Jack Kretmar Posted June 21, 2003 Share Posted June 21, 2003 I,m asking this as a tyro who knows very little about the subject. A question came up as I was looking at a builder's web site. He mentioned the difference between urethane foam and Styrofoam and noted that the urethane tends to disintrgrate over time. What I want to know is; why not use Styrofoam for the whole aircraft, if it's more durable? Is there a weight penalty for using it? Is the urethane easier to carve for curved surfaces? A more general question is, just how durable is composite construction? I'm under the impression that it's like a composite surfboard, only stronger. Still, I'm wondering, with time, heat and the stress forces on the plane from G-loading in flight, will the foam substrate start to deteriorate, causing problems deep down in the core material, or delamination between it and the glass/epoxy skin, thus leading to eventual structural failure? I'd surely hate to invest many years of my life building this thing, to see it start to deteriorate after five years, becomming a threat to life and limb. I noticed in Nat Puffer's promo.video that Burt Rutan made a big deal out of the superior construction compared to conventional "tin cans". Maybe I'm being a worry wart about this, but what is the story on urethane foam and composite construction in general? I saw something about a destructive test being carried out on an older composite plane. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. Quote Jack Kretmar Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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