Ratty wrote:Styrofoam comes in many forms. We are all acquainted with the one that breaks into millions of tiny balls. (That's great if you want to fill a bean bag chair.) There are other kinds. Such as the ones used as pontoons. I would do some research and ask some real experts. You may be on to something. Let us know what you come up with.
I'm no expert, but I am real. And as far as I know "Styrofoam" in any form has the potential to be a MOOP disaster.
For god's sake, can you imagine a 15' wall of Styrofoam getting hit by a Playa down-burst? I can & it's a horrible image. How would you even clean that up?
I was basing my answer on the video, nothing more, & Yes there are other foams to work with but for a project that size they could get real pricey. I have never seen a polystyrene (in any form) that would stand up to people climbing on it or a 70 MPH wind. Polystyrene is so light because it has a lot of airspace. That alone makes it susceptible to damage if it's not encapsulated in a resin or fiberglass (or something else).
Usually "flotation foam" is a 2 part liquid polyurethane (not the same as Styrofoam) which can be very strong but is not as light as Styrofoam & can get expensive.
Like I said before I'm not discouraging the project (I think it's a cool idea) but the builder needs to be smart about the building materials. The foam wall as depicted in the video would not hold up to climbers or a strong wind (2 things it will encounter on Playa).
Also, if you have never worked with foam or specifically heated cutters be sure to shape it in a well ventilated area & wear an appropriate mask. Those fumes are no joke.
Sharke, I am interested to see what you come up with. Keep posting once you start your build. I like the idea, just not the material. Another thing you may consider is to not make the wall out of solid blocks and only apply the facade to a base material. Those solid blocks are huge cost a lot. I don't know how far you travel but every square
cubic inch is precious to me when packing.
Here's a company that I have purchased from before. You may find cheaper prices but this site also has good information about the products.http://www.fibreglast.com/category/Foam
Never bought from this site but it looks like 1 stop foam shopping.http://www.usafoam.com/closedcellfoam/polystyrene.html
---Full 4'x8'x4' blocks are expensive