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All epoxies ("goo") are not the same. Look for non blushing marine epoxies - even if they cost a few bucks more. With a blushing marine epoxy (most of the epoxies sold are blushing epoxies) - you might always wonder if you have a good bond between coats and why you're paint isn't sticking. Plus you have to wash the surface between coats to remove the visible or invisible blush.
If the epoxy manufacturers really cared about your needs they would only sell you non-blushing epoxies (speaking in general terms - there are always exceptions) and not even offer blushing epoxies upon unsuspecting buyers.
More