The Pulse58 is an innovative and ground-breaking construction and where possible RS Electric Boats have sourced the most eco friendly technical materials available.
Two main challenges faced the development team. The complex requirements of a rigid inflatable boat, ensuring it would stand up to hull slamming in waves; be shock resistant; and address all strength and weight factors. Secondly the Pulse58 needed to deal with the potential heat generated by batteries under the charge loading.
So what is the Pulse58 made of?
The unique structural core is made out of wood and plastic bottles, more technically know as polyethylene terephthalate or PET to most of us. (think fizzy drinks bottles, keep recycling those!) The core has excellent damage tolerance and is DNV-GL approved. It’s important to note these materials are not only recyclable but come from 100% recycled products. We’re big on sustainability – more on this later.
For your information, DNV-GL approval provides a company with proof of high quality and safety standards. Not uncommon you might think but it’s worth knowing.
The outer layer is made up of a laminate and gelcoat.
The gelcoat, (Biota Flax 200 g/m2 2×2 Twill Biotex Flax) is 26% bio based, meaning the material is 26% plant based. Why only 26%? Well as much as we are aiming for a fully eco-friendly process and sustainable production we aren’t prepared to compromise the performance of the materials. RS Electric Boats is continually working with more sustainable materials and as soon as those become available and tested, we’re sure to be using them.
Flax provides high levels of performance, coupled with the ease of processing normally associated with glass-reinforced materials. The materials use low-twist technology to provide a combination of sustainability, performance and processability. Compared to glass fibre composites, Biotex Flax offers reduced weight, improved environmental impact, vibration damping, similar specific stiffness and safer handling.
The laminate is made up of a glass fibre substitute called Basalt Rock, which is a volcanic rock and as such considered natural fibres. The rock is melted, then spun out like candyfloss and weaved into the laminate. Basalt Fibre products are very resistant to UV and salt water, are green and fully recyclable. Basalt Fiber products have a high impact resistance and shock absorbsion, as well as a reliable fatigue resistance and a tensile strength (measurement of force it can withstand before breaking) similar to carbon fibre. Basalt rock is stronger than traditional glass fibre so is an incredible alternative.
Basalt Fiber is green throughout its entire lifecycle making it sustainable and recyclable. The resin system is also bio (plant) based called PRO-SET bio-based infusion epoxy.
Sustainability is not new to RS Sailing. For years processes and products have been challenged – from packaging of small items right up to entire boats, how boats are produced and transported and addressing any areas that can’t be completely sustainable. To ensure RS Electric Boats is operating to a carbon neutral environment we are working with TreeAid to help offset the footprint of those materials used. RS do not claim to be perfect, but are striving to be better.
Infused construction of the Pulse58 dramatically improves air quality in build environment and minimizes resin wastage weight. It’s a cost effective method of manufacturing high quality and high strength composite parts.
The build phase is also being addressed and continually improved upon – silicone reusable vacuum bags halves the single use plastics and wastage during this stage.
For further information head to https://www.rselectricboats.com/technical/