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Marine Industry

Marine Industry

An Introduction to the Uses of Marine-Grade Foam in the Marine Industry

If you are looking for quality materials, you can find a wide range of marine polyurethane products to keep you covered. We have compiled an overview of different kinds of marine-grade foam and explanations of how you can use these products. This can help you make decisions about what would work best for your needs.

What Uses Do Marine-Grade Foams Have?

Marine-grade foams have a wide variety of uses, such as:

  • Shipbuilders can use them in place of wood
  • You can use them to build bulkheads and hulls
  • You can employ them as an enduring and cost-effective material for boat interiors
  • Boat builders may use our foams to insulate things like bait freezers, fish boxes and other on-board containers

For materials used in the marine industry, the critical issue is how well the materials in question stand up to wear in extreme or hazardous weather conditions and how they deal with corrosion, water damage and other factors.

Look for marine-grade foam solutions that exceed not just industry standards but your standards as well. We offer marine polyurethane products that have great dimensional accuracy, incredibly tight tooling tolerances and structural integrity.

Marine Material Selection

When it comes to which type of marine-grade foam they want to use, consumers have a number of products to choose from.

The Benefits of Marine-Grade Foam Sheets

Marine-grade foam sheets are designed to offer hobbyists, manufacturers and others increased structural strength and better resistance to moisture damage, especially when compared to wood. Since they’re designed not to absorb liquid, marine-grade foam sheeting doesn’t rot or warp when it’s been exposed to water.

As a boat-building material, marine foam has a number of advantages, including:

  • A superb amount of strength compared to its weight
  • Usability with many production methods, including fiberglass lamination
  • Properties that make it excellent for CNC routing or machining
  • Lack of filler material, such as glass fiber

Other advantages include the fact that marine-grade foam sheeting is rarely affected by paint or any kind of solvent, and it contains no mold-releasing agents, so its ability to bond to other materials is largely uninhibited. Because of this, it readily and easily bonds to resins like laminated fiberglass.

marine-grade foam sheeting

Possible Applications for Marine-Grade Foam Sheets

Possible applications for marine-grade foam sheeting include:

  • Mountings for seats and steering wheels
  • Decks
  • Freezer insulation
  • Various hard points on the boat, such as lifting lugs and drainage ports
  • Walls, doors and cabinets

Marine-Grade Polyurethane

There are a number of different kinds of marine-grade polyurethane manufacturers can use for making. The many types of marine polyurethane products include flexible polyurethane foam (FPF), rigid polyurethane foam (RPF), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and FR-7100 multi-use foam.

Each of these foams has its own advantages and possible applications, such as sealing boats from water, weather and other elements like corrosion. Marine polyurethane products provide boat manufacturers and others with a way to combat damage to the boat that would do things like affect the boat’s durability or hydrodynamics.

What Is Flexible Polyurethane Foam?

Flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) is a type of marine-grade foam derived from polymers or plastics. It is what allows boats today to have all the amenities of home despite being hundreds or thousands of miles out to sea. FPF is used to make seats and carpets that are firm but still soft and yielding, or mold insulation or other materials into those hard-to-reach corners on a boat.

Advantages of and Applications for Flexible Polyurethane Foam

FPF offers a number of advantages to manufacturers in the maritime industry, such as energy absorption and durability. As a marine polyurethane product, FPF also absorbs sound and vibrations, reduces weight and increases the fuel efficiency of boats it is used on as a result of lowered weight.

flexible polyurethane for marine industry

FPF is possibly one of the best uses for marine-grade foam, and the ways it can be used by the maritime industry include:

  • Seat cushions and other seating
  • Carpets and other flooring, or as under-flooring
  • Molding in different areas of the boat, especially curved areas like the inside of the hull

Not only can FPF be used by boaters at sea, but it also can also be used right by the waters of a home, especially in things like poolside chairs or in other furniture that’s going to be exposed to water. Because of its flexibility, FPF is also excellent for use in other custom shapes and applications. FPF can also be built in such a way that it only deteriorates under long-term, repeated stress.

What Is Rigid Polyurethane Foam?

Much like FPF, rigid polyurethane foam (RPF) is a polymer or plastic-derived foam that can be used in marine applications. RPF is mainly used to increase the boat’s material durability and to insulate from noise, heat, cold and abrasion or other damage. RPF is designed to offer all of these advantages to boat builders while also weighing very little.

Advantages of and Applications for Rigid Polyurethane Foam

Other advantages of rigid polyurethane foam include:

  • Resisting water absorption better than other materials, such as wood/li>
  • Energy efficiency, allowing for thinner walls or lower-profile roofs
  • High performance, with RPF providing boat builders with a material that is lightweight, moisture-resistant and thermally insulating

RPF is, on the whole, very versatile. The many different ways RPF can be used include as roofing insulation in houseboats, as foam core paneling in the boat’s exterior, as a gap-filler or to cover irregular or odd shapes in the boat’s construction, or as a core material in entry doors and interior panels or even in the boat’s overall structure.

