Tech Talk: Vacuum infusion vs Vacuum bagging
What’s up everyone, welcome back to another Appletree Surfboards Tech Talk video. Today we want to discuss the question: is vacuum infusion the same as vacuum bagging?
What does vacuum construction mean?
It’s a bit of a technical thing, but you will see with a lot of brands, they say vacuum construction, vacuum this, vacuum that. What does it mean? Well, in almost every brand it means that the outside of the board has been pushed onto the core of the board using some sort of a vacuum method. It doesn’t necessarily have to improve the quality of the board, it’s just an easier way to make a consistent board every time the same.
Does vacuum construction imply a better or stronger surfboard?
All other brands that we are aware of use vacuum bagging where they built the board up as normal. So with a wet layer of epoxy resin or polyester resin, fiberglass or carbon, and then push it down using a vacuum. It’s a reasonably good way of making a surfboard, but it’s not perfect in that it still uses quite a lot of resin to make the final board.
Why vacuum infusion is really different
Now, what we do at the Appletree Surfboards factory, we talked about this before, but I’ll explain it again. What we do is we wrap the board in the fiber dry without any epoxy resin. Then we put it in a bag. We take away all the air. This pushes down all the fibers really closely to the core and also thins them down because of the pressure.
Less epoxy resin needed, meaning a lighter board
Look at it as a sponge where you press out all the air first to make the sponge really thin. Then when you introduce your resin, there’s not a lot of room for resin. So there is less resin. Ending up with less weight in the board.
End result is much stronger boards
So we put all the fiber around the board dry, take away the air and then introduce the resin under pressure and this results in a much lighter, much stronger board. And the other benefit is that we can do the whole board in one go. Top, bottom, fin boxes, inserts, reinforcements, anything you can think of. It’s all done in one shot, making the board way, way stronger.
Long lasting surfboards
So in general, a vacuum construction doesn’t tell you much. It’s just a vacuum pressure to do layers of the board. But is vacuum infusion the same as vacuum bagging? No it is not. If you read our website and other brands’ websites, it looks like we’re doing the same thing, but we’re definitely not. We are the only brand who can actually do vacuum infusion consistently on all their boards. And we do it across the range on every single board (foil, kite, wing, surf, etc) that leaves our factory. Ensuring that the boards last as long as possible.
I hope you find this informative. If you’ve got questions about this specific topic, I know it’s a complicated one, feel free to ask them in the comments down below, or shoot us an email or call us at the shop. Feel like diving a little deeper into the details of the Appletree technology. Check out our other Tech Talks on, for example, our 50K waterproof foam.
Excited about our next Tech-Talk video? Or are you wondering if your question will be discussed in the next episode? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you an email when the next video is out!