Lunch with Stephen Crane

Friday I was lucky enough to have lunch with composites guru Stephen Crane. There are huge things shaking out in worldwide composites and he keeps up with that better than anyone I know of. He is now working with Space-X. I’m kind of in the weeds in my corner of the world, with my head down trying to keep up with peoples deadlines most of all. The information was much appreciated. The following assumes I heard all correctly.
The bullet points would be:
New fabrics
New resin
Cg of composites innovation.
Today I will limit to core as I left my notes back in the truck.
Gurit is having some issues with supply and pricing Corecel foam. Mitsubishi owns the patent now. Contact Mitsubishi for a more reliable source.
Divinycel’s days are numbered as a core. It’s manufacture is already banned in Europe. The reason is that dioxin is created during its manufacture. It is now only being made in the US, and despite republican claims that dioxins are one of the major food groups, those days are numbered. It is being replaced with PET (Polyethylene-Terephthalate). The properties are not as good yet as crosslinked PVC of the same density.

3 thoughts on “Lunch with Stephen Crane”

  1. Hi Kurt,
    I am well documented on Corecell, but not an expert yet. The companies was In magog about 3 miles from my house. And one of the employees was my neigbor’s daughter… she is now working elsewhere, so i wont feel so much obliged to buy their products.
    But even if i had easy entry and good prices, i am not pleased with my experiences with composites with foams. I may be the old school but i like wood . We have built a trailor with wood and epoxy for loading algeas . I haven’t used fiberglass for the top coating yet because it seemed to be doing fine without, i had a good 1/8 inch of epoxy. But now i will add fiberglass to keep it from spliting since the trailor is left out in the cold and the rain most of the time.
    I have used Okoume layers sandwiched with epoxy (west) and finished outer layer with fiberglass . I had a friend do the job as agreed and so far so good. This is for a rudder blade transition .
    I had first thought about using the PET test panel i still have from Gurit. Now i may build a kite board with it. We experience all kinds of problems with our carbon fibers, they are very light and very strong but i call them porcelaine… when they start “hairing” that’s it ! it is just useless.
    I am more confident building a 60 ft cat hull with 3/8″ (3x3mm okoume ply) skin and ribs at 24″ c/c. I am considering what kind of fibers i should use for the outer finish, i hear there is good result with a combo carbon/fiberglass and even kevlar …. brrrrr ! mesh.
    That is for the above waterline surfaces, below waterline, i am “considering” a skin of polycarbonate (oops chinese) epoxied to Okoume. I have seen a polycarb transparent dingy.
    In your dvd, we see the inner stiched fiberglass layers, not clear about the outer skin.
    Chinese plys and epoxies ! could save a bundle, but have to buy at least a container. Still seems worth it. I’ll check into Stephen’s reference.

  2. Hi Kurt,
    So what now, I have used both Airex and Divinycell and prefer the latter. Corecel foam is at least double in price, so that is out.

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