Switch to epoxy offers weight reductions for boat builder

Epoxy resin systems are now adopted for high-performance structures requiring  weight efficiency.
Epoxy resin systems are now adopted for high-performance structures requiring weight efficiency.

A selection of SP materials, supplied by SP’s Italian distributor Resintex Technology, was used on the new Baia 50 – which was launched at the Genoa Boat Show in early October – including structural foam core Corecell™, and SP’s adhesive, laminating and epoxy systems.

Cantieri di Baia chose to make the switch to SP’s epoxy for the build of the Baia 50 because epoxy resin systems are now being consistently adopted for high-performance structures requiring ultimate weight efficiency and durability.

The switch was an effective solution, with Cantieri di Baia estimating a resulting weight reduction in the order of 25% out of 4.2 tonnes of structural weight for the hull.

PRIME™ 20LV, SP’s epoxy system designed for infusion processing, was used because of its very low viscosity, which contributes to short infusion times and optimum fibre impregnation as well as providing very good stiffness properties and an excellent laminate quality.

Corecell™ T400 was also supplied for the Baia 50, offering increased strength and durability in return for significant weight reduction making the boat faster, stronger and more economical.

SP’s epoxy adhesive system Spabond 340LV was selected for its high strength and toughness, its range of hardeners and working times and its allowance for higher dispense rates from mixing machines.

Finally Ampreg laminating systems were used, optimising hand lay-up and together with its low viscosity, making them ideal for wetting out heavyweight fibres. Providing a good laminate quality, they are particularly good for secondary bonding applications making them ideal for the manufacture of large, high performance composite structures.

SP’s Paul Riley says: “As the boatbuilding community and its clients become more and more confident with the performance advantages of epoxy resin – both in terms of structural and cost characteristics – we are witnessing a steadily increasing number of production boatyards, like Cantieri di Baia, switching from polyester or vinyl ester to epoxy systems for their manufacturing.”

The new Baia 50 maintains the distinctive Baia style whilst offering a more powerful performance and comfortable interior. It has a deep V hull and a narrow prow which allows for greater speed and sea-keeping performances.