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Cement Products for Ferro Boats


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In the process of learning how to and preparing my ship after I first purchased her, I came across a cement care/protection product at a Habitat For Humanity thrift store.  The product is called DP36, and it's made by ProSeal.  The product is apparently used to protect swimming pools and other cement from...chlorine and saltwater.  They used it on the Panama Canal.

 

 

I bought 44 gallons at $4USD a piece, figuring that since it was $400 gallon from the manufacturer or retailers, that I was getting a good deal no matter what.

 

I tested it on my deck both above and below (I'm laminated ferro-cement).  Above deck, it has stripped the paint off.  Below deck, it excluded the black mold which infested my ship (and which I have a genetic condition that puts me in the class of most sensitive people to it.)

 

Some of it dripped off the deck and onto the hull, where it also stripped off the paint.

 

 

Given that DP36 works by creating a polymer matrix of polycarbonate, it actually displaces everything in the cement, including soil, grease, and paint.  It creates a vapor-tight barrier, which I figure makes it a damn valuable product.

 

 

Has anyone else heard of or experimented with this product or similar?

 

 

Curiously, ProSeal also has new products, though they have not responded to my inquiries to test them on my ship, specifically their rubberizing coating for cement as part of a system which creates an integrated layer of rubber in the cement itself.  As mentioned in my initial post, I'm very anxious to work with this company or any other (or just try it myself) to integrate silicone into the cement matrix on my hull, creating the ultimate in anti-foul coating that would also be tremendously low in the friction department.

 

 

Perhaps one of you more professional and "normal" blokes could contact ProSeal and try to get them to give up a batch of their rubberizing system to allow it to be tested as a bottom coating.

 

Otherwise, I expect to be able to start experimenting in a couple years, once I find a home to do the work my ship needs.

 

 

Anyone else find any cement products that they have defied manufacturer expectations and used it on your ferro hull?

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If you navigate to any of a number of internet search engines, and type in "ProSeal" you'll likely get a link to the company's website in the first results.  If you then click on that link and go to the ProSeal website, you'll find information about all of their products, including DP36.  You might even discover products there you hadn't thought of using.

 

As I stated in my post above, I am interested in creating a silicone (silicon is an expensive element used in the creation of semi-conductor products such as memory and processing chips, silicone is a polymer that doesn't stick to much of anything and vice-versa) bottom coating that integrates into the cement matrix, if that's even possible.

 

Finally, if you go back to the search engine, or another, and type in "Laminated Ferro Cement" you will get a lot of results.  Among them will be the New Zealand based "ferro cement network" with links on its front page which include one to "laminated ferro-cement classes" which includes a brief description of the technology.  There is also a US Navy document somewhere which describes the process in detail, and a US Coast Guard document covering their testing of a Fibersteel LFC hull for their use as a commercial passenger vessel.

 

 

 

 

Practically speaking, Laminated Ferro-Cement is lighter, thinner, and contains far fewer voids and other flaws than traditional ferro-cement due to how it is created.  A water-proof mold is used, and the mortar laid in the mold, with lathing cloth, small gauge expanded steel, pressed into the mortar and the process repeated several times.  In the case of Fibersteel Valeo hulls, the hull has two layers, with the steel support structure between them.  The result is much thinner, stronger, and more durable than regular ferro-cement; but the disadvantage is in repairs, as they are far more difficult to effect to recreate the original structure and strength (though I have devised a method which I believe does just that.)

 

Another aspect of LFC is the hollow armature.  Mine was contaminated with salt water.  The chlorine ions have since done their damage, but I have a bit of a mess to clean up.  My plan is to flush out the armature with deionized water, dry it with forced hot air, and then force hot hydrogen gas through the armature in order to reduce all of the oxides back into steel (and all the relevant rituals, and procedures, to ensure that the hydrogen does its job and doesn't get too excited and blow up).  I then hope to back fill with a material that will act as a repair material, if such a material can be found/engineered.

 

Given that my hull is just under 20meters, this presents some significant challenges, including the need to invert the hull.

 

LFC is also widely used these days on land for construction.  My pilothouse was made from LFC by someone other than Fibersteel (which is probably why I'll be replacing it soon.)

 

I believe LFC would make for a good submarine.  I'm thinking about making a dinghy...just use some existing fiberglass dinghy as a mold.

Edited by Disperser
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There are already several "fouling release" type coatings available. They are expensive to buy initially, but last many years, so work out cheaper. These coatings will likely replace the current standard antifouls due to the biocides being phased out around the world, and the want of people to use an environmentally friendly coating.

How badly has the steel work in your Hull rusted? Fresh cement will react in a positive way with Rust and create a nice clean steel surface and it aids in the cement adhering to the steel.
Hydrogen is going to be very very expensive. Is the boat worth the cost?

I understand what you mean by Laminated FC now.

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I'm not at all the kind of person to rely on an industry based on the profit motive, the notion of exploiting people, to deliver to me  technology that will actually solve my problems rather than just creating a mechanism by which I can be financially exploited.  I am intelligent, and can research and create my own products for my boat, just as I have done for my health and other aspects of my life, a process I got quite used to when being forced to act as my own attorney to fight for my basic benefits before I left the USA.

 

Hydrogen generation is simple with solar panels and clean water.  I simply electrolyze the water to create hydrogen and oxygen, send the oxygen to where I live for therapeutic levels to help with my brain function, and send the hydrogen through a solar heater using solar powered fans to force it into the hull.  I then simply monitor the hydrogen output at the exit of the hull versus at the intake to determine the level of reduction going on.  When it is bottomed out, I turn off the whole mess.  I figure it'll take days if not weeks, but the end result will be worth it.

 

Is my boat worth it?

 

 

Fibersteel made 29 hulls of the Valeo model, the motorsailer hull they offered.  Of those 29, one was made custom, 2 feet longer.  That is the hull I own.  It is one of a kind, a one-off molded laminated ferro-cement manufactured in a process investigated by the Navy and tested rigorously by the US Coast Guard, fitted with a Detroit Diesel which only has 300 hours on it, and rigged with the highest quality stainless rigging available at the time, Hasselfors.

 

For me to build another of these would be a project of immense cost, well over $1million US.

 

The cement will never wear out in my lifetime (it takes 150 years to cure fully).

 

It can always be repaired, at sea even.

 

Unless catastrophic damage occurs, this boat will last forever.

 

I can treat the hull to permanently exclude the possibility of mold growing.  I cannot make such guaratees with the only other material I would consider for a boat of this type and size: heavy displacement wood.

 

The maintenance on this hull is minimal, as evidenced by the fact that it was last hauled out and given bottom paint 13 years ago.

 

No other hull material boasts such properties as ferro-cement and especially laminated ferro-cement.

 

There is no more perfect boat for me.  I will live on it for the rest of my life.

 

 

Yes, it's worth it.  

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