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aerogel in foil boards

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jkrug
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aerogel in foil boards

Postby jkrug » Wed May 11, 2022 12:25 pm

i came across this when searching for highly buoyant materials:

"Now, scientists have created a new type of aerogel that is inspired by the feet of the water strider. The material is reportedly so buoyant, that a boat made from one pound (454 grams) of it could carry about 1,000 pounds (454 kg) of cargo." that quote from a 2012 article.

i wonder why this material couldn't be used within a foil board. imagine a 1 pound board (plus external materials) floating us with ease. no more large volume wing boards necessary. any techies out there know of this substance and why it couldn't be used in our application? i'm not a techie and so there may be a very simple reason why...but curious...costs, dangerous material, etc.

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby BWD » Wed May 11, 2022 1:42 pm

Aerogel is very light, very brittle, not very strong, or very cheap. Maybe it could be used somehow? I don’t know.
If you somehow saved 2 kg out of a 5kg 100L board, you might be able to decrease the volume by what, 2L to have the equivalent buoyancy?
But keep in mind, this will change the board shape and some of that area and volume is serving hydrodynamic needs as well as hydrostatic (buoyancy) ones. Probably these changes would be advantageous, to a point.
There is a point of diminishing returns somewhere, but I would love to be able to have a 3-4kg 100L board, instead of 5-6kg!

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby evan » Wed May 11, 2022 5:49 pm

You know those boards you can pump up? They are filled with a material that's even lighter than aerogel: just plain air.

Problem is that air doesn't have much structural strength, so to get a board-like shape you need so much reinforcements that the board will be heavier than one with a stronger foam core and less reinforcements.

Just view the aerogel as an extremely brittle and light foam. Too weak and brittle to use as a core for a board.
Maybe it can be used to make the hollow carbon boards watertight some builders were experimenting with, but it would make them ridiculously expensive with no weight gain whatsoever over the current foam core boards.

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby Dontsink » Thu May 12, 2022 4:40 am

If you made an 85liter magic board with alien unobtanium tech that weighed nothing it would support ...85kg.

My current board is 85l/5kg , it will "float" 85-5=80kg.

The main advantage of lighter materials is not more buoyancy , what we really gain is reduced inertia and much better handling.

IMHO what we need is a better foilbox construction,engineered to take the foil loads.The current 2 X US Box needs lots of reinforcement ,specially for prone and dockstart boards that will go through many pump cycles.
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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby consumer » Mon May 16, 2022 8:34 pm

Dontsink wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 4:40 am
If you made an 85liter magic board with alien unobtanium tech that weighed nothing it would support ...85kg.

My current board is 85l/5kg , it will "float" 85-5=80kg.

The main advantage of lighter materials is not more buoyancy , what we really gain is reduced inertia and much better handling.

IMHO what we need is a better foilbox construction,engineered to take the foil loads.The current 2 X US Box needs lots of reinforcement ,specially for prone and dockstart boards that will go through many pump cycles.
Well you actually bring up a good point ! We talk about volume of boards as if a 70L board has a similar floatation to another 70L board from another manufacturer, but you are right in considering overall floatation we need to also consider board density. (Flotation = displacement ~ volume * (Density of water - average density of board). The only reason volume is comparable between brands at the moment is because everyone is working with more or less the same materials.

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby Trent hink » Tue May 17, 2022 12:10 am

I don't think that is quite right.

Bouyancy is equal to the weight of the water displaced.

So if you have the weight of the board and the volume, and you know how much you weigh, then you have everything you need to know.

I totally agree with Dontsink, but I think his main point is that in the quest for lighter weight, you can very quickly reach a point of diminishing returns.

Has anyone tried pricing out, say, 85 liters of aerogel?

As far as I can tell, aerogel IS unobtanium, except with a slight weight penalty ;).

consumer wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 8:34 pm
Dontsink wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 4:40 am
If you made an 85liter magic board with alien unobtanium tech that weighed nothing it would support ...85kg.

My current board is 85l/5kg , it will "float" 85-5=80kg.

The main advantage of lighter materials is not more buoyancy , what we really gain is reduced inertia and much better handling.

IMHO what we need is a better foilbox construction,engineered to take the foil loads.The current 2 X US Box needs lots of reinforcement ,specially for prone and dockstart boards that will go through many pump cycles.
Well you actually bring up a good point ! We talk about volume of boards as if a 70L board has a similar floatation to another 70L board from another manufacturer, but you are right in considering overall floatation we need to also consider board density. (Flotation = displacement ~ volume * (Density of water - average density of board). The only reason volume is comparable between brands at the moment is because everyone is working with more or less the same materials.
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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby Trent hink » Tue May 17, 2022 1:17 am

evan wrote:
Wed May 11, 2022 5:49 pm
You know those boards you can pump up? They are filled with a material that's even lighter than aerogel: just plain air.
You have to be very careful with this line of reasoning.

Air has mass.

When you compress it, you are putting more mass into a smaller volume.

Back In my day,, I used to dream about about a fiber-reenforced board pressurized with air.

The concept requires careful engineering, and in the end it is probably not worth the trouble.
Last edited by Trent hink on Tue May 17, 2022 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby consumer » Tue May 17, 2022 3:48 am

I’m still confused. If a 100 L board weighs 5kg and has a density of 0.9 kg/L it floats, but 90% of the board sits below the surface. Can you put 95kg on it before it completely sinks?

I guess if the board is 5kg and 100L it’s density is by definition 5/100 so it’s impossible to have a density of 0.9

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby Trent hink » Tue May 17, 2022 4:15 am

In the future, it won't matter.

There's no point in having a board that can float your weight once you learn to water start in the fashion of the old-time pole-boarders.

In fact, at the point where this new tactic becomes common method, everyone will suddenly realize that volume is only detrimental.

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Re: aerogel in foil boards

Postby evan » Tue May 17, 2022 6:39 am

Trent hink wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 1:17 am

You have to be very careful with this line of reasoning.

Air has mass.

When you compress it, you are putting more mass into a smaller volume.
Aerogel is porous and will fill up with it's surrounding gas, so it will always be heavier than the surrounding air.

Water is a different story, as it will dissolve the structure of most gel types unless they make it water repellent.
consumer wrote: I’m still confused. If a 100 L board weighs 5kg and has a density of 0.9 kg/L it floats, but 90% of the board sits below the surface. Can you put 95kg on it before it completely sinks?

I guess if the board is 5kg and 100L it’s density is by definition 5/100 so it’s impossible to have a density of 0.9
Wait, what? Who is claiming a 100l board can have density of 0.9kg/l while weighing only 5kg? As density is weight per volume that would be physically impossible.

Something with a density of 0.9kg/l either weighs 90kg for a 100l board or only has a volume of 5.56l with a 5kg weight.


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