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Old 20-06-2013, 12:49   #1
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What's so bad about Duflex?

I have read in many forums about how Duflex is bad because it is Balsa core. The thing is, of all the folks that actually have used it, I have only read about one guy who didn't like it and he wasn't considered reputable by all who knew him.

So, for those with experience, what gives? School's Out sustained a fair bit of damage and it cleaned up quite well and quickly too.



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Old 21-06-2013, 00:34   #2
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Re: What's so bad about Duflex?

The worst thing about balsa core is that you MUST keep the water out. If it gets wet it will rot. So you need to use the correct construction techniques, which does add some hours to your build.

However, Duflex is also available with foam cores. And personally, even if I was building with foam, I'd still take the exact same precautions to keep the core dry.

I've found it to be an excellent material.

The REAL worst thing about it is the cost!

Interestingly, I've recently used some polypropylene honeycomb cored prefab sheet, and IMO it's a vastly inferior product. Panel stiffness is poor, and it's amazingly easy to peel the laminates off the core. OK for furniture, but I wouldn't even consider using it for anything structural.
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Old 21-06-2013, 02:54   #3
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Re: What's so bad about Duflex?

44C, I figured you would chime in on this. I don't think this is a well known or used material in the states. In fact, I think there is only one supplier who ever carried it.

Everytime I see you or others post on how good it is, there are those who post on how they wouldn't use it because it is balsa cored. Thing is, everyone that has actually used it, loves the stuff, with the exception of Scrumble, and has much good to say about it. Even Scrumble loves his boat though.

Cost, well that is a different matter. It isn't the cheapest nor the most expensive stuff out there. What is your take on building your boat with some other materials, like foam sandwhich or something else? Would you have been just as satisified? How can you keep cost down, but still have the weight, durability, and stiffness required for a proper build?

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Old 21-06-2013, 15:21   #4
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Re: What's so bad about Duflex?

Well, you could save money by making your own panels. But when you add up the costs of materials and consumables, the savings may not be as much as you'd expect. And it will add considerable time to the build.

You can also substitute foam/glass construction in some areas, like the cabin top for instance. You're trading hours for dollars in any case though.

As I said, if you're really worried about the balsa core, you can get Duflex with foam cores. However some parts of the boat might need redesigning, due to foam's inferior mechanical properties. That would depend on the specific design.

There are a hell of a lot of balsa cored boats around, and some have had problems. But they are almost universally caused by unknowing owners installing deck fittings or through hulls incorrectly.
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