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Thread: honeycomb marine plywood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    Default honeycomb marine plywood

    Hello everyone,

    When I was building my Fliptail 6 ( http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ail-6-splashed! ) there was a brief mention of alternative material, in the plans, for plywood panels which can be used to decrease the overall weight of the boat.

    I searched it on internet and found a Belgian company which is producing this kind of material https://econcore.com/en/products-app...ns/wood-panels

    Does anyone have experience with this type of plywood in amateur wooden boat building? I could not find it on this forum. I also could not find it in local lumber yards (in The Netherlands).

    kind regards,
    Igor

  2. #2
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    Dec 2015
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    For ultimate light weight, but retaining 'wooden boat construction techniques' you can swap plywood for structural foam made by companies such as Gurrit. You'd then glass over inside and out and have a foam composite boat. If you ran a knife through the sheets, you could build strip n glass or multi-chine pretty easily (as people did/ do for light weight planing dinghies). Foam core boats can be a bit pone to denting and are generally a performance thing and you loose durability compared to a solid laminate. For the clinker look, running glass over the laps would be making hard work of it. A boat has to be designed for light weight and get advantage from it, which it won't necessarily do with an off the shelf plan. Balsa was used in sheets sandwiched between layers before structural foams. Those sheets you posted look like board/ insulation materials nothing much of use for boatbuilding. Nearest thing would be light thin ply either side of balsa core. That was used for bulkheads, sometimes decks but didn't really hold up once you got water in.

    For small boat plywood construction stick to Occume (light), Sapele/ Mahogany (durable) or Birch (ecological and FSC). Some FSC South American Eucalyptus turning up now here in the UK but the face veneers are literally paper thin: not good for gluing. Alternatively look at skin on frame design and construction or making your own and ideally curved laminate (cold molded construction) for light and stiff. In wood, cold molding is the only boat construction method to give the lightest stiffest hull with least wetted area that works at all sizes.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 05-27-2021 at 06:56 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    Hi Igor. Nice build on your Fliptail...If I had the time it looks like a fun little boat But to answer your question on this thread I'd be suspicious of a honeycomb wood product anyplace where it could get damp. I see the manufacturer's recommendations all look like interior applications and I think I'd stay with that. It wouldn't take much moisture intrusion to turn that to compost I suspect. It might work for something like a thwart, but you'd need to be extremely careful isolating any fasteners and sealing cut edges. Thin, narrow sections might work for floorboards, but I'd suspect that the epoxy it'd take to seal the cut edges adequately would minimize any possible weight savings. Let us know if you try it, OK?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    I think it would be wonderful stuff for interior panels - liners, cabinetry, bulkheads, etc. For hull construction, not so much. Maybe it would be good for coach house sides & roof, but I would like to test in nasty environmental conditions for a while first.

    I have used aluminum honeycomb panels for interior joinery on boats before, and the weight savings are enormous. In the photo below, all cabinetry & liners are honeycomb aluminum:

    IMGP2030.jpg
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    I've known decorative plywood, bonded onto a foam core, being used for cabin doors and it worked well.Needed solid timber inserts where the hinges and latches went.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    Steve an Alix have discussed at reasonable length the weight Arabella is putting on with Oak planking rather than the specified Cedar. I wonder if they might consider using this in any of their bulkheads? He already started making them, may have finished, but I think there may be room for this type of product in that sort of application.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  7. #7
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    I’ve made cabinet doors out of poplar frames filled with honeycomb cardboard, then skinned with doorskin or plastic laminate. Worked well enough in stable home interiors but I certainly wouldn’t put it in a boat, unless maybe a stage prop.

    This stuff might work great for a trade show display where weight’s a premium. Before I put it in a boat I’d want some info on puncture resistance & deflection under side loading, maybe run some destructive testing on perpendicular bonding.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    I can't see why a thermoplastic honeycomb,as linked to in the OP wouldn't be good for some interior usage.The skies are often teeming with large aircraft that feature aluminium or Nomex honeycomb.Cardboard wouldn't be a good choice for much more than domestic doors.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    Thanks for your replies,

    So far I found only this (see photo below) in a local construction market. It is certainly not to be used in boatbuilding but represents the whole idea about the material.

    kind regards,
    Igor
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Default Re: honeycomb marine plywood

    Try Evecom in Drachten.

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