What Is Thermoplastic Polyurethane?

Thermoplastic polyurethane is a type of polyurethane plastic that sports a wide number of properties that make it appealing for use in the maritime industry. Properties of thermoplastic polyurethane include resistance from damage by oil and grease, a high amount of elasticity, a high amount of abrasion resistance and transparency. TPU is designed to be elastic yet durable while at the same time being easily used and processed.

Advantages of and Applications for Thermoplastic Polyurethane

TPU as a marine polyurethane product can be applied like a paint or vacuum-formed in a mold, making it perfect for use in boat fabrication. Its unique structure means it has a high resistance to impacts, abrasions, tears or other damage, including weather damage. Since it has all of these many different properties, TPU has a wide number of possible applications as a marine polyurethane product.

thermoplastic polyurethane

Possible applications of TPU in the maritime industry include engine tubing, drive belts and coatings for wires and cables. TPU can also be used for hydraulic hoses, seals and sealants, and containers such as fish or bait lockers.

What Is the FR-7100 Multi-Use Core Series?

The FR-7100 Multi-use Core Series of marine-grade foam boards are designed to help meet the demands and specifications of companies that build custom boats and other maritime equipment. FR-7100 can be used either above the water line or as a full-on marine foam.

Advantages of and Possible Applications for Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Advantages to using the FR-7100 series of core foams include:

  • No water absorption due to the foam’s closed-cell structure
  • Easy painting and bonding to other materials, such as resin
  • Stability, as products made out of FR-7100 won’t twist, bow or otherwise warp

Additionally, the structure of the FR-7100 foams means they can be easily formed or shaped using a variety of cutting tools and processes.

As its name suggests, FR-7100 has a number of possible applications. Marine applications include being used as a foam core for mounting pads, as well as in areas that have the possibility of water damage, such as the interior, the bathroom, the kitchen and more.

FR-7100 can also be used as part of the boat fabrication and manufacturing process. It can be used to proof CNC routers and machines before more expensive foams, such as TPU, are used. It can be used to prototype models before construction or even to build custom parts entirely if needed.

Using Marine Polyurethane Products for Soundproofing

If you’ve spent any amount of time on or around a boat, you know residual engine noise can be extremely loud. Even if you manage to make your boat’s engine quieter, the nature of a boat doesn’t really lend itself to sound control. Boat engines, even small ones like motorboats, can reach up to 110 decibels easily.

This makes boat engine noise possibly one of the biggest hazards when living and working, or even just being, on a boat, either from your own boat or from the engines of other boats nearby. To that end, American Micro Industries offers a soundproofing service to help our customers control unwanted engine noise.

One of the most important things we do here at American Micro Industries is work to enhance the quality of life for our customers, especially those in the marine and maritime industries. To help with this, many of our marine-grade foam products are designed to control noise and improve sound.

control noise and improve sound

Along with our sister company, Soundproof Cow, we solve our customers’ problems quickly, especially when dealing with things like unwanted engine noise. We’re a leading manufacturer and distributor of a wide variety of high-quality soundproofing materials, such as:

  • Quiet Barrier Specialty Composite
  • Silent Running SR-500 High Performance Coating
  • Vibra Block sound-deadening material, which is available in sheets, strips and pads

As part of our soundproofing services, we also provide complete sales and technical assistance. You can count on us for the right product to help you keep the noise on your boat to the absolute minimum.

Trust American Micro Industries for All Your Marine-Grade Foam Products

American Micro Industries, Inc., engineers solutions for some of the most well-known and distinguished maritime companies in the industry. Our ever-growing list of custom materials and the services we provide, as well as our wealth of industry knowledge, has allowed American Micro Industries to continually expand our technical capabilities so we can stay ahead of the competition while still ensuring we meet and exceed our customers’ needs, no matter what they might be.

For over 20 years, American Micro Industries has manufactured made-to-order components and other parts for a wide range of diverse industries, including the marine, defense, aerospace and electronics industries. We strive to provide our customers with complete satisfaction in the parts and components they’ve ordered, no matter what those might be.

Our success is directly tied to the quality and precision with which we undertake every order. The specifications you send us are critical, and we proudly offer only the best materials possible to ensure the continued development of our manufacturing processes. We strive to provide our customers with innovative solutions to their problems. Our marine foams are specially designed and formulated to meet the ever-changing and increasingly demanding requirements of the boating industry at a competitive price.

For parts you need to get your projects done on time, our custom components division can manufacture a number of different component and part types, including:

  • Die-cut foam and other insulation
  • CNC-machined parts from non-metal materials
  • Cases for mechanical assemblies or electronics
  • Construction and fabrication of small parts

All of our products and manufacturing processes are tested to ensure they meet the strictest quality assurance standards. Before we ship our products, we individually inspect each item to ensure you receive only the best.

If you’d like to learn more about the various marine-grade foams we offer and the types of things we can manufacture with them, you can either contact us on our website or give us a call at (866) 765-9191.