Are your Tubes PVC or Hypalon?
If you looking to repair your tubes with patches or to replace any valves on your rigid hull inflatable boat or inflatable it’s essential to know what fabric your inflatable sponsons are made from as it’s very important to use the correct adhesive for the material.
There are two main types of material used in the manufacture of inflatable boat tubes.
1. Hypalon:- this is a rubber/neoprene material;
2. PVC:- used in most production manufactured boats.
Test to Check
There are several tests to check.
A. If you can see the inside of the tube, through the valve, Hypalon is a dark grey or black on the inside. PVC is the same colour on both sides.
B. Sand the material. Hypalon will matt down and produce a dust. PVC will just scratch, There will be no difference in colour.
C. Wipe over lightly with MEK (methyl ethyl ketone – often available at hardware, paint or plumbing stores, sold as a cleaner for PVC pipes or lacquer thinner) or Acetone. Hypalon will leave an oxidization and maybe some colour on the cloth. The material will not be affected. For PVC you will have some colour on the cloth but, the surface of the material will feel tacky. It is important to use the correct solvent on this solvent test.
List of Known Boat Fabrics
AB, ACHILLES, AQUAFLYTE, AVON, BALLISTIC, BEAUFORT, BRIG*, BWM, CALAGARI, CAMPARI, CARIBE, CHINOOK, COMPASS, DELTA, DOMINO, EUROCRAFT, FLATACRAFT, GOMMONAUTICA, GORDON, HENSHAWS, HUMBER, LOMAC, METZLER*, ML LIFEGUARD, NOVAJOLLY, NOVAMARINE, NOVURANIA, OSPREY, PICTON, RED BAY, REVENGER, RIBCRAFT, RIBTEC, RIB-X, RING, ROBCRAFT, SCANNER, SCORPION, SELVA, SEMPRIT, SELVA, STINGHER, TINKER, YAM RIBS, ( ZODIAC – some pre 1968 leisure models – and their custom/commercial range could be Hypalon).
ARIMAR, BOMBARD, BRIG*, COMPASS II, EUROVINYL, EXCEL, HONDA, LODESTAR, MAXXON, METZLER*, NARWHAL, OMC EXPRESS, PLASTIMO, QUICKSILVER, RIBEYE*, SERIE, SEVYLOR, SUZUMAR, TOHATSU, TYPHOON, VALIANT* (some larger ribs are PU), WAVELINE, YAM, ZED, ZOOM, ZODIAC ( Zodiac Hypalon – see note above).
TORNADO, VALIANT* (larger commercial ribs)