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  #1  
Old 04-19-2012
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Epoxy

Being a pathological experimenter and boatbuilder, I figure I've used epoxies in ways most people could never imagine. However, epoxy really is epoxy and most of what we buy is some sort of "blended epoxy" where the two basic chemicals are blended with thickeners or other things to alter the properties. You really should read the Wiki article on epoxy.
You can buy ultra-low viscosity (much less than water) that will wick into rotted wood to replace wood that has dissapeared. It works "OK" but should not be considered structural except in compression.
You can get epoxy putty mixable in your hands for rapidly filling holes. Most room temp cure epoxies will set under water.
West System, System3 and similar ones are medium viscosity sorta golden-clear and are used for boat building/repair. They are intended to be mixed with fibers, plastic micro0balloons, wood flour and other stuff for various purposes. They can be painted on easily. Mix them with graphite powder for a very tough black coating. REMEMBER, epoxy breaks down under UV exposure so on boats it should be overcoated with something else.
As an experiment, I mixed epoxy with Sevin dust (insecticide) and wood flour when building my MiniCup sailboats. It kinda sorta maybe worked but was not worthwhile. I've mixed epoxy with copper dust and painted it on as an antifoulant but it was not worthwhile, you really need a lot of copper to make it electrically conductive to get the Cu ions in the water.
You can buy expensive silver epoxy at about $25 for .25 gm to use for electrical stuff. I use a lot of it.
You can buy a special epoxy called Torr-Seal for high vacuum applications.
There is even a special epoxy for resisting high voltage.
Removing cured epoxy...........GOOD LUCK. I've been told that methyl Chloride attacks it but I haven't tried it yet. Acetone will remove epoxy even though it is nearly hard but you have to work at it when it is nearly cured. A propane torch can be used to burn it off some things.
Most epoxies used on boats are sensitive to temperature. When working with it in summer here in FL, I mix only a very small amount because the heat will make it cure very rapidly. In the heat, you should use the slow cure.
Some people develop a sort of allergy to epoxy; thank god this hasn't happed to me yet.
OH, the best thing for getting uncured epoxy off your hands is that stuff called "Fast Orange".
I hope that answers some questions someone had about epoxy
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Old 04-19-2012
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Re: Epoxy

I will add that no epoxy should be considered structural without some type of reinforcing fiber.
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Old 04-19-2012
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Re: Epoxy

White vinegar will remove uncured epoxy from you hands and surfaces. but not if it's thick or partially cured. Allot easier on your skin too!

West system's 207 hardener is best for clear coating, and it's lower in viscosity. Has UV protection in it but still needs UV varnish.

Graphite mixed in for canoe bottoms didn't seem to make a difference going over rocks.

burning epoxy is noxious. melts I think 160 degrees.

thinning epoxy weakens it allot.

epoxy doesn't like sharp corners and edges. moisture will break the bond eventually.

even flexible epoxies are not very "flexible"
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Old 04-20-2012
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Re: Epoxy

Epoxy sure smells a lot better then gel coat when working with it.
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Old 04-20-2012
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Re: Epoxy

And it's fussy, expensive, and nasty. But when I'm adding a strake to my tender or gluing up a new mizzen boom I'm happy I have some.
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy

I used MEK, which is not methyl chloride but I thought it was, along with acetone and xylene and pretty much every killer solvent you can find, trying to unglue some rx lenses epoxied into a scuba mask with optical grade epoxy. Rx changed long time ago, the mask is tempered galss, replacements no longer available, so I'd like to unbond the lenses.

I can tell you that after 48 hours sealed in a big jelly jar, nothing has attacked the epoxy at all to any degree. Heating to 350 in the toaster oven for few hours didn't phase it either.

But if I come across any methyl chloride, I'll try that too. Somehow...I don't think it will help. No epoxy manufacturer seems to recommend anything for removing really cured epoxy except "mechanical abrasion" and if something worked, one would hope one of the mfrs would know about it by now.
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy

Speaking of epoxy,, one of my chain plates which is glassed on the inside of the hull has seen water intrusion over several years, the wood on the inside is not visible but with a small finger can feel some punky wood. My first thought was to cut it out and re-wood and re-glass, do you think i could drill a few holes and fill with low viscosity epoxy to fix this issue. All thoughts are greatly appreciated...
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy

If the chainplate is glassed in such that you can't inspect it and water was present it should be pulled for inspection and replacement if necessary.
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Re: Epoxy

I read the consumer guides on glues. They rated epoxy as being far more heat sensitive than Urea Formaldehyde, and thus inclined to delaminate in heat. That is my experience and that of others I have met. I once put a laminated bow too close to heat. The epoxy let go , but not the urea formaldehyde glue lines. Formaldehyde glue works far better in cold working conditions, as well. And it's much cheaper and easier to work with. It washes of easily in water.
Warm soapy water can also work for washing off unhardened epoxy. .
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
I read the consumer guides on glues. They rated epoxy as being far more heat sensitive than Urea Formaldehyde, and thus inclined to delaminate in heat. That is my experience and that of others I have met. I once put a laminated bow too close to heat. The epoxy let go , but not the urea formaldehyde glue lines. Formaldehyde glue works far better in cold working conditions, as well. And it's much cheaper and easier to work with. It washes of easily in water.
Warm soapy water can also work for washing off unhardened epoxy. .
UF (Weldwood Plastic Resin) glue works great and is as waterproof as you will ever need. The only reason it is not classified as waterproof is because it fails a boiling test required for the official rating of "waterproof". As long as you never boil your boat, it will work just fine.

It requires tight, clamped joints though, which epoxy doesn't. One of epoxy's greatest attributes is that it is very forgiving of sloppy fits.
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