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Old 08-24-2012   #11
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 682
The big difference is in the plastic you can use. All these boats are made of polyethylene (PE). PE molecules are chains of ethylene monomers, where the length of the chain determines the physical properties. As the PE molecule gets longer, the plastic gets harder, the tensile strength goes up and it gets tougher. The molten plastic that's molded also gets more viscous.

The blow molding process works with high pressure, so it can use a more viscous melt than can rotomolding, which relies on centrifugal forces and gravity. So blowmolding can use a higher density PE, with longer molecular chains that results in harder (wear resistant), tougher (impact resistant) material. The downside is that the molds are way more expensive, so you can't do design turns as often.

I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 05-05-2016   #12
Ogden, Utah
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1
Cycle Time

There has been a lot of discussion about mold cost in roto molding vs blow molding. It is true that the mold for a blow mold does cost a lot more to make than roto molds. With that in mind it is also true that the cycle time to make a kayak is significantly less for blow molding. The time required to make a roto molded kayak is usually about 90 minutes, while a blow molding center can make over a dozen kayaks in the same amount of time. Due to this blow molded kayaks will often actually be less expensive than comparable roto molded kayaks.

Each process has its own pros and cons. A competent kayak designer should understand these and design accordingly. It is better to judge each kayak on the specifications you desire according to the type of paddling you intend to do, than to judge an entire category based on the manufacturing technology.

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