An Intro to Liquid Urethane Foam

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Our Liquid Urethane Foam is a two-component Isocyanate/Polyol base, with a pour-in-place system. The urethane apparatus is available in 3 separate density formulations by weight per cubic foot, which is displayed below:

  1.  2 quarts of 2 lb. foam will cover 2 cubic ft.
  2.  2 quarts of 4 lb. foam will cover 1 cubic ft.
  3.  2 quarts of 8 lb. foam will cover 1/2 cubic ft.

*Note: The 2 lb. foam expands the most whereas the 4 lb. & 8 lb. foam expands less.

One can discover the different categories for the use of liquid urethane foam:

  • Marine floatation
  • Art
  • Sculpting
  • Taxidermy
  • Prototyping
  • Mold Making
  • Decorative and Architecture
  • Millwork Pieces

When working with the foam, you will find: it’s resistance to mildew, mold, and solvent. The product also has impeccable durability attributable to it’s fantastic comprehensive strength. WOW! There is certainly a plethora of different purposes for Liquid Urethane Foam, and in addition to that; FGCI receives a number of questions concerning whether or not resin can be applied on top of the foam… We would like to mention that certain types of foam possess different temperature variations which can affect the application process, thus the system must be mixed correctly. If one were to mix in an excess amount of activator, the foam will become soft and spongy.   For more information on how to apply resin to foam, click here: Can I Apply Resin to Foam

Directions for General Small Quantity Use:foam

Step 1: Mix equal parts Base and Activator (1:1 by volume) or mix by weight (approx. 112 parts A-Side: Base to approx. 100 parts of B-Side: Activator).

Step 2: Mixing and metering equipment must accommodate the 1:1 by volume mix ratio.

Step 3: Mix thoroughly using a stir stick or a mechanical mixer. Please refer to Typical Reaction Profiles of Liquid Foam Chart for mix times.

Step 4: Pour immediately after mixing.

Step 5: Allow cooling between pouring.

*Directions may vary by application. For technical support and assistance with critical applications or large pours, please feel free to contact Customer Service at 1-800-272-7890.

 

Tech Question: “Can I apply resin to foam?”

foam-blockMany of our customers look to make sculptures out of fiberglass and resin. Foam is a common material as it’s easy to carve and sand to your desired shape. But, can you put Polyester resin on the top of it? It’s a question we get asked constantly.

Your first step needs to be finding out what kind of foam it is. Certain types of foam have different temperature variations. Polyurethane foam, like the kinds we sell in 4’ x 8’ sheets offer different temperature variations from things like Polystyrene. Once you figure out which foam you have, you can figure out what you need to do.

With Polyurethane foam, it will easily withstand Polyester or Epoxy resin applied to the top of it without having to do anything special. We recommend scuffing the surface with some sandpaper to get the best bond, but once the standard surface prep is done, you can apply your gelcoat, resin or epoxy.Polyurethane foam

With Polystyrene or Styrofoam, you can’t directly apply Polyester or Epoxy directly to Styrofoam, as it will melt the foam. Fortunately, we have a couple of products you can use to still make it work. The first product is an FGCI product called Styrocoat that uses a standard epoxy activator and will provide a protective shell over the Styrofoam. The other product is made by Duratec and is called Styro-Shield. Styro-Shield is a Polyester-based product that uses MEK-P and will provide a protective coating once hard.

So, no matter what kind of foam you use, we have a way to make your fiberglass mold or fiberglass-based product. Don’t forget that if you have questions, we are here to help! Give us a call at 1-800-272-7890, or e-mail us or contact us through Facebook or Twitter!

An interview with Chip Davis

Chip Davis VW Bug

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I just finished the VW Bus and I’m trying to figure out what else to do after that.

What made you decide to work on that?

I always look to make something weird and make people look and say “What the Hell?!”

What different products did you use to make that?

I started off with sheets of Styrofoam and glued them together and carved it with a hot wire or even a serrated steak knife. I coat it with PVA, then gelcoat, and finally, I used your Boatyard Resin to apply the coating.

How did you start this kind of work?

I started with Autobody work and started doing props for my church, I actually made a baby grand-piano completely out of foam, and one day, my neighbor fixed up my jet-ski, so I made him a jet-ski mailbox and I had so much fun with it, I kept going, ya know, just playing around with it and trying stuff and if it doesn’t work, trying something else.

I started with covering the foam in wax, to keep the gelcoat from melting it, and then I moved on to different coatings from there, just trying different things to see how they work.  I learned that you can learn anything from YouTube.

chip davis jetski

How often do you come to Fiberglass Coatings?

Every week or two, depending on the project; I come in and talk to Pat and everyone is more than happy to answer any questions I have.

Do you have any tips for someone who wants to do this?

Don’t be shy, just go try something and see if it works, and if it doesn’t, try something else. I also learned that too thin of gelcoat wrinkles up like bacon, so be sure to load it up pretty good; same thing with the PVA, I learned that you can apply it pretty thick and wait for it to dry and you’ll be good to go.

Lastly, how did you make the VW emblem?

It is leather, actually! I got some pieces of leather and cut them to the right pattern and painted it.

Check out Chip Davis on Facebook and see some of the really cool pictures he has of some of his amazing products.

Tech-Tip: Coring Material

Coring Material is a very important step in your fiberglass project. Coring is what takes a sheet of fiberglass and turns it into a solid panel, for decks, boats, and so much more. Coring material can give the sheet flexibility, rigidity or even insulation (which is important when making a cooler). We carry several different kinds that offer pros and cons. It’s important to find the material that works best for you.

Honeycomb –

honeycomb

  • PVC honeycomb with a fiber covering.
  • Very flexible and light-weight.
  • Does not rot and has great bonding properties.
  • 5lb density sheet

Diab –

diab

  • Offers several densities (3, 4 and 5lb denisty) for different jobs.
  • Much more rigid than plain polyurethane foam
  • Tan color (used to be multi-colored).

Polyurethane foam –

Polyurethane foam

  • Great in-expensive coring
  • Light-weight
  • Does soak up resin and has a good bond.
  • Does compress if you aren’t using the proper density.
  • Greatest R-Value (insulation) of any of our options.
  • Sold in 2lb and offered in 4lb density

Kay-Cel –

kay-cel

  • 25lb density sheet with 18 oz Woven Roving in the middle
  • The most dense, heavy material we have
  • Perfect for transoms or pieces with a heavy load

Balsa-Core –

balsa

  • Seal-coated wood to reduce resin consumption, keeping the weight down and increasing the bond.
  • Very lightweight, and inexpensive solution.
  • Does eventually rot without proper sealing.
  • Very good compression tolerance