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When Should I Worry About Osmosis?


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I've found a boat I like in my price range. I had it pulled out and surveyed a couple of days ago. Still waiting on the surveyor's report, but there were a few small osmosis blisters below the waterline. It's a 1984 build, but I can't find a builder. No obvious sign of deep delamination. 

Will there be any GRP boats this old that stay in the water that WON'T have osmosis blisters?

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Some, I had a 35 Y.O. Columbia 43 that had never had a blister.

What you describe is not even worth thinking about - routine fix up at bottom paint time.

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What sloop said, sounds like the boat was laid up pretty resin rich like the early fiberglass boats that were solid glass layups. Most of them didn't have a problem either.

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'73 Islander here.  In 2005 I hauled for bottom paint to discover moderate blistering (around 50) and paid $8,000 for stripping to bare FG,  grinding out the blisters, 2 months of drying out in the shipyard,  filling them and applying a barrier coat and new bottom paint.  I asked if my blister problem was solved and he yardmaster said no, I'll be back with the same or worse problems in 2037 so budget for it.

 

P5310138.thumb.jpg.15cf273901e8967f1839dd6404d9e570.jpg

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You have a glass boat and don't know who built it? How do you know it's an '84?

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23 hours ago, alanfw said:

I've found a boat I like in my price range. I had it pulled out and surveyed a couple of days ago. Still waiting on the surveyor's report, but there were a few small osmosis blisters below the waterline. It's a 1984 build, but I can't find a builder. No obvious sign of deep delamination. 

Will there be any GRP boats this old that stay in the water that WON'T have osmosis blisters?

Look for a boat that can be towed behind a 37 year old car without any rust.

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Has the OP never heard of polyesther mites?

Anyone want to give him a background on the subject?

Just wait until he tries to sleep aboard overnite!

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pre 73 oil price bump boats are mostly without blisters

 

I think they did something to get more resin  per barrel after the arabs jacked the price of oil in 73

or maybe more other stuff  production [ gas/oil] made the remaining resin different

polyester but which esters and how many of what type may matter

and it is called the oil biz our polyesters are a byproduct sludge of making oil and gas

 

one way to totally avoid blisters is epoxie or wood

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12 hours ago, axolotl said:

'73 Islander here.  In 2005 I hauled for bottom paint to discover moderate blistering (around 50) and paid $8,000 for stripping to bare FG,  grinding out the blisters, 2 months of drying out in the shipyard,  filling them and applying a barrier coat and new bottom paint.  I asked if my blister problem was solved and he yardmaster said no, I'll be back with the same or worse problems in 2037 so budget for it.

That's only ~$21.00 a month. 

I dunno how to calculate for inflation but I bet someone here does.

I also like the way the Brits say maths with an essth. Mine are: additionals, subtractivity, divisionary, and multicomplication.

 

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12 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

That's only ~$21.00 a month. 

I dunno how to calculate for inflation but I bet someone here does.

I also like the way the Brits say maths with an essth. Mine are: additionals, subtractivity, divisionary, and multicomplication.

 

Americans say 'Math' because they can't deal with the plural of it, 'Maths'.  They can't count that high.

Funni as fuk.

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16 minutes ago, random. said:

Americans say 'Math' because they can't deal with the plural of it, 'Maths'

We know how it's spelled, we just don't care.

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Timber gets worms , Steel rusts , Aluminum has electrolysis , Ferro gets cancer and GRP has osmosis ,

 

Welcome to salt water the most corrosive substance known to man .

 

When should you worry ? when there are too many to fix come bottom painting time .

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13 hours ago, axolotl said:

'73 Islander here.  In 2005 I hauled for bottom paint to discover moderate blistering (around 50) and paid $8,000 for stripping to bare FG,  grinding out the blisters, 2 months of drying out in the shipyard,  filling them and applying a barrier coat and new bottom paint.  I asked if my blister problem was solved and he yardmaster said no, I'll be back with the same or worse problems in 2037 so budget for it.

