Greg Loehr...

I picked up a chunk of the foam that they use at Patagonia/Point Blanks and it is very similar to standard Clark polyurethane foam. By that I mean there is no apparent bead structure to it - it is fairly stiff and doesn’t give much when you press on it. Are you familiar with it? Any idea where to get it? I don’t think Point Blanks sells blanks anymore but their website refers to “extruded Polystyrene foam.”

I hate to do this but I answered the same question below so I just copied it and added it here again. I hope no one minds . Polystyrene is my personal first choice. About two years ago a new technology sprang up from Europe called EDRO. EDRO machines are a new computerized version of the old EPS (expanded polystyrene) press technology. It makes an EPS foam with significantly enhanced strength and fusion that doesn’t leak when dinged. The first EDRO machines installed in the US were done here in Florida. They are now across the US with two in Fl. and at least two in California. This technology takes polystyrenes strength to weight advantage and combines it with a foam that doesn’t leak or delaminate. Another question in this tread was about Shulers foam being used by Patagonia/Point Blanks and others. This is an extruded polystyrene (XPS). I was the Dow distributor for a similar product about 12 years ago. The problem we had then, and the problem that continues to plague it today, is delamination. This is caused by the fact that a significant amount of blowing agent is trapped in the cells during production. Blowing agent expands under heat. That’s what makes it work. 95% of the blowing agent in EPS foam is lost during the pre-expansion process. 95% of what’s left is lost in the molding or press cycle. With urethane the chemicals are being changed during the polymerization process and you end up with only CO2 left in the cells. But with XPS the cells are left filled with blowing agent gases. When these cells are damaged, and the gas released is then heated, a delamination or bubble forms under the glass. Also these foams are copolymerized with polyethylene which NOTHING sticks to. This makes the problem even worse. This problem has existed with XPS since Bob Simmons first used it in the 50’s. Also the new Solomon blank is based on an XPS foam so don’t go holding your breath on that one either. While it’s true that these foams are superior as far as being water tight, today I’ll go with EDRO EPS

Sorry - I had read the thread but missed the Patagonia reference. I’ve seen a number of their boards in use and they actually seem to hold up fairly well. A few pressure dents and yellowing but I don’t remember seeing de-lams. Maybe they worked it out?

Greg, Are you talking about the SUPERCEL blanks that were sold by RESIN RESEARCH? If so, I shaped one about 7 years ago and it had major delam problems in isolated areas (under nose). However, a friend had one delam problem and when fixed, it went away. These were Extruded Polystyrene Blanks also. They seem to be light and water tight, but man, the delam was a bitch to deal with. Plus, having to only use epoxy resin is a drag on the cost vs. poly resin. Just wanted to know if these SUPERCEL blanks were the ones you are referencing. thx

You may not see that many delams on Patagonia boards in California. Remember I said above that heat is one of the causes of the delams and coastal Ca. isn’t as hot as most of the rest of the country. Here a large percentage of the boards delamed. And yes, Supercel was the foam I am talking about. And yes, you experienced the same delams we did. Other than the delams the foam is quite nice. Excellent strength, easy to work with, just has a fatal flaw. In my opinion there is no real 100% solution to the flaw other than possibly moving to Alaska.

Greg, thanks for the info! I surf in Cali now, as opposed to the east coast where the board was originally built and surfed, so hopefully the weather keeps her together a little better. I agree on the blank being a nice and light and very responsive thing as compared to the other clark foam blank boards i have. t