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King StarBoard FAQs

What is King StarBoard Plastic?

King StarBoard is a type of high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) material. Marine-grade StarBoard sheets are consistently flat, the result of a proprietary manufacturing process. This attribute enables more accurate fitting for marine applications.

Compared to wood, StarBoard is often less expensive, and lasts longer. However, StarBoards non-structural nature means it is not suitable for boat hulls, or applications where temperatures approach or exceed 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of HDPE materials?

StarBoard plastic is a durable polyethylene material with impressive high-impact strength. It can withstand consistent UV light and water with no delamination issues. It will not rust or rot, it is chemically resistant, and it does not contain any volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, King StarBoard panels are almost maintenance free, and are simple to clean.

However, StarBoard is not a structural material, so it should not be used for bulkheads and other structural elements. In addition, StarBoard is not compatible with any type of paint or standard adhesives.

What is HDPE plastic used for?

StarBoard is a type of HDPE plastic with applications in virtually every part of a typical boat. Dockside, StarBoard is often used in the fabrication of dock boxes and steps. When stepping onto the vessel, handles and grab rails may also be made from StarBoard.

Boat components such as frames, trim, bow pulpits, doors, and hatches are often cut from StarBoard. This versatile composite is also ideal for galley, flybridge, dining, and fish-cleaning station countertops projects.

How strong is StarBoard?

Although all StarBoard plastics have built-in strength, they are not designed as a structural material. Therefore, Starboard installations must receive support from a load-bearing framework. For a swim platform and other spanning applications, add stiffness with pads that provide needed reinforcement.

Is StarBoard food safe?

Yes, all StarBoard-branded plastics have been environmentally stabilized and have received FDA approval. This means that they are good choices for outdoor food preparation zones such as fish cleaning stations and flybridge mini-galleys.

How Do I Use King StarBoard?

It is easy to cut StarBoard plastic with common woodworking tools. Begin with a standard table saw, circular saw, tabletop router, and drill press. Add components such as blades and drill bits. Look for carbide router bits that contain two to four flutes.

When using a circular saw, make a crisp edge with a new carbide blade. Select a router bit compatible with soft plastics. Or, use regular woodworking bits fabricated from carbide or high-speed steel.

Because StarBoard expands and contracts with temperature changes, allow for those fluctuations in your cutting and fabrication work. In addition, avoid installing any StarBoard products between two other fixed objects. This practice does not permit any expansion, and could result in the StarBoard product acquiring a bowed look.

Through correct usage of proper woodworking tools, you can make this material conform to desired bends and curves. Special-purpose plastic welding equipment lets you strengthen StarBoard through joint welds.

How do you bond StarBoard?

People often ask - Can you glue StarBoard? Welding or fastening this material should always be your first choice. Commonly used adhesives are ineffective with StarBoard due to its low-energy surface. One exception: 3M Scotch-Weld DP8005 adhesive bonds Low Surface Energy plastics (like polyethylene or polypropylene).

Will epoxy bond StarBoard?

Nope. Not even epoxies are effective at forming a lasting structural bond with polyethylene.

Can you paint HDPE plastics?

No, paint (even quality polyurethane paint) does not adhere well to HDPE plastics. King Plastics recognizes that boaters want different colors, so StarBoard is available in several tones that enhance common marine paint and gelcoat colors.

How do you clean or maintain StarBoard?

For everyday cleaning, cleaners such as Simple Green or Soft Scrub should do the trick. A stiff nylon brush or nylon scrubber should work. Go light on the elbow grease, as too much force will damage the finish.

To remove a petroleum-based stain, use alcohol, mineral spirits, or a citrus-based cleaner. For a very persistent stain, try a diluted bleach solution and/or a pressure washer. As a last resort, lightly sand only the stained area. Be aware that removing the stain will also remove the matte finish.

What is the difference between StarBoard and Starlite XL?

Starlite XL is composed of recycled StarBoard, and has closed-cell construction. Starlite XL is about 35 percent lighter than StarBoard, making it a good alternative to lightweight plywood or MDF.