 

P5310138.thumb.jpg.15cf273901e8967f1839dd6404d9e570.jpg

Everyone's situation is different but I personally would not have paid someone else $8,000 to grind out 50 blisters, nor would I have wanted to spend 2 months on the hard. I owned a 70s fiberglass boat for some time which once had a blister, just one (right on the water line). I ground it out, filled it the next day and never had any issue with it again. My theory: I did presumably grind the moisture out. 

 

 

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On 6/14/2021 at 6:30 AM, Cruisin Loser said:

You have a glass boat and don't know who built it? How do you know it's an '84?

  1. The information from the seller, which was probably passed from the previous seller, which was probably.....
    But the seller didn't have builder in the advert or any documents they had.
  2. I've since found the Nantucket 31 was designed and built by Comprador in New South Wales in the 80s, but I have no knowledge of whether the design or moulds were on-sold, so I'll just go with that!

 

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Obvious question, what’s the Hull identification number (HIN). It is a 12 letter number combination.  Typically found in the upper right hand corner of the stern or upper aft end of the starboard side of the hull.

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On 6/14/2021 at 8:16 PM, jerseyguy said:

Obvious question, what’s the Hull identification number (HIN). It is a 12 letter number combination.  Typically found in the upper right hand corner of the stern or upper aft end of the starboard side of the hull.

Not salient here but realize  boats manufactured or imported on or before November 1, 1972, did not require an HIN.

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On 6/14/2021 at 2:48 AM, AnotherSailor said:

Everyone's situation is different but I personally would not have paid someone else $8,000 to grind out 50 blisters, nor would I have wanted to spend 2 months on the hard. I owned a 70s fiberglass boat for some time which once had a blister, just one (right on the water line). I ground it out, filled it the next day and never had any issue with it again. My theory: I did presumably grind the moisture out. 

There were 50 blisters of the size shown in the photo, and hundreds of smaller ones fixed without filling during the removing the gel coat process.  The 2 month drying out process could have been accelerated by vacuum bagging or skirt and heaters technique but the yard had the room and cut me a huge discount on layday charges.

  Back then I was an avid racer and wanted a smooth and fair bottom.  My memory has freshened and part of the $8,000 was spent on other tasks like shaft work, a through hull replacement and skeg rudder speed flaps rebuild.  Maybe it was $6,000 for the hull work; given that a stock bottom paint job would have been about $1,500, the strip, fill and fair cost was therefore about $4,500 including an epoxy barrier coat.  And it was quality work, longboard files on the broad portions, orbitals and hand sanding in the niggly bits, and some minor keel fairing.  Looked stunningly smooth when splashed.

It was sort of a middle of the road solution compared to the Gran Prix guys who easily spend 20k on a bottom job,  templated keel,  and longboard, fill and fair, repeat until the hull is absolutely fair.  Gotta be good for a 1/10th knot gain in light air <g>.

P5310119.thumb.jpg.28a2a1ca56f32a54e7d5422c875c9758.jpg

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I did a Morgan 40 blistrr job in Esssignton many moons ago. Two of us. Grinders. It "bled" reddish styrene-stinky liquid. Groind them all out down to the rioving. Built them back up all with Goigeon. Thenc coal tar. Must have been 2 weeks. Other stories from that job.

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7 hours ago, axolotl said:

Not salient here but realize  boats manufactured or imported on or before November 1, 1972, did not require an HIN.

OP said it was an ‘84 build, thus the question.  

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On 6/13/2021 at 12:02 AM, alanfw said:

I've found a boat I like in my price range. I had it pulled out and surveyed a couple of days ago. Still waiting on the surveyor's report, but there were a few small osmosis blisters below the waterline. It's a 1984 build, but I can't find a builder. No obvious sign of deep delamination. 

Will there be any GRP boats this old that stay in the water that WON'T have osmosis blisters?

