Friday, 6 September 2013

Luderitz 2013 Board Design by Phil Carbon - Sandwich layer and inserts.

The second stage in my production method is to create the sandwich. This layer adds significantly more strength to a board and is used in many engineering processes to keep things light and allow the use of what would otherwise be weak materials to make incredibly strong structures.


I choose to use a special foam for this that I find to have better performance than Airex, 3mm placed on the deck with 5mm on the bottom.

A heat gun is used to shape the sandwich layer of foam. This 'thermoforms' it to allow a perfect fit.
When placing the sandwich layer it must be done carefully, ensuring it stretches from the centre line so it is even.
The tape used helps this.

This shows how the sandwich layer is formed to take the same shape as the board, it ensures a good even layer which is very important to create a strong laminate. Stresses should be even and spread out when the sandwich layer is formed correctly, if there are any uneven areas it can possibly cause failure due to focussed stresses under load. Once formed into shape it is removed from the internal layer, epoxy applied and then replaced.

To make sure a perfect bond is created a vacuum bag is used to hold the foam securely on the internal layer. I also use a retainer to control the scoop rocker line.

After a few hours the board is unwrapped. 
Now the excess foam is trimmed off, eventually revealing a perfectly formed sandwich layer on the board.
Here you can see the area removed to allow the fin box to be positioned. Accuracy here is obviously very important.
The fin box is itself put into foam, this creates a lot more strength, otherwise the forces exerted by the fin could damage the board.
Then this is placed into the cut out and bonded into place.
A 'jig' is used to make sure that the fin box is bonded at the correct angle.
A similar process is repeated for the footstrap inserts and the mast track. Again accuracy is vitally important for positioning them correctly.

The board is now ready to be laminated with carbon. I will show this process in the next article.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy seeing my work in pictures.

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