Flex-Ride Night Raider Plastic Boat: Explosives testing reveals energy absorbing superiority to FRP.

Staples, MN – A Minnesota company directly compared the effects of explosive blasts (TNT) on its rotationally molded 23 foot Flex-Ride Night Raider (HDXLPE) boat hull and comparable competitors Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) material.
By: Andy Stone
Jan. 9, 2012 - PRLog -- ABSTRACT: Historically, boats made of wood, fiberglass or metals are rigid, providing no occupant protection from repeated wave impacts. The Widmer plastic hull flexes and absorbs impacts produced at high speeds in rough water: the impact G-forces are absorbed by the hull instead of directly translated to the occupants. The Widmer boat hull is double-wall rotationally molded out of high density cross-linked polyethylene (HDXLPE). It employs Widmer’s patented kiss-offs for strength. The kiss-offs are designed to produce a double-walled cross-section in high impact areas such as the hull bottom. Additional benefits of this polyethylene material are its toughness, the ability to absorb blunt impacts from rocks/debris, abrasion resistance and puncture resilience. Furthermore, HDXLPE resists cracking, does not corrode, does not need paint – and this material floats!

The ability of Widmer's hull to flex and absorb energy was recently tested with TNT, blasted by ATF Federal Explosive Licensed Phil Miller from Southwest Explosives, 40294 Pinewood Ct., Browerville, MN 56438 (Phone 218-639-3273).  The tests were performed behind Widmer's facility in Staples, MN on Friday, January 6, 2011.  Phil used 5.3 oz sticks of TNT with performance characteristics of 24,000 ft/sec detonation speed and 230 kb (3.335 million psi) of detonation pressure.  Charges were placed six inches away from the rotationally molded hull and six inches away from fiberglass for comparison.  The results were quite impressive.  The Widmer hull absorbed and dissipated the energy without any loss of material integrity.  The fiberglass failed under pressure.  The photo shows before and after detonation images of Widmer's plastic hull on the left and fiberglass on the right.  The fiberglass "after" explosion image is cropped out (larger area) because a significant section was destroyed.

This test demonstrates the survivability of boat hulls made from different materials when subjected to explosives.  When an explosive ordinance (shell/mine) explodes in the vicinity of a military boat, the concussive forces placed upon the hull and occupants can range from injuries to hull rupture and/or failure.  When craft survivability is paramount to mission success, an explosive resistant hull from Widmer is the solution.

The Flex-Ride Night Raider is the culmination of Stanley Widmer’s lifelong search for a better boat hull. Stanley’s boat racing experiences, marine industry experience and hull development are thoroughly covered in his book The Journal of a Businessman. Visit http://www.stanleywidmerassociatesinc.com/newspressreleas...  The boat’s initial success has prompted interest from military, law enforcement and Coast Guards worldwide. Commercial applications are also being designed and reviewed.

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About Stanley Widmer Associates, Inc. We Design, Engineer & Manufacture with Advanced Methods and Materials. Stanley Widmer Associates, Inc., founded in 1971, has offices in Staples, MN and is a leader in the Rotational Molding and Marine markets. More information about Stanley Widmer Associates, Inc. can be found at http://www.widmerboat.com/
Source:Andy Stone
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Tags:Widmer, Plastic, Boat, Hull, Safe
Industry:Defense, Business, Technology
Location:Staples - Minnesota - United States
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