Hire a surveyor to test the moisture content of the laminate 

couple hundred dollars for a typical 40 to 50 foot boat 

soaked rudders and hull skin are expensive to repair 

a normal moisture  prevention cycle . antifoul strip and epoxy primer,,, is not to expensive 

only the moisture content reading can decide what treatment is needed 

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:02 PM, alanfw said:

I've found a boat I like in my price range. I had it pulled out and surveyed a couple of days ago. Still waiting on the surveyor's report, but there were a few small osmosis blisters below the waterline. It's a 1984 build, but I can't find a builder. No obvious sign of deep delamination. 

Will there be any GRP boats this old that stay in the water that WON'T have osmosis blisters?

Some do, some don't. Boat # 123 might have been layed up on a humid day and #124 on a dry day. I have literally seen this, sister ships a few numbers apart where one had a ton of blisters and one had none. *If* this is all that is wrong it is not a big deal IMHO.  A good surveyor should be able to tell you what is going on. If the boat is solid glass it would take a shit-ton of blistering to actually make the boat unsafe. If the boat is cored, you need to make sure the core is still dry!

Believe it or not fiberglass airplanes can get blisters too and for the most part they aren't even in the water.

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I got in a discussion about reinstating the laminate after grinding out osmosis blisters.

 

Assuming the blister is ground out & edges feathered, do we 1.) reinstate the laminate starting with small bits of cloth at the bottom of the blister, then laminating bigger & bigger dia. cloth with each laminate?

 

Or 2.) start with the big piece of cloth and keep laminating in smaller & smaller dia. pieces of cloth?

 

I’m thinking method 1 is the way to go...  My buddy was adamant it should be method 2.

Or could there be a third option, that it doesn't matter?

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On 6/14/2021 at 7:18 PM, Blue Crab said:

We know how it's spelled, we just don't care.

It actually a contraction of Mathematics so when civilised people shorten it they leave the S at the end.  

 

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30 minutes ago, Factor said:

It actually a contraction of Mathematics so when civilised people shorten it they leave the S at the end.  

 

Uh, ya misspelled civilized too. And if you really mean to contract something, contract it! We don't need no steenking esses.

 

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Doncha just love spelling & grammar police when they have errors in their corrections? :D

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Ive beene worrieded abote Ozmoses sinse he came back dowen off Ayers Rock withoise crazey stone tabelettes.  He looked so weirded oute, and starteng telleng peopel what they cane an cante do, then he gotte loste in teh outback foire a realley realley realley longue time.  Tride to parte the GBR, I wase so licke... "Duuude!", he loste me..............         :)

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On 6/13/2021 at 9:47 PM, nota said:

pre 73 oil price bump boats are mostly without blisters

 

I think they did something to get more resin  per barrel after the arabs jacked the price of oil in 73

or maybe more other stuff  production [ gas/oil] made the remaining resin different

polyester but which esters and how many of what type may matter

and it is called the oil biz our polyesters are a byproduct sludge of making oil and gas

 

one way to totally avoid blisters is epoxie or wood

This nonsense has been blathered fir years and  is absolute bullshit.

There are multiple reasons boats blister but different crude oil post 1973 is absolutely not one of them.

 

coincidental to around that time:

 

* gelcoat development was transitioning the base resins to a much more resilient plastic. Where older boats’ gelcoat base resins tended to rinse away as rapidly as the resins in tge laminates, newer base resins held together well enough to create a semipermeable membrane behind  which pockets of water could  form 

 

* many hulls post early seventies  had core materials like wood or coremat. The laminating resins soaked part way into those materials and some of those “semi filtered as they soaked”resins did not cure as thoroughly as resins in solid laminates. This situation created more availability of solutes which could promote  osmosis. 

