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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles
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Thread: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-23-2012 12:14 AM
Sundownsailing
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

It is temp. Get your work and workspace as warm as it will be and work and cure on the cool down. I am betting that the side you are working on is oposite a finished/ air tight side?
I have had this issue in the past with several cold molded projects that temp control resolved. Let me know if it works.
06-22-2012 10:22 PM
travlineasy
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Thanks for the link. I didn't think the chemical compound had changed since I used the torch method, but like I stated, it was several years ago and I wasn't sure.

Cheers,

Gary
06-22-2012 02:57 PM
deniseO30
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

My son and I were going to have a small craft building business about 15 yrs back.. but... well at least I retain the knowledge thanks SV
06-22-2012 12:36 PM
SVCarolena
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
The epoxy resin was then mixed, poured on the table's surface, and squeegeed to an even consistency on the entire top. Within a few minutes, bubbles began rising to the surface, thousands of them. The next step, which the first time I did this scared the hell out of me, was to fire up a propane torch and play the flame lightly over the surface. Each and every bubble popped, the finish layed down flat, no dimples were created and the surface dried bubble free. The guy that taught me how to do this said what occurs is the bubble quickly expands and pops before the epoxy is anywhere close to being cured.
This exact technique was discussed favorably in the most recent edition of Epoxyworks, which is provided by West. Here is a link (go to the article entitled Bubble-free Coating). Lots of other good hints in the article, including those already mentioned regarding the temp of the substrate (shout out to Denise):
EPOXYWORKS
06-22-2012 02:51 AM
overbored
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irunbird View Post
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.
what is the air temp and the cabin top temp . is it in the sun. if it is bubbling after you spread it on then it is heating up from the surface temp being to high. try mixing it even thicker. also the thicker the easier it is to sand and the lighter in weight it is. if you mix it to the same consistancy every time it is easier to fair as there are no hard and soft spots. put it on a dry as you can thick a with one swipe and sand with 40 grit to shape until fair. then go over with the same consistancy and fill the holes then same with 100 grit. paint some epoxy high build primer or squeegy on some resin and wipe off excess with a cloth. this is just to fill the pin holes and sand to 240 for paint primer or gelcoat
06-22-2012 02:10 AM
Stumble
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Epoxy is Highly flamable, and very toxic while burning. And you cannot use water to extinguish it, or it kicks off highly dangerous fumes.

The general recomendation is to first seal the substrate with unthickened neat epoxy. Just a very thin layer just to seal the surface, then come back with the thickened filleting mix. As mentioned the likely problem is from out gassing from the surface. Worrying about surface temprature is just going to cause other problems, like accelerating the kick of the epoxy.

When dealing with very large quantities of epoxy for infusion, it is typical to degass it by applying a vacume, but that it pretty extreme for simple filets.


If you are using slow hardner already, and you need an even slower open time, try storing the resin and hardner in a cool fridge. Something around 60 degrees is ideal. To cold and it can thicken and be hard to mix, it will still kick, but you may need to let it warm up a little before working it. And don't move it directly from a fridge to outside air, if it's to cold water can condense in it, and cause other problems.

You can also switch to West 209 (it's what I use in New Orleans). It will give you about 45 minutes to an hour working time, but it will take a while to cure (about a day).
06-21-2012 10:08 PM
travlineasy
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Now you're gonna' think this sounds nutty as Hell, and I've never used West System to try this out, but it worked extremely well with several, clear, epoxy resins I've used years ago.

In the late 1980s I used to make some really neat tables from slabs of black walnut, most measuring 7 to 8 feet long and 18 to 24 inches wide. The walnut was sanded with 400-grit wet/dry automotive sand paper, vacuumed, then tack-ragged to remove the tiniest particles, which is imperative.

The epoxy resin was then mixed, poured on the table's surface, and squeegeed to an even consistency on the entire top. Within a few minutes, bubbles began rising to the surface, thousands of them. The next step, which the first time I did this scared the hell out of me, was to fire up a propane torch and play the flame lightly over the surface. Each and every bubble popped, the finish layed down flat, no dimples were created and the surface dried bubble free. The guy that taught me how to do this said what occurs is the bubble quickly expands and pops before the epoxy is anywhere close to being cured.

I'm not sure if West System is flammable, therefore I would suggest trying this on a small patch of metal or fiberglass somewhere where it's safe to test. If it is, the technique may still work using a heat gun, but I've never tried using one for this purpose.

I don't believe heating the surface prior to applying the paint will do anything, but it may be worth a try, again on a small test strip of fiberglass or metal.

Hope this helps,

Gary
06-21-2012 09:16 PM
TQA
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

This will work with thinner mixes don't know about the thick.

Apply as normal. Using one of these small pencil butane blow torches gently heat up any bubbles. They pop and the surface clears. Repeat if required.

Done this many times with no probs but have an extinquisher to hand.
06-21-2012 08:34 PM
deniseO30
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

You go! .
06-21-2012 08:28 PM
Irunbird
Re: Epoxy resin and eliminating bubbles

Sorry, Denise- you get first credit. But, as the temp drops, I'm sipping a martini, not working on my boat!
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