Join Date: Jan 2011
Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 5
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