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What happened to the DOW blue foam?

Old 11-04-2009, 05:38 PM
  #1  
robotronski
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Default What happened to the DOW blue foam?

Has anyone notice a decline in quality from the Blu-Cor available at Lowes Building Materials?

I think the foam is not as rigid as the foam I have leftover from a few years ago.

I did not even buy any yesterday when I went to Lowes as the quality just wasn't there for me.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks, Robo
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:03 PM
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capn chaos
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Robot,
Not sure but my guess is (with most foams) the aging process makes the foam more brittle or in this case appear stiff. Green ( not the color but the age as in recently extruded) foam is still outgassing and coming to full cure. I would expect you would not notice the difference over a few months but a year, likely would. All foams, PVC, urethane and even styrofoam react to aging to different degrees.
Need a chemist to better explain (or debunk) the above.

CC
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:06 AM
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rocket_jim
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You might look at your old foam and the new. I think the old foam had plastic on both sides, and the new stuff has it on just one side. If so, that makes a terrific difference in the stiffness.

Jim
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:39 AM
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FoamHeadMike
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Originally Posted by capn chaos View Post
Robot,
Not sure but my guess is (with most foams) the aging process makes the foam more brittle or in this case appear stiff. Green ( not the color but the age as in recently extruded) foam is still outgassing and coming to full cure. I would expect you would not notice the difference over a few months but a year, likely would. All foams, PVC, urethane and even styrofoam react to aging to different degrees.
Need a chemist to better explain (or debunk) the above.

CC
I can see where time and changing climates can break down the chemical components of the foam but if it is stored indoors in a climate controlled atmosphere just age itself should not have much of an effect on the foam.
the bottom line is that the Lowes has replaced the good stuff with cheaper made stuff but still sells it at the same cost it still has the same R factor but is not as suitable for building foamies as the High Performance underlayment but there again is not designed for building foam air planes to begin with.
You might want to try calling around some local insulation suppliers, lumber companys oe wood flooring suppliers for DOW Blue Cor high performance underlayment P/P FFF. what Lowes now carrys is DOW protection board.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:23 AM
  #5  
robotronski
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Originally Posted by FoamHeadMike View Post
I can see where time and changing climates can break down the chemical components of the foam but if it is stored indoors in a climate controlled atmosphere just age itself should not have much of an effect on the foam.
the bottom line is that the Lowes has replaced the good stuff with cheaper made stuff but still sells it at the same cost it still has the same R factor but is not as suitable for building foamies as the High Performance underlayment but there again is not designed for building foam air planes to begin with.
You might want to try calling around some local insulation suppliers, lumber companys oe wood flooring suppliers for DOW Blue Cor high performance underlayment P/P FFF. what Lowes now carrys is DOW protection board.
Well that explains it clearly for me. Thanks. I love being able to knock out a foam plane in one or two evenings with no CA all over my fingers at the end of the night. Thanks again.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:31 AM
  #6  
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I've Recently bought a stack of fanfold foam. I had to go to 4 different Lowes Stores to find a decent bundle. 99% of the stuff was really wavy. looked as if it had been extruded too quickly. Hopefully this will get better soon as i go through this stuff like candy.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:13 AM
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Voyager2lcats
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I bought some Dow ProtectionBoard III (blue foam from Lowe's) which is less dense and slightly lighter than the original BlueCor. I am using it on my PT-19 build and it is excellent for skinning over Readiboard formers. You could use balsa for formers if you find Readiboard too heavy (I don't). The wing spars are a combination of doubled bamboo skewer dowels and Readiboard full length wing spars. Here's a few pictures to give you an idea.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:00 PM
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If you cant find it at your local Lowes, go on the web and look up Allied Building Products. See if they have a location in your area and call them and see if they have it in stock.
I was walking my dog last fall and saw some guys putting up siding and on their trailer they had bundles of the old paper on both sides stuff, so ask the guy where he got it and he told me Allied. Also after that some guys on RCG have gotten some from them. Dont know if the paper on both sides is still available now though....

Good Luck
Bob
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:25 PM
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FoamHeadMike
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the DOW high performance underlayment P/P FFF has plastic on both sides, the PP is designated plastic/ plastic which translates plastic film on both sides of the foam
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:46 PM
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So has anyone found the 'original' stuff recently? Can the newer 'protection board' be used for pusher jets, 3d foamies, etc?
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:50 PM
  #11  
crxmanpat
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The "old" P/P FFF is getting harder and harder to find now (DOW no longer makes it from what I understand). The new Protection board is fine for making RC planes. Just make sure support is added where needed (wing spars and such).

