Elvaloy™ Is Not PVC Fabric But A Plastic Based Polymer That Supposedly Remains Flexible Longer
Elvaloy™ fabric has some properties that are better than PVC fabric.
This is not a boat fabric found in cheap inflatable boats, but is starting to appear in high end boats. Seaman corporation uses Dupont's Elvaloy™ in the production of their XR-Mariner™ fabric.
They claim the plasticizers used in Elvaloy™ do not migrate to the surface of the fabric and are therefore not lost over time. This is a problem with PVC coated boat fabric and is the reason that PVC coated boat fabrics lose their flexibility over time, and is part of the reason for the continued popularity of the hypalon boat.
The fabric manufacturers and distributors claim Elvaloy™ based fabric has:
- superior resistance to fuels than Hypalon
- no loss of flexibility over time
- more abrasion resistance than a Hypalon boat fabric
- greater resistance to color fading
- the ability to be heat and radio frequency weldable
- greater puncture resistance
It certainly sounds perfect for inflatable boat manufacture, so why don't more boat builders use it?
Achilles did use an Elvaloy™ fabric in their 1995 product year. I do not know why they stopped production of Elvaloy™ boats.
I have read that welding the Elvaloy worked great, but there were problems with the glued seams.
Seaman's new XR-mariner fabric was trademarked in 2007 and has been developed from their already successful X-boat fabric. XR-Mariner™ fabric uses Elvaloy™ in its production.
Ribster, a UK based RIB manufacturer is working towards using XR-Mariner™ in its tubesets.
Perhaps we will see Elvaloy™ fabrics appearing in more inflatable boats in the future. Perhaps Elvaloy™ is another fabric choice which will begin to replace the Hypalon boat.
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