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3M (St. Paul, Minn.) introduced 3M™ Reinforced Polyurethane Foam, billed as a lightweight and rot-resistant alternative to plywood for use in structural and semi-structural applications. The polyurethane foam boards with fiberglass reinforcement offer "high strength" in applications including marine, transportation and general construction, with a weight savings ranging from 30% to 60% versus plywood, the company says. The product is available in five densities ranging from 15 lbs. to 26 lbs. per cubic foot, and is sold in 4-foot by 8-foot sheets. Unlike plywood, which can chip or pop loose during construction, the company says its foam material can be shaped with tools and secured to substrates with screws. The product also is reported to be characterized by low moisture content, resulting in enhanced adhesion.
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