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Old 05-28-2012
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Metallic copper dinghy paint?

Since metallic copper prevents marine growth, and since enclosing copper in a binder (making it a paint) prevents most of the copper from leaching into the water, I've been playing with "copper coating" my dinghy bottom as a paint test platform.

The approach I'm considering is simply painting the dinghy bottom using a 2-part epoxy, (thinned slightly for ease of application), and then sifting fine metallic copper powder onto the curing epoxy. This would provide a large active-copper layer on the exterior and act as a test platform for, possibly, expanding the concept to my sailboat in a few years.

I realize that I could simply buy a quart of antifouling, but this sounds much more interesting. Anyone else consider/do this? What happens to pure copper sheet in the ocean? (yes, I will be trying this, unless someone knows for sure what will happen).

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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

GREETINGS EARTHLING;- if they can roll alumminum sheets to a couple of thousants of an inch they they could do the same for copper and then glue it to the bottom of the boat. great interesting posting and as yo said the brain runs off with th idea as always GO SAFE
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

The foil is a good, possibly better idea. Less waste and 100% copper exposed.

2 mil. copper foil is about $8 -$10/sq. foot (I just looked it up). With the foil epoxy laminated to the dinghy bottom, I should NEVER have to worry about growth on the bottom. I've got some sheets of copper in the basement and plan on hanging one off the dock the next time I'm at the boat.
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paint

I think that encapsulating the copper flake into the paint wont allow it to leech out and be effective
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

GREETINGS EARTHLINGS ;- would the alumminum foil be a defuser and act a a galvanic shield, as its quiet low on the scale, (ear zinc). For that matter could aluminum paint do the job of keep dow the growths ? as always GO SAFE
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

Figure out some way to do a few layers of alternating copper and zinc foil, connect it all to a plug and turn your dinghy into a giant battery.

Seriously though, I used a large sheet of copper to make a kitchen counter top. I got the idea from a fancy kitchen place while I was building an apartment.
It worked pretty good, is indestructible as it was cut from a heavy sheet of 3 x 8 stock from the roofing store.

What I found out however is that it was very hard to get any glue to stick to it. West system did not work. I tried about 6 kinds of glue and the only stuff I found that worked was the two part putty PL9 maybe that that sell in the automotive stores.
Copper is very resistant to glue.

Last edited by davidpm; 05-28-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

The possibility of peeling if adhesion is in any way compromised is a reasonable consideration and a vote against the foil approach; as well the cost. I already bought copper powder on ebay for $14/lb.

Touching up any degraded spots of a powder/epoxy bottom would also be easier, and I have the West epoxy already.

The battery idea is terrific! I'd have the only lit dinghy in the marina and there would be no obvious power source when people looked at it from the dock.
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Old 05-29-2012
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

tanks, nicer concept but apparently pure copper doesn't kill crud as well as the copper oxide used in bottom paints.

What you've invented is basically the same as the "copperpoxy" type bottom paints, which have received at best mixed reviews over the last decade or two. Many folks have tried them and gone back to bottom paint while a few still swear by them.

3M may still sell copper foil with an adhesive backing, it is used for electronics shielding and grounding. They had put copper sheeting on the market specifically for boat hulls/bottoms, maybe 20 year ago, and the product eventually disappeared.

So nice concept, but the "prior art" indicates bottom paint will be better, faster, quicker, cheaper, more effective. For a real test, you'd want to do the bottom half-and-half and see what actually happens.
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

I agree bottom paint is probably a lot better, but a lot less fun. I've ordered the copper powder on eBay, and will do the dinghy bottom half & half.
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Re: Metallic copper dinghy paint?

There were several boats made with copper bottoms a century ago. It kinda went out of style with the invention of steel ships. I've often thought about copper adhesive strips under the hull as part of the grounding system, but it is a significant expense and hassle to install and if it ever delaminated, you would have a major mess.

Still if you found a good epoxy that stuck to it a possibly working idea.
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