Author Topic: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed  (Read 2962 times)

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Mark5

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Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« on: November 11, 2007, 02:09:05 PM »
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The WS Foam wasn't around last time I had a real layout ...

The WS foam is a little more than half the cost of cork at the LHS.

Any comments on the long term durability of the WS foam?


tom mann

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2007, 03:47:30 PM »
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I wonder if it would be louder, if that is important.

Ryan87

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2007, 05:56:28 PM »
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The foam is noticeably louder than cork, especially on a foam insulation base.
Personally I think cork gives a more solid base that the WS foam. I also find its
easier to work with than the foam...

However there are others in my Ntrak club that swear by the foam so your mileage may vary
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cv_acr

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2007, 06:18:53 PM »
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Louder?

I thought the whole idea of the foam is that it would be quieter because it's softer than cork. So much for that idea...

Mark5

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2007, 08:02:42 PM »
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early returns favoring cork ...  8)

wm3798

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2007, 08:32:36 PM »
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The problem I have with the foam is it's "squishiness".  After you've done all your installation and ballasting, I'd be fearful of applying any pressure to the track for fear it would squish into the foam, breaking the bond of the ballast glue.

Pass the cork, please.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

tom mann

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 09:02:47 PM »
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Louder?

I thought the whole idea of the foam is that it would be quieter because it's softer than cork. So much for that idea...

You would think, but it acts as a sounding board and amplifies everything. 

DocGeoff

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 09:03:16 PM »
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I used the WS foam on the new layout on foam and WS risers. It is much easier to work with than cork in my opinion. It doesn't need to be cut to curve. And there in NO noise. Absolutely quite. I run two to four trains at a time and there is no sound as I had with cork. Maybe this is the exception, but on a room size layout with lots of switches, grades, noiseless operation. Now it may be that I am using Unitrack???
Doc,
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of the nearly famous "No Name RR

Mark5

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 09:05:35 PM »
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Now it may be that I am using Unitrack???

Heh, Unitrack has built in roadbed ... so you put roadbed under the Unitrack roadbed?  ???

Mark5

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2007, 09:07:56 PM »
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The problem I have with the foam is it's "squishiness".  After you've done all your installation and ballasting, I'd be fearful of applying any pressure to the track for fear it would squish into the foam, breaking the bond of the ballast glue.

This is exactly what I was thinking as I was squeezing the WS stuff between my fingers yesterday at MBK.

Nato

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2007, 12:50:06 PM »
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Years ago on my last N layout that I had for almost 15 years I finally decided that there should be roadbed under the track. This was after already operating it for about 3 years. So in the 1970's I purchased a large quanity of the then available Mosemer Foam Roadbed  made in Germany. It was a slightly soft gray foam with indents nicely moulded in to accept the plastic ties on most then available code 80 track ,there were also switch sections for various radius switches. Conversion envolved un-spiking the track from my plywood layout top, slipping the foam bed under and respiking with longer in some cases spikes. It was never my intention at the time to ballist this roadbed, just to have the look of roadbed under the track. I found that on some fairly tight curves on the upper level of the layout the curves became realistically super elevated with the foam under the track. I was never looking for sound quieting ,but did not want to go thru the hassel of cutting cork,gluing ,inserting etc. There was no noise reduction, track looked some what better,the curves looked cool. Knowing what I know now and knowing several modelers who tried out the latest gen foam on their modules my advice is Go With CORK. I repeat Go with CORK. Nate Goodman (Nato).

Mark5

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 12:55:30 PM »
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Thanks Nate.

I think I'm in the cork camp for sure.

DKS

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2007, 01:34:31 PM »
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The problem I have with the foam is it's "squishiness".  After you've done all your installation and ballasting, I'd be fearful of applying any pressure to the track for fear it would squish into the foam, breaking the bond of the ballast glue.

This is exactly what I was thinking as I was squeezing the WS stuff between my fingers yesterday at MBK.

I used foam on my last layout and, once the ballast is bonded, there was no "breaking the bond of the ballast glue". Even after regularly cleaning the track very firmly with an abrasive block, everything remained perfectly intact. The foam actually prevented damage to the track when I dropped a hammer on the layout from a good height above. Ordinarily I would have expected the rail to be badly dented; instead, the entire roadbed cushioned the blow and the track was only slightly marred. The ballast did not crack or break; everything simply flexed and bounced back nicely.

As for foam insulation board being noisy, it is indeed quite loud until you start adding scenery. With nothing to absorb vibration, a foam panel is an effective sounding board owing to its rigidity and smooth surface. But when scenery is applied, everything quiets down nicely and it is noticeably quieter than traditional materials such as plywood. The only thing I found as effective as foam board at sound deadening is good old Homasote.
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Mark5

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2007, 01:37:28 PM »
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My sub roadbed will be (as in the past) 1/2" homasote on 1/2" plywood.

Sokramiketes

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Re: Cork vs WS Foam Roadbed
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2007, 02:01:57 PM »
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My sub roadbed will be (as in the past) 1/2" homasote on 1/2" plywood.

Homasote is so 1970s...  ;) And it collects too much moisture and humidity, and moves around, etc.

If you're looking for a modern day, stable equivalent, try Sintra.  It's a PVC sheet product, and holds spikes extremely well (which I assume is why you're putting down Homasote.)
Mike

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