Personally, I prefer building with depron, but it can be more expensive. Although most LHS' and even some craft stores sell it now.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:10 PM
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FoamHeadMike
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Originally Posted by PaperAirplane View Post
So has anyone found the 'original' stuff recently? Can the newer 'protection board' be used for pusher jets, 3d foamies, etc?
I havent really looked for it since I started using $Tree Redi Board
but to answer your second question; yes, lots of people use the FFF PB exclusively for park jets and all other types of planes
TV Casualty, the designer of the corsair I am building built his with the stuff and that is a to scale model.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:21 AM
  #13  
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Thanks guys, sounds like I will be picking some up soon!
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:46 PM
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PaperAirplane, you won't regret it. The Dow Protection Board is really quite good.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:35 AM
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Thanks, v2Cats
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:55 AM
  #16  
RonaldF
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I recently mail ordered some blue fan fold from Lowes. It is terrible. The Panels are wavy. They are not flat. I'll have to find something to insulate with it.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:51 PM
  #17  
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RonaldF - dont worry about the waves. they are not that intrusive. if you are needing constant thickness sheets, then slice it down to 3/16". Easy to do with a couple of 3/16" lengths of music wire or steel rod and a hot wire.

just lay the rods on either side of the foam (onion skin side down) and weight the top with a flat piece of MDF, plywood or the like (just as long as its flat). now simply slide the hotwire along the rods. you can even go down to 1/8" for wing skins, turtledeck wrapping, etc.

its still great stuff.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:28 AM
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I still have some of the old P/P Blue Core, but it's going fast. Once that runs out, then I have some options....

The one sided plastic on the new Dow PB wouldn't be a big deal. I usually have to remove skin on one side of the older stuff for either gluing or rolling undercambered wings. Lately, I've removed the film altogether and just quickly hit it with a heat gun to melt the surface... great for those light builds and it seems to add some strength.

However, I'm a 3 hour drive to the nearest Lowes in the USA (I live in Canada and cannot buy locally). I don't think I will be making the trip anytime soon to get more. :-(

My plan now is to just buy 2" thick extruded foam locally and slice my own. I have the parts to build a hot wire foam cutter... just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm hoping I can get far more consistent sheet thickness without the waves.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:15 AM
  #19  
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Dow now calls there BluCor Layflat P/P with the p/p standing for plastic on both sides available at flooring suppy places and comes in two thicknesses 1/4" and 3/8". On Dows web site you can cantact them and find distributor in you area.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:24 AM
  #20  
RonaldF
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Originally Posted by wingnutt View Post
RonaldF - dont worry about the waves. they are not that intrusive. if you are needing constant thickness sheets, then slice it down to 3/16". Easy to do with a couple of 3/16" lengths of music wire or steel rod and a hot wire.

just lay the rods on either side of the foam (onion skin side down) and weight the top with a flat piece of MDF, plywood or the like (just as long as its flat). now simply slide the hotwire along the rods. you can even go down to 1/8" for wing skins, turtledeck wrapping, etc.

its still great stuff.
It is not worth my time and effort. I'll stick with depron.
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:15 PM
  #21  
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Thanks for that info. I'm going to try to find some of that 2 sided material.

Cliff
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:20 AM
  #22  
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Hi:
Is there a easy way to remove the plastic film from the foam? I have some in my garage that I bought about a year ago and put it there as it was almost impossible to remove. I was told to get a hold on an edge and peel it back! It starts out fine then just rips into smaller strips!
Thanks in advance for any help.
Don
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:10 PM
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philipa_240sx
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
Is there a easy way to remove the plastic film from the foam?
If you pull the film back on itself, it will do this.

Here is the trick:

Keep the angle of the film less than 45 deg to the foam and pull upwards. Use your other hand to hold the foam down. You should be able to strip the film in one piece.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:13 PM
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I've started slicing my own foam sheets using a hot wire foam cutter. The sheets come out perfectly flat and have similar strength and rigidity as un-skinned FFF.

Here is one of my first builds using the new foam:
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:37 PM
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Philipa 240sx:
I'll try that. As of yet nothing else has worked. I spent 6 hours trying to get the film off the pieces for a Y22 last night ! I noticed that when it is all off, the foam seems alot less stiffer. Everything I have read before has said to remove all the film on both sides. I have seem pictures lately that seem to show none of the film removed. I tried several practice gluing pieces and you have to remove the film where you place glue or there is no strength. What are your suggestions and what do you do? I have seen plans that just show 1 carbon fiber rod in the wings, and later seen planes from the same plans with many rods everywhere! Is there a normal amount?
I am new to fanfold and depron (can't find depron) so sorry for all the questions and I would appreciate any help you can provide.

Thanks again
Don
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