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post #1 of 11 Old 06-01-2016 Thread Starter
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dissolving/melting polyester resin?

I have a puck from the hull of my boat in a drawer, probably when a PO installed some thru-hull somewhere. I'm curious to assess the layup of my boat so I thought why not melt or dissolve a small section of that puck to see what would be left?

Is there a prefered way of doing this? Should I dip it in a solution of potassium hydroxide or some acid and let it sit there for a few days or just melt it with a flame? Would that fuse the glass inside?

There has got to be curious sailors who have done it!! :-)

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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

Are you trying to determine the glass to resin ratio, or the type of resin, or ????

I doubt you are going to find a solvent you want to work with that will dissolve it. Hydrofluoric and nitric acids aren't to be fooled with.

If you want the resin/glass ratio, that is typically done by burning - but you need a controlled environment and careful measurements.

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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

Grind an edge at an angle...chisel-like...sand and polish until you can see the layup. If it gets fuzzy it was a bit short of resin.

Boiling phenol might dissolve polyester...might be fun! Like Myth-Busters fun...

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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

I was going to suggest burning it, but I have never done it so good luck. I don't think there is anything remotely safe that will dissolve the cured resin and leave just the glass. Even high strength acids I am guessing will take a lot of time, require a substantial quantity, and be very very dangerous.

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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

I did some research and apparently Aqua Regia will dissolve cured polyester resin. It's a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid and has to be mixed just before being used. This stuff is crazy caustic, has a propensity to explode, and will dissolve your skin, the vapors will dissolve mucus membrains. Basically unless you are a chemist this stuff is a bad idea.

But it will work.

Greg
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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I did some research and apparently Aqua Regia will dissolve cured polyester resin. It's a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid and has to be mixed just before being used. This stuff is crazy caustic, has a propensity to explode, and will dissolve your skin, the vapors will dissolve mucus membrains. Basically unless you are a chemist this stuff is a bad idea.

But it will work.
LMAO. Greg - just the thing for the average hobbyist?

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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

Hold my beer and watch this....


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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

Here's a fairly bombproof way to install a 'puck' inside of the hull

Testing:
• Apply water soluble 'grease' to the surface of hull ... taking great care to not include any entrapped air (bubbles) in the 'test goo' when applying. The 'test goo' should be applied in a 'conical' shape - so that the 'goo' contain no bubbles and will automatically shed any air bubbles as its depressed onto the hull surface.
• You can use 'mayonnaise', etc. as the 'test goo'; but, air bubbles will be impossible to see.
• Overlay the puck with duct tape to hold it in place.
• Hook up the puck to your 'read out' device and 'turn it on'.
• Take the boat out and over bottoms of varying depths, the deeper the better.
• If the depths are equal to KNOWN bottom depths, then proceed to permanent mounting.


Installation Preparation:
• Remove all paint and 'grime' (and any 'test goo') from the intended surface
• Lightly use an angle grinder or 'sand' the intended surface (but not deeply) ... the object is to remove any PAINT and to partly 'level' the surface (don't remove the 'curve' of hull)
• Lightly sand the face of the puck with 320 or 220 grit sandpaper

Mounting the Puck (permanently):
• Choice of 'fumed silica' thickened epoxy -OR- HigH Temp. (Clear) RTV silicone (automotive stuff) as the adhesive ... won't be totally clear but sufficient to see any air bubbles.
• Make an airless/bubble-less conical 'pile' of the final 'adhesive' --- obviously, if using a fumed colloidal silica filled epoxy you MUST be careful not to generate air bubbles when mixing. If epoxy, do not use a 'thick' amount as it may go 'exothermic' and create ..... bubbles; use a SLOW cure epoxy; and, have a bag of ice handy if it starts to 'kick' too fast (foam out).
• Very carefully push the puck into the 'pile', -Insure the 'entire' bottom surface of the puck is entirely in contact with the 'adhesive'-, then tape etc. in place, allow to fully cure.
• Repeat the testing over known 'deep' water.

The testing will validate that the puck 'will' operate sufficiently 'though' the hull.
Any air (bubbles) included in 'the glue' will degrade performance.
Expect 'degraded' depth sounder performance especially at the deeper depths.
The above is ONLY for solid fiberglass hulls; NOT to be used for 'cored' hull laminates.
If the inner surface of the hull is 'slanted', consider to build up a 'least thickness possible' angled transition piece to get the puck as close as possible to the vertical/horizontal - use the same procedure in prepping and mounting.

Removal of installed puck:
Sharp Chisel + Hammer; or, angle grinder.

;-)

Last edited by RichH; 06-02-2016 at 01:17 PM.
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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

[/SIZE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I did some research and apparently Aqua Regia will dissolve cured polyester resin. It's a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid and has to be mixed just before being used. This stuff is crazy caustic, has a propensity to explode, and will dissolve your skin, the vapors will dissolve mucus membrains. Basically unless you are a chemist this stuff is a bad idea.

But it will work.
HAHAHA
To which law office would you recommend for him to deliver the evidentiary materials of ....
dissolved - eyeballs, hair, skin, muscles, and liquified puck, etc. :—o

Last edited by RichH; 06-02-2016 at 01:24 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-02-2016
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Re: dissolving/melting polyester resin?

Get a really fine antique gilded portrait frame, mount puck in the centre .Mount frame in head and ponder ,several times a day , is it upside down?
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