**people figured out Fiberglass hulls were somewhat water soluble and started noticing blisters. 
1959 pearson Tritons grew monstrous laminate blisters as did old Electra’s, Ensigns, and every other boat. Many people who think old boats do not have blisters have never  

 

and on.., I just finished my sandwich as Nd am headed out to sail 

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Are you saying they didn't "build'em thick because they didn't know the material"?

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5 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Are you saying they didn't "build'em thick because they didn't know the material"?

I was on a Cacade Yacht the other day, apparently they arrived at their laminate schedule by shooting at various layups;

Solid glass, built like a friggin tank. Had 3 blisters at last haulout.

From wiki

Like many early producers of fiberglass boats, the company's production methods resulted in yachts that were heavier than later builders. Experimenting with fiberglass, at that time a relatively novel material for boat construction, the founders made test samples that were shot at from 10 feet (3.0 m) with various firearms to test the material strength. The test samples repelled .45 slugs and became the foundation of the company's reputation for producing bulletproof yachts. In various cases Cascade Yachts have been dropped off slings, fallen off a trailer at highway speed, and submerged in a mudslide, and suffered little consequential damage.[2][4] Many Cascade hulls were sold in various stages of completion for owners to finish the interiors.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Yachts

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I was there.  The poyestermite was created by me and Meade, at the first wooden boat festival to cheer up John Wilson,  over his career choice, every other comment is pure/impure conspiracy, brought to you by the Virtually Indestructible Cartel.  Word out.

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On 7/4/2021 at 6:04 PM, SloopJonB said:

Are you saying they didn't "build'em thick because they didn't know the material"?

Yes and no. I worked on a 60s era boat that was so flexible the autopilot ram was bending the hull :o

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12 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:
On 7/4/2021 at 6:04 PM, SloopJonB said:

Are you saying they didn't "build'em thick because they didn't know the material"?

Yes and no. I worked on a 60s era boat that was so flexible the autopilot ram was bending the hull :o

A frend had a earley fibreglasse runabote, lapstrake hull.  The manufactiurere juste builte glasse plankes emulatteng size of the woode ounes an glassed evereything togethere.  Resulteng in verrey heavey hull.

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On 7/4/2021 at 10:55 PM, Blue Crab said:

Uh, ya misspelled civilized too. And if you really mean to contract something, contract it! We don't need no steenking esses.

 

have an S :)

 

 

 

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On 7/4/2021 at 4:04 PM, Gouvernail said:

This nonsense has been blathered fir years and  is absolute bullshit.

There are multiple reasons boats blister but different crude oil post 1973 is absolutely not one of them.

 

coincidental to around that time:

 

* gelcoat development was transitioning the base resins to a much more resilient plastic. Where older boats’ gelcoat base resins tended to rinse away as rapidly as the resins in tge laminates, newer base resins held together well enough to create a semipermeable membrane behind  which pockets of water could  form 

 

* many hulls post early seventies  had core materials like wood or coremat. The laminating resins soaked part way into those materials and some of those “semi filtered as they soaked”resins did not cure as thoroughly as resins in solid laminates. This situation created more availability of solutes which could promote  osmosis. 

**people figured out Fiberglass hulls were somewhat water soluble and started noticing blisters. 
1959 pearson Tritons grew monstrous laminate blisters as did old Electra’s, Ensigns, and every other boat. Many people who think old boats do not have blisters have never  

 

and on.., I just finished my sandwich as Nd am headed out to sail 

just know what I have seen here in south fla

we are on salt water very warm never ever freeze

most boats stay in the water 24/7/365 here

my dad had a small yard that built wood power boats mid 50's glass under the waterline for worms from new

later I worked for M-S in the coconut grove yard early 70's until after the 73 gas price bump

I have owned a bunch of 60's boats NEVER SAW  any blisters/pox including a pearson 26 built in 62 bought in 2002

several columbia's a kenner and a capecod shipbuild raven that was 50's built

and some early 70's a capedory and a contest 30 also

lucky maybe but never saw a blister on my boats

 

