The Neptys First Life 27.
The Neptys First Life 27.
The quality of the bonds was tested under rigorous conditions to guarantee that the product could withstand high levels of force and impact whilst travelling at high speeds on the sea.
The quality of the bonds was tested under rigorous conditions to guarantee that the product could withstand high levels of force and impact whilst travelling at high speeds on the sea.

The Neptys First Life 27 was developed by AirNautics France, a Marseille based manufacturer of composite marine components, and designed by Jean Michel Angileri, manager of the company, and Olivier Philippot, naval architect.

Because of its short length (8 m) and speed (50 knots plus), the Neptys First Life 27 is subject to impact and vibrations. As a result, the designers had to be sure that the bonding characteristics of the adhesive selected could withstand the stress of the environmental conditions at sea.

After prototypes were made with RenShape® BM 5460, the project moved on to the assessment of adhesives, where a number of formulations from Huntsman Advanced Materials were trialled.

In order to achieve the best price to performance ratio, Philippot, who is also an engineer in composites materials, decided to search for an alternative to methacrylates adhesives. One of the key objectives for the boat’s construction was to find a solution that would not involve the use of machinery in the dosing and application process.

Samples of the vinyl ester composite to be bonded were sent to Huntsman’s laboratories at Basel in Switzerland, where the Material Testing Department conducted an evaluation programme. Huntsman produced a technical report, recommending the use of Araldite 2015, a two component epoxy adhesive paste that cures at room temperature.

Araldite 2015’s 25 minute work life at 23°C proved appropriate for the necessary timescales the designer had set for bonding the deck to the hull, including the internal components. Particularly important in the decision making process was the need for a medium time for bonding application (more than 30 minutes and less than 2 hours), low price and less odour during application and polymerisation.