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Old 03 September 2007, 10:42   #1
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Heavy duty seat covers

Chiorino supply most of the PU materials currently used to build RIBs in Europe/UK that have PU tubes.
We wonder if there is a potential market for a PU material for RIB seating subject to heavy use.
Our impression is that current materials are not very durable in this context, but we would welcome comments from RIB users to confirm or contradict this impression.
If there is a problem and therefore a potential market we have a material that should prove very durable and be completely water-tight - and we would then like to hear from any interested seat-builder !
Many thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Old 03 September 2007, 11:47   #2
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The seat on my Humber is certainly knackered at seven years, I've just ordered a new one this weekend in fact. The material has gone brittle (probably due to UV exposure) and has cracked where the "wrinkles" would be when it is sat on. It looks like it was probably quite strong material when made - its quite thick - but the fabric integrity has just broken down and you can tear it with your finger.

I'm not a seat builder but will willingly accept a free sample and trial it under the ozone hole for you
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Old 03 September 2007, 12:10   #3
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Heavy duty seat covers

Thanks for the offer Stephen, although 7 years under the ozone hole sounds a very creditable performance in the circumstances.
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Old 03 September 2007, 13:13   #4
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A lot depends on "feel" remember people will be sitting on boat seats in skimpy bathing costumes in hot weather(whay hey).

Also the material has to look right - most seat covering have a textured surface although this does allow dirt to get trapped.

Lastly ease of fitting. Most seats seem to be stiched and stapled.

If your fabric does work out ok it will be a Godsend.
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Old 04 September 2007, 05:19   #5
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Heavy duty seat covers

Many thanks for your comments.
The material I have in mind is smooth on one side and textured on reverse, so a choice is possible.
It is flexible with a degree of elasticity and is easy to fit.
It can be welded and the seams are then unbelievably strong and also completely water-tight. We have made a proto-type seat to test this out.
Alternatively there is a possibility that it could be thermo-formed.
However, the material is far more expensive than PVC, so we can only take this concept forward if enough RIB users consider the advantages as being worthwhile.
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Old 04 September 2007, 10:32   #6
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You say they can be welded - I suspect not many companies would have the equipment - is it just a simple hand heatgun/iron?
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Old 04 September 2007, 10:55   #7
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Heavy duty seat covers

You are no doubt correct, although any company equipped to weld PVC seat covers should be able to use the same equipment to weld this PU.
Presumably stitched seams let in water ?
Also there would be the possibility of supplying of part fabricated covers that would just require final assembly, as the material can be stretched 80% and show full recovery.
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