I have seen a fair number of blistered boats but all were post 73 mostly built after 79

maybe coincidental maybe gelcoat but tooo many to ignore

 

the other odd blister reports were from race cars with thin layup bodys

how that happens I do not have a clue

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/4/2021 at 3:48 PM, Snaggletooth said:

Ive beene worrieded abote Ozmoses sinse he came back dowen off Ayers Rock withoise crazey stone tabelettes.  He looked so weirded oute, and starteng telleng peopel what they cane an cante do, then he gotte loste in teh outback foire a realley realley realley longue time.  Tride to parte the GBR, I wase so licke... "Duuude!", he loste me..............         :)

Yeah I remember that, I laughed so hard I snorted manna out my nose

- DSK

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33 minutes ago, pironiero said:

and its not repairable?

Why would you? If the armature rusts all the strength is gone - all you are left with is the filler.

It's equivalent to the glass disappearing in a fiberglass boat.

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9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Why would you? If the armature rusts all the strength is gone - all you are left with is the filler.

It's equivalent to the glass disappearing in a fiberglass boat.

Thank you, now i get it, i assume that if its called cancer-there is no signs of rusting armature and it will be too late when you find it out.

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On 7/2/2021 at 10:56 PM, charisma94 said:

I got in a discussion about reinstating the laminate after grinding out osmosis blisters.

 

 

 

Assuming the blister is ground out & edges feathered, do we 1.) reinstate the laminate starting with small bits of cloth at the bottom of the blister, then laminating bigger & bigger dia. cloth with each laminate?

 

 

 

Or 2.) start with the big piece of cloth and keep laminating in smaller & smaller dia. pieces of cloth?

 

 

 

I’m thinking method 1 is the way to go...  My buddy was adamant it should be method 2.

 

Or could there be a third option, that it doesn't matter?

So this is the never ending argument which is aggravated by Lloyd's Rules recommendations and other abstruse bullshit. In aircraft, it is small into the hole, match ply for ply--and then you need a final bridging ply because you lost one. In boats, people cut fucking thru holes and shit, and taper 8:1 on fiberglass repairs (aircraft more on order of 24:1), use sharpies to mark the cut lines on the fabric, blow cig smoke all over the fiberglass, so nothing matters. LOL.

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On 7/7/2021 at 1:25 PM, nota said:

just know what I have seen here in south fla

we are on salt water very warm never ever freeze

most boats stay in the water 24/7/365 here

my dad had a small yard that built wood power boats mid 50's glass under the waterline for worms from new

later I worked for M-S in the coconut grove yard early 70's until after the 73 gas price bump

I have owned a bunch of 60's boats NEVER SAW  any blisters/pox including a pearson 26 built in 62 bought in 2002

several columbia's a kenner and a capecod shipbuild raven that was 50's built

and some early 70's a capedory and a contest 30 also

lucky maybe but never saw a blister on my boats

 

I have seen a fair number of blistered boats but all were post 73 mostly built after 79

maybe coincidental maybe gelcoat but tooo many to ignore

 

the other odd blister reports were from race cars with thin layup bodys

how that happens I do not have a clue

Freeze thaw is certainly a big player.

All sorts of blisters happen. Here's a good one: Thistles. Often covered and left in side yard over the winter with snow. The cover comes down a good way -- far enough to get below the level of the side seats joint to hull. One boat came in with blisters along the area that was covered by the cover--but ONLY in way of the tank, and ONLY under the cover. Not above the line of the tank join, and not fwd of the chainplates where the tank ends, nor aft of it, until you got to the stern tank. No blisters below the cover.

The only differences between where tank is and not are:

1. There is a closed space on the other side.

2. There is NO GELCOAT inside the tank.

We thought 2 was the most likely culprit.

