Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 06-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

I've tried nearly every combination imaginable and still get these consarned bubbles! I've even done a fairly decent search here (even via Google), and haven't read anything very convincing that's different than what I've already tried. I'm beginning to think it might just be a temperature issue (it is getting into the upper 80's here by late morning). I'm mixing West System resin with both speeds of hardner (slow and fast), and no matter which additives I stir in, I still get them. The best method I've seen so far is to limit the thickness, but then if you are filling a large gap using fairing compound, then what's the point. Is there a trick to eliminating bubbles? So far, I'm finding myself going back 3 or 4 times, sanding and filling, sanding and filling... There's gotta be a quicker way, but I'm not discovering it on my own... puzzling.

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post #2 of 25 Old 06-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

bubbles make the boat lighter
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post #3 of 25 Old 06-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

should I fill them with helium?? Another thing I thought of was the insane amount of humidity here-- although it's not as bad as Florida, I guess.. Even the slow stuff starts kicking very quickly, and I think that factor is at least partially responsible for creating bubbles.
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post #4 of 25 Old 06-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

best bet is to use the slowest hardener, and let it sit for a few minutes before working with it to let the bubbles pop out.

stir slower as well.

if you are mixing it with fairing compound, it won't matter much

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post #5 of 25 Old 06-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Slow hardener, try to stir in as little air as you can, pop 'em with a pin if you can see 'em. Or vacuum bag the work, the vacuum will help suck them out.
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post #6 of 25 Old 06-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

I hadn't thought of that. I was assuming the bubbles were forming as a part of the curing process between the two components of the epoxy. Thank you, folks- I'll give those a try the next time around.
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post #7 of 25 Old 06-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

what additives? if it is a filler then mix it and put it on thick in one pass and do not over work it. over working is a sure way to get bubbles. when filling large areas you can cover with peel ply or poly plastic sheet to help hold in place. clear plastic over the top will allow you to work the bubbles out.

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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
what additives? if it is a filler then mix it and put it on thick in one pass and do not over work it. over working is a sure way to get bubbles. when filling large areas you can cover with peel ply or poly plastic sheet to help hold in place. clear plastic over the top will allow you to work the bubbles out.
I've had bubbles with 407 (fairing compound), 405 and 404. I think you're right about the "do not over work it"-- I definitely am doing that- smoothing it out trying to fill in the old bubbles, and now I'll stop. Thank you for the tip!
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post #9 of 25 Old 06-21-2012
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Bubbles when you mix or when you apply? If your using a cup to mix, quickly put it in a shallow container.. don't wait until it kicks. Mix your cabosil or fairing powder to get the thickness you need. My guess is it's getting hot in the pot. (cup your mixing in)

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post #10 of 25 Old 06-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

They appear after I apply. I can smooth it all on-- thick like peanut butter as I've done on a keel, or a bit thinner like mayonnaise for the cabin top I'm currently working on. I can take just one look away (like a plane flying overhead), look back, and they're there.
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