The Epoxy Files — The Epoxy Book

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SECTION VII C - MODIFYING EPOXY WITH FILLERS 0

Epoxies formulated for coating and fiberglassing are too thin to serve as gap-filling adhesives. They can be modified by the addition of thixotropes to form non-sagging pastes very useful as gap filling glues. These pastes can be further modified with the addition of microballoons to form putties for fairing and hole filling. Wood flour can be used to make filleting putty for stitch-and-glue boat construction. All these solid dusty additives are called fillers. Fillers change the flow and density characteristics of the epoxy system. Each filler changes the liquid resin and hardener in ways that make epoxy useful for other applications besides coating or fiberglassing.

SECTION VII D - BONDING WITH EPOXY 0

The mixed viscosity of coating and fiberglassing epoxies is not high enough to make good gap filling adhesives. Thixotropic agents like silica thickener (Cab-O-Sil, Aerosil), plastic minifibers, and wood flour are used to thicken the epoxy and change the flow characteristics. These fillers will turn the epoxy from translucent to opaque depending on the type and amount used. Silica thickener and plastic minifibers make the epoxy whitish while wood flour turns it reddish-brown. Silica thickener makes a smooth material while epoxy thickened with plastic minifibers or wood flour will be coarse. Microballoons and microspheres should not be used in adhesive formulations as they reduce tensile strength.

SECTION VII E - FILLETING, FAIRING, AND MOLDING WITH EPOXY RESIN 0

The SilverTip Series contains two putty materials: SilverTipEZ-Fillet, a wood-flour filled putty, and SilverTip QuikFair, a microballoon filled putty. Neither involve user added fillers and powders. As described elsewhere these have other advantages beyond simply eliminating the use of obnoxious, dusty powders. We suggest that most epoxy users will be better off using these rather than whipping up a batch of "homebrew" epoxy putties. Once mixed SilverTip EZ-Fillet and SilverTip QuikFair are used as described below.

SECTION VIII - PAINTING AND FINISHING 0

Over the years nearly half of the technical service questions we’re asked involve painting and varnishing epoxy coatings. More than anything else this has been the area that has caused most people trouble. We have solved these problems by developing our own paint and clear finish system for epoxy resin surfaces - more on this later.

SECTION IX - AREAS OF EPOXY USE 0

In the Introduction we stated that this is not a book about boat construction and repair. While that is true, we believe that the ways of using epoxy described in Section VII will have more meaning if the prospective user can relate the techniques of boat construction and repair. There are a number of boatbuilding books that go into greater depth than we will here.

SECTION IX A - WOODEN BOAT CONSTRUCTION 0

Plywood is a very versatile material widely used in wood boat construction. It is dimensionally stable and needs only to be epoxy coated to protect it from moisture to become an almost ideal boatbuilding material. Several construction techniques are used to fabricate boats from plywood.

SECTION IX B - WOODEN BOAT RESTORATION AND REPAIR 0

Often our technical service people take a telephone call where the question "I bought this old wooden boat and I was wondering if your product can be used to restore it?" The caller often hopes that slathering on a coat of System Three epoxy will turn the boat into a beautiful modern wooden boat. More often than not we end up dashing his hopes for a quick fix simply because there isn't one.

SECTION IX C - COMPOSITE CORED CONSTRUCTION 0

Many high tech one-off custom boats are built with epoxy resin and exotic fabrics such as Kevlar and Carbon Fiber laminated onto cores of vinyl foam, balsa, or thermoplastic honeycomb. Phase Two epoxy is System Three Resins’ preferred material for this type of construction. These boats are built on male or in female molds in a variety of ways.

SECTION IX D - FIBERGLASS BOAT REPAIR 0

Epoxy resins are increasingly being used to repair polyester/ fiberglass boats both above and below the waterline. The usage techniques are identical to those used in wooden boat building and described in Section VI of this book. The only real difference when using wood and epoxy is that wood is porous, at least for the first coat. Fairing and hole filling on a fiberglass hull is no different than doing the same thing on epoxy-coated wood. The same materials and tools are used.

SECTION IX E - OTHER AREAS OF EPOXY USE 0

System Three Resins’ products have been used in many areas besides boatbuilding and repair. These areas include concrete repair, radar dome fabrication, piano repair, guitar making, art deco projects, jewelry making, pottery repair, golf club repair, outdoor sign production, home and professionally built hot tubs and spas, aircraft manufacture, tooling, electrical potting, home restoration, rock polishing, and sports equipment manufacture to name a few.