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3 hours ago, fastyacht said:

So this is the never ending argument which is aggravated by Lloyd's Rules recommendations and other abstruse bullshit. In aircraft, it is small into the hole, match ply for ply--and then you need a final bridging ply because you lost one. In boats, people cut fucking thru holes and shit, and taper 8:1 on fiberglass repairs (aircraft more on order of 24:1), use sharpies to mark the cut lines on the fabric, blow cig smoke all over the fiberglass, so nothing matters. LOL.

Fiberglass boats are not falling apart though, at least not for those reasons, and have been a thing a lot longer than fiberglass airplanes ;)

* I remain somewhat not-impressed with fiberglass/carbon fiber/etc. airplanes. We had a couple here on the rental line and they SUCKED as rental planes. If it was my personal airplane no one else flew sitting in a hangar maybe, but they did not seem to stand up to the abuse of rental nags and there was about 1 or 2 places in the whole country that were FAA approved to fix and autoclave the bits of these airplanes when any local shop could bang out some aluminum. Also for just spanning a large area with thin sheet like a fuselage side or wing skin, aluminum doesn't even seem to have much of a weight penalty, if any.

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6 hours ago, pironiero said:

Thank you, now i get it, i assume that if its called cancer-there is no signs of rusting armature and it will be too late when you find it out.

No - it shows.

A little bit like a rusting steel boat - actually more like bleeding iron fasteners in a wood boat.

A Sail Away Offshore Cruising Boat For Less Than US$100,000—Best Hull  Material - Attainable Adventure Cruising

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On 7/4/2021 at 8:48 PM, Snaggletooth said:

Ive beene worrieded abote Ozmoses sinse he came back dowen off Ayers Rock withoise crazey stone tabelettes.  He looked so weirded oute, and starteng telleng peopel what they cane an cante do, then he gotte loste in teh outback foire a realley realley realley longue time.  Tride to parte the GBR, I wase so licke... "Duuude!", he loste me..............         :)

I am late to this thread, but just wanted to say: @Snaggletooth, that is one of your best.  Thank you..

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On 7/2/2021 at 7:56 PM, charisma94 said:

I got in a discussion about reinstating the laminate after grinding out osmosis blisters.

 

 

 

Assuming the blister is ground out & edges feathered, do we 1.) reinstate the laminate starting with small bits of cloth at the bottom of the blister, then laminating bigger & bigger dia. cloth with each laminate?

 

 

 

Or 2.) start with the big piece of cloth and keep laminating in smaller & smaller dia. pieces of cloth?

 

 

 

I’m thinking method 1 is the way to go...  My buddy was adamant it should be method 2.

 

Or could there be a third option, that it doesn't matter?

Option 2. That first big piece has maximum bonding surface.

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On 7/29/2021 at 3:00 PM, pironiero said:

and its not repairable?

Rust never sleeps. Concrete is porous, salts migrate in from the water, attack the steel. Rebar rusts & rust flakes expand with large force, blowing the 'crete off the armature of rebar. No real repair once the process starts.

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3 minutes ago, pironiero said:

i wonder if anyone used something like carbon frame instead of steel? or something rust resistant and robust like steel

carbon and concrete ... nope think you maybe on a first there .

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40 minutes ago, Mid said:

carbon and concrete ... nope think you maybe on a first there .

Actually decades ago there was active research on that exact concept as well as kevlar. Look in the SAMPE archives.
steel sucks for concrete but cheap and adhesion when new is reliable.

 

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1 hour ago, pironiero said:

i wonder if anyone used something like carbon frame instead of steel? or something rust resistant and robust like steel

https://basaltreinforcedcomposites.com/

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Basalt Reinforced Composites for concrete construction are innovative, non-corrosive products that prevent the issue. Providing long-lasting, sustainable materials that eliminate the need for maintenance and replacement.

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The civil eng majors I knew who did concrete canoe racing used all sorts of innovative non ferrous fiber reinforcement. It was very interesting and often surprisingly good.

It has only been a matter of time before these ideas made the mainstream, albeit decades late.

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