FAQs for Composite Panel applications

composite board


Coosa panels are high-density, closed-cell, polyurethane panels reinforced with fiberglass fibers to provide additional strength and stiffness.

Bluewater panels contain both continuous-strand fiberglass and woven roving fiberglass. Nautical panels contain only continuous strand fiberglass. For any equivalent density, a Bluewater panel will generally be stiffer than a Nautical panel.

Coosa’s panels are 40-60% lighter than plywood, depending upon density ordered, and they do not absorb water to any significant degree; therefore, there is no significant weight gain when exposed to water. Plus, Coosa’s panels retain the majority of their structural properties when exposed to water as opposed to water saturated plywood. Coosa’s panels are made of high-density foam and fiberglass and will not rot. Moreover, our panels are more mold and mildew resistant than plywood along with being resistant to insect infestations.

Bluewater 26 is the strongest and stiffest panel we make and most like plywood. While we cannot design or engineer a repair or replacement for you, we suggest you first consider using the same thickness in our Bluewater 26 as the plywood being replaced. If spanning 14+ inches, Bluewater 26 will always be our suggestion; however, if spanning 12 or less inches, Bluewater 20 might be sufficient depending upon your particular circumstances. Other applications might lend themselves better to the Nautical series. Each customer should thoroughly test and independently determine satisfactory performance for their particular project before commercialization or use. Third-party test data is available on our website for a general selection of our panels.

What is the current span width between supports? How is the material installed? Is the load spread over a panel or a point load? How is the panel supported at the edges? Does the panel need to support an impact load? How the board is installed – Rigidly bonded at the edges or free floating? All of these factors and more need to be taken into consideration before a decision can be made on thickness, glass loading and density. For instance, in marine, the OEM boat manufacturer engineered their vessels to take all of these complex factors into consideration. We, therefore, suggest leveraging their decision and using the same thickness installed in the same fashion whenever possible – including the same lamination schedule as the original product.

Typically, we cannot engineer your installation but suggest you consider not changing the lamination structure and method used by the original equipment manufacturer on your particular project when replacing plywood with a Coosa panel. One does not need to change lamination methods to incorporate Coosa Boards into their application. One can simply consider installing the panel as you would plywood or the material being replaced using the same methods and tools.

You do not have to encapsulate a Coosa panel in fiber-glass and resin, as would typically be the case with plywood, to prevent water absorption; however, glassing the panel adds stiffness and strength. Therefore, if the original equipment manufacturer encapsulated their plywood panel for structural reasons, you will want to do the same or find another method to use to compensate for the loss of external strength derived from the resin and fiberglass skins.

The same tools used for cutting plywood can be used for cutting a Coosa panel. Carbide-tipped cutting tools are suggested for larger volume projects.

Most typical marine resins work well with Coosa panels including epoxy, vinyl-ester and polyester resins.

Yes, Coosa panels can be painted with most polyurethane compatible paints or covered with an assortment of laminates using an appropriate adhesive for bonding to the Coosa panel. Please keep in mind that Coosa’s panels do not absorb water, so if both faces being laminated are similarly impervious to water, one would not want to use an evaporative-cure adhesive.

Since Coosa’s panels are polyurethane-based, panels should have a UV protection layer applied, if exposed directly to sunlight or UV, to protect the core. Chalking and discoloration will occur with UV exposure. Most Coosa panel applications do not involve uncovered exposure and, thus, UV is not an issue unless the cladding, laminate, or coating does not protect the core from UV exposure.

Thicknesses range from ¼ inch up to 2 inches, with sheet sizes ranging from 4’x8′ up to 5’x12′. Not all thicknesses are available in all panel sizes or densities.

Panels are typically 4’ x 8’ and shipped in pallet-load quantities direct to OEMs via an LTL carrier or dedicated truck if quantities permit.

Individuals wishing to purchase smaller quantities for personal projects or OEMs wishing a small number of panels should contact one of the distributors listed on our web page.

All panels are manufactured to order. No inventory is maintained from which to immediately ship an order. Most orders are shipped within 10-13 business days, while orders containing custom-cut items are generally shipped within 15-18 business days. Extremely large orders can require lead times up to 4-6 weeks. All lead-times can be impacted by prior order commitments.

All panels are color-coded on opposite corners of the panel with spray paint: Bluewater 26 (blue), Bluewater 20 (black), Nautical 24 (red), Nautical 20 (green) and Nautical 15 (white).