These materials are based on the same chemical family as the familiar garbage bags, plastic pipe and plastic films in common use, but are produced quite differently. The, manufacturing process is more difficult than those used to produce most other foams, and the materials are consequently higher priced. Several are available, all made overseas and imported as finished core materials.
Fully cross-linked PVC foams make very good cores. Their cell size is somewhat larger than most other types of foam cores and densities down to as low as 60kg per cubic metre are available. In standard boat manufacture, the normal density is 80 kg per cubic metre, with higher densities under various pieces of equipment (winches etc). Most foams can be thermo-formed to fit curves of the parts.
Many outstanding boat hulls, decks and superstructure have been constructed with this core material, some well over one hundred feet in length. Small aircraft and various other structures also use PVC foam.
We supply Navicel® crosslinked PVC foam. Various densities and are available as well as processed sheet (contour / punched / infusion grooved), but we hold stock of 80 density “plain sheet” that we cut to your specified thickness, up to 60mm, on our foam cutting machine.