3.31.2007

BioFoam Bat-tails

I shaped a board today out of BioFoam, a blank made by HomeBlown USA. 50% of the blank is made from plant resins, which results in 36% less global warming emissions and a 61% reduction in non-renewable energy use.

Pros: The blanks are very shaper friendly and I didn't feel itchy being covered in it. Occasionally I get foam dust in my eyes, but this stuff didn't burn or irritate my eyes like most foam dust does. It almost feels "clean."

Cons: The blanks are pretty soft, and I'm not sure how durable the blank is going to be with 6oz+4oz deck/4 oz bottom. We'll see. Even though the foam is soft, it seems to tear easily using a planer. I had to shape it with my Hitachi since the armature on my Skil 100 is at the shop getting re-wound. I'm not sure how the blank will shape with a slower RPM planer like the Skil.

The stock rocker for the 64F fish blank worked out ok shaping a 5'11" bat-tail, but I'll be sure to order my own rocker for the next one. Hopefully BioFoam will work out the kinks with their formula. I'd really like to see the industry move towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to the petroleum-based resins that make up most of the blanks out there today.

EDIT >>> I just learned from the folks at BioFoam that if you let the blank sit for 24 hours it hardens up again. I just checked my shaped blank and it cured up to the same hardness as my blue US Banks. I recommend giving these blanks a go. Let's support an industry that's moving towards sustainability and awareness. (Now for a plant-derived polyester resin...)

Here's some photos of a bat-tail quad I shaped for Michael S., my liason for BioFoam:

5'11" x 20.5" x 2-3/8"




21 comments:

Nereus Kinesis said...

That´s the way to go!!!!!but what you point out has to be resolved otherwise bio-foam will go no were...we´ve tested blanks without tdi in it and found also some issues that pose problems...but we want more bio products !!!!!!!!!Manny check out our blog.
Those bat tail lines looks so good...i have to find money to get me one of those from you...
bestregards Vasco
P.S Nereuskinesis= Alexandro & Vasco

pointsurfbaja said...

So if they are 50% plant is the remaining 50% petroleum. Regardless it's awesome to have a reduction by half of what is killing our planet. Will that one be coming down to us at Moonbase for the glass so I get to see my first bio-foam board?

m.caro said...

It's a wait-and-see for sure. The blank is real flexy, so I'll have to talk with Gary about cloth weights and options...

Lunar approach Tuesday...
South swell building...
Fish tacos for all my friends...

~manolo

nmocean said...

Biofoam is a new product and has been tested for over a year. After you shape it, let it sit for 24 hours and you'll find it hardens up again. Tearing is a little bit of an issue but with the higher rpm of the Hitachi together with sharp blades that can be minimized. I have been riding Biofoam exclusively for the past 4 months and it performs at least as good as any TDI foam I have ever used and I have shaped over 30,000 boards.
Ned McMahon
GM - Homeblown US
Makers of Biofoam

nmocean said...

By the way - I forgot to mention that the shape looked beautiful!

m.caro said...

Thanks for the advice >>>

I just checked the blank and it's much harder than yesterday! Amazing stuff. I'll be sending over an order for more blanks with tapered stringers via Green Valley Mills...stoked!

m.caro said...

Here's some questions for the guys in the white lab coats:

I just read about researchers who are trying to improve a process for turning fructose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfuran (HMF), an alternative, nonpetroleum precursor for checmicals such as polyesters.

It is possible to derive an inexpensive polyester resin from HMF?

Are there other alternatives to polyester resin and epoxy for laminating BioFoam?

rob said...

Looks sick! I think the color is cool too. Slap some pins, maybe some white + clear resin swirls on it... mmmm mmm good.

Chum said...

Hi-ya!

Great to have you bloggin, Manny. Looks like my NEXT Mandala will have to be of biofoam with a sugar coating...

Rick

reverb said...

...for ex. all the MDI that I shaped had the same cons
and are heavier than TDI s
and the foam is more "granulated"

yes, is good a envirm. friendly product
but I bet that the weight and closed cells issues are not bitten yet...

pushingtide said...

Good quality work man. Cool to see there are still some heads out there that are pushin' it and tryin' new things in this world of mass producedness.

nmocean said...

Just to let you guys know - 2 things 1) our normal MDI is completely different then when we started. It is absolutely white - according to Green Valley, the whitest, And even though the foam is slightly heavier, with a cell structure 1000 times smaller than TDI it doesn't use as much resin and therefore finishes out very light. 2) we have just put into production a UV cured Bioresin that is 98% plany based that can be used on polyurethane or EPS. We have also been working on this for some time and its time to get it out there. You can never get all the info you need for surfing from the lab - water time is the only proof. Finally we have just woven some cutom hemp and a bamboo/hemp mix cloth. These are not clear like sylene but the are strong and sustainable.

These are new products and we continue to improve them almost on a daily basis so I want to thank everyone for the support.

pinliner said...

Ned bring some of this new goo by Moonlight. We are Neo-Hippy friendly. You wont recognize the neighborhood since you helped build the shop way back when.

pointsurfbaja said...

Wow 98%, that's huge. This will be cool to see. I've heard about the hemp cloth from Mr. Hess. Have they worked out some of the issues. I don't recall exactly what he said, but I think it was saturation and flexibility. Anyway, nice to see people trying.

Nuno said...

Green is the way to go, every little effort is a step forward!

The foam looks little off-white, but I can appreciate that (even with a clear finish).

Any feedback about how the foam reacts to the UV's exposure over the time (discoloration) or other changes in the foam integrity?
The aging process is an import fact.

Take Care,
nn

worldsurfradio said...

Great Blog - will add it to links at worldsurfradio.com.

I interviewed Ned on show 21 but it is really good to see an independent opinion on these blanks, and its all good -

Nice one

seamouse said...

So good to see the move to 'green' foam being complimented by such a stunner of a board!
With this and a Patagonia wetsuit the future of earth friendly surfing looks bright.

Randy said...

Has the board been glassed yet? Any performance review?

gracias!

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