Home        Store        Docs        Blog

Custom buoyancy blocks

(Etienne Demers) #1

Anyone can point me towards a cost effective buoyancy manufacturer?

Depth rated for 500m.


I looked into offering this service a little while back and there are some problems for people wanting to get started in it. At the BlueRobotics/Ardusub level, people don’t want to spend big bucks on stuff because it often doesn’t make sense to spend $2000 on custom buoyancy for a $4000 sub. I’d recommend buying some plywood, mold release, sandpaper, lots of dust masks, and some of this: http://www.uscomposites.com/foam.html

It’s 16lb, but really more like 12lb when compared to proper stuff like this:

So I’d consider it 300m as is and 600m if coated.

This would make a great coating:

But it’s super expensive, so maybe just fiberglass if you want to keep cost down.

(Etienne Demers) #3

I believe that Bluerobotics are addressing the recreational market very well. That is not the market I am coveting.

Most of my designs are for professionals who want a better more cost effective system for doing inspection work.

As such, I am presently designing my own ROV and am looking to make something commercial grade.

This is where my interest for custom buoyancy comes from.

I read about 3m microspheres and epoxy resin and all but I must admit I do not want to go down that road.

Thanks for the links, I will look into it.


(Doug) #4

You can try SynFoam. They have precast blocks and castable products in very large selection of depth ratings. SW-18 looks like what you could be looking for.


(Etienne Demers) #5

Thanks Doug, I know of the usual commercial buoyancy providers but they are way to expensive…

Trying to see if anyone on here has alternatives…

(Christian) #6

…just for asking…have anybody tryed hard wood coated with something ? ive never thought about it, but ive seen collapsed boyancy just be coated and used again, so how will hard wood like oak feks be at 300m ? will it deform at that dept or how much?..maby some rubber coating that streches witht he wood?? …just a thought? …might get cheap off since we arent aiming for 1000m ?:wink: …yet ;D

(Christian) #7

i just came back from our local boatbuilder with Divinycell H 60 …anybody been experimenting with this ? …i hoping to soak it in polyester or something similar, and try and see how deep it goes?..after having a piece in my pocket i see that the stucture is different in directions… its soft on way and hard the other… so i guess if i soak it and compress it until its dry i have it :wink: … or lower it down to 500m and let it dry?:wink: …any thoughts?

(Etienne Demers) #8

First quote I got wanted about 500USD for the buoyancy and 3500USD for the machining and finishing…

I sent a RFQ out to everyone and will let you know which one was the cheapest…


Hi all,

I also need some custom buoyancy inserts for new generative design for BR2, and also was looking for some custom solutions.

I have two possible ideas…

One is 3D printing a mold and casting some kind of resin or something similar. Can make it internally tougher with some kind of reinforcement (either metal or plastic).

Second one is, is there a foam of some sort which would survive up to 50-100 m? Making of 3D printed structure to support foam internally, reinforcement or coating it with something.

What do you all think about that?
Did you stumble upon some other possible solution?