- Inflatable boats material
- Which material of inflatable boats is better?
Inflatable boats material. Usually, boats are made of fabric reinforced with a strong mesh for durability. The top of multilayered fabric base is coated with polymer substances. Now among the inflatable boatbuilding materials a wide variety of fabrics and waterproof impregnations is used. Most often, manufacturers use a polymer composition based on polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Inflatable boats fabrics. Most fabrics are made of synthetic fibers with the basis of polyester or polyamide (nylon). Resistance to decay, high strength and affordable prices characterize them. Polyamides are flexible and resistant to possible breaks. Fabrics made of polyester are characterized by high rigidity and strength.
Mainly four types of synthetic polymer materials are used for the manufacture of modern boats:
- polyvinyl chloride;
- hypalon (can be used in combination with neoprene);
The rubber inflatable boats are highly prone to general wear and tear. Manufacturers do not utilize rubber in modern models, as it quickly wears out. Least suitable for production, it is inferior to modern substitutes in many respects.
The best impregnating material of inflatable boats is high-tech polyvinylchloride. It has excellent performance characteristics. It features high resistance to mechanical wear, ultraviolet and temperature changes. It well resists humidity, pH of fresh and salt water as well as other substances. Boats made of PVC are stronger and lighter than rubber analogues.
The basis of such product includes five or more layers of PVC and reinforcement connected together by means of soldering or special adhesives. Reinforcement and adhesives are responsible for increasing strength. The more layers in the design, the more reliable it is, but simultaneously it is much heavier. Remember this aspect when choosing PVC inflatable boats. Polymers from polyvinyl chloride contain a sufficient number of plasticizer, providing the product with the necessary flexibility.
Another excellent material for coating is synthetic hypalon. It is a high-tech rubber-like fabric patented by DuPont Company. Hypalon inflatable boats have excellent air and water resistance. They are resistant to different acids and alkalis, as well as ultraviolet radiation, so such coatings are used for production of white and light colored tubes. However, most often manufacturers use it as a protective layer, as is not strong enough.
What materials are used to make boats with hypalon coating? As a rule, they are light but durable:
- neoprene (synthetic chloroprene rubber);
- nylon (polyamide).
Strong and elastic neoprene is easily glued and has a more affordable price. Neoprene inflatable boats do not have good water resistance parameters, but they perfectly hold the air.
Hypalon is considered one of the best coatings than for example PVC because of its long service life. Some models can serve 20-30 years. Among the main drawbacks, experts mention the impossibility of welding during working process and a high price. The complexity of the manufacturing technology explained the cost of inflatable boats made of hypalon.
Polyurethane is more plastic unlike polyvinyl chloride and perfectly holds the shape of the boat. It shrinks and stretches well, and quickly recovers the original shape. In connection with the impact of waves on the hull, it is an important advantage of this material. Strong and durable polyurethane inflatable boats has excellent resistance to abrasion, ultraviolet radiation and gasoline. However, such products can rarely be found in stores.
Beluga Boats online store offers an excellent selection of inflatable boats from reliable manufacturers. You can always consult with our customer service representatives and specify what materials are used for their production.