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Engineering Materials
Polyurethane Composite Toughens Up Seawalls
2/19/2013

A glass fiber composite made with pure polyurethane resin and designed for seawalls is tougher and stronger than standard glass fiber composite materials.   (Source: Gulf Synthetics)
A glass fiber composite made with pure polyurethane resin and designed for seawalls is tougher and stronger than standard glass fiber composite materials.
(Source: Gulf Synthetics)

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NadineJ
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Platinum
Great article
NadineJ   2/19/2013 4:13:31 PM
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Very nice and timely article.  Thanks Ann.

This is very necessary!  Are any other cities, such as Miami or Vancouver, looking at this yet?  I'd love to see an update from New York, especially, if it's implemented.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   2/19/2013 4:22:55 PM
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Thanks, Nadine. The company works with a third-party company for actual installations. So far, the only US site mentioned for the new material is the Montaulk boat launch in Montaulk, NY.

Charles Murray
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Re: Great article
Charles Murray   2/19/2013 7:55:26 PM
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Nice article, Ann. I presume this material would replace corrugated metal. Any idea how it would compare to corrugated metal sheet piles in terms of cost?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   2/20/2013 1:04:00 PM
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Chuck, I asked for but didn't get comparative pricing info. That can be hard to come up with in a vacuum anyway.

Jerry dycus
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Gold
Re: Great article
Jerry dycus   2/20/2013 10:00:41 AM
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  While this sounds like a great product, the sourcesare not truthful.

 

Polyster is waterproof which is proven by the fact gelcoat is polyster resin as the same person also states. Water gets in layups by traveling up the glass  fibers by capillary action when the fiber end is exposed to water, etc. If as he says the fiber fill is 75-80% which I seriously doubt, there are many more fibers to suck up water, etc in his resin version.

Next the 75-80% fill isn't a resin fuction but a mechanical one. resin fill depend on how much space is between fibers, not which resin as long as it's thin enough.

Sadly this looks like a good product that doesn't need such lies they are offering. It makes me wonder if one can believe anything they say.

 

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Great article
William K.   2/20/2013 9:16:11 PM
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Polyester fiberglass material is not as waterproof as we would like, THAT is the problem. What happens is that the water does flow up around the glass fibers and something does happen causing the material to break down, losing a lot of strength and eventually falling apart. Probably the higher quality stuff takes longer to fail than the poor quality stuff. The gel-coat does definitely delay the beginning of the capilary invasion of the water, so the gel coat is quite valuable in that aspect. So it may be that the actual polyester material is waterproof, but the fiberglass material that it is part of does fail from water absorbtion. So the accusation of lying is a bit to strong. I would say that the crime would be simplification, and making assertions based on seeing evidence that is quite complex to understand.

akwaman
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Gold
Not good enough
akwaman   2/21/2013 8:29:18 AM
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I am surprised that they are looking at improving a poor solution using similar materials.  Shouldn't we be looking at different materials that do not have inherent water damage issues? Maybe we should look at carbon componsite or carbon fiber materials.  Certainly should be materials that don't degrade from water or UV.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Not good enough
Ann R. Thryft   2/22/2013 4:50:37 PM
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As the article states, the new material is not made of polyester fiberglass--it replaces polyester. The new material is a glass fiber composite made with pure polyurethane, which, as stated, can last up to 50. It replaces other materials, including polyester, which degrade faster.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Great article
Elizabeth M   2/20/2013 11:47:40 AM
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Agree, I found this really fascinating and it's good to see materials designers trying to come up with a new way to reinforce these important protections against big sea swells. Se walls will be particularly important if climate-change predictions come to bear and storms like Sandy become more frequent, as some think they will. But just n general to bolster the materials used in sea walls seems like a timely and worthwhile thing to do.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   2/20/2013 1:01:37 PM
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Thanks, Elizabeth. I was impressed by these guys and what they're trying to do. Sure it's a commercial effort. But it's also good to see such an effort targeted in the right direction.

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