taken up lots of water. Flotation is still effective but these things are not waterproof.
    Tom L

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Thanks for the comments so far. The boat is a fiberglass Laguna Windrose 24. These boats came with built-in positive floatation in the form of these foam blocks.

    The foam is of the "styrofoam balls" type. Some have absorbed water but most are still feather-light.

    It seems to me that coating them with something to prevent further disintegration would be easy and effective. Just wondering what to coat them with.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    I think the styrene will dissolve in epoxy, so that's probably out, but wrapping them in a heat shrinkable plastic (over the Titebond) might give you the abrasion protection you need. Many years ago I had an old Super Seminole and wrapped styrene blocks in Saran Wrap and it worked pretty well. Mom was pissed that I used up three rolls or more of her wrap 'til she and Dad took it out and capsized it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Why not coat them?
    Because I am not aware of a coating that will keep friable foam from crumbling. A cover wont prevent crumbling either, but will contain the crumbs.

    I like Bruce's shrinkwrap suggestion if it can be executed.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  11. #11
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    Default

    This guy uses titebond II and bed sheets ! XPS Extruded Polystyrene is mush better than expanded

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Sawf...light-wieght-/


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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Because I am not aware of a coating that will keep friable foam from crumbling. A cover wont prevent crumbling either, but will contain the crumbs.

    I like Bruce's shrinkwrap suggestion if it can be executed.

    Kevin
    Regarding the shrink wrap suggestion, Are you talking about that shrink wrap that you put on whatever and then heat it with a blow dryer?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Acrylic paint will not attack polystyrene and will have a good stabilising effect. For more strength you can wrap the foam in cotton cloth before painting. If you can get stockingnet or mutton-cloth it works really well and because it comes as a tube you don't need to do much sewing.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Regarding the shrink wrap suggestion, Are you talking about that shrink wrap that you put on whatever and then heat it with a blow dryer?
    Yes, though you may need a heat gun.

    K
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    I've had a lot of experience with expanded polystyrene.

    There are plenty of coating options available used by the signage/sculpting community.

    https://hotwirefoamfactory.com/foam-coats/

    some are more flexible than others.


    Epoxy can be used over polystyrene, it doesn't dissolve it.....polyester resin will. I've made many, over 50 scale model ships (2.5-5.0m LOA) using styrofoam for molds and epoxy layup (WEST System).

    generally its the UV that will break down the foam but the higher the density the less it seems to be affected, it will yellow a little and get a powder finish on it. The lower density will tend to loose balls as they have less contact area to bond themselves to one another.

    Heat will start to affect polystyrene over 75 deg, Celsius.....you have to be careful shrink wrapping it.


    Liam.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Floatation foam blocks... anyway to coat them with...

    Rather than spend your time and money on a stop-gap method for a crumbling material, I would be spending some money on closed cell polyethylene sheet (pool noodle material). You can get enough material for 240lbs of flotation for a bit less than $70 from usafoam. Plus, by buying a 4" sheet you can cut it to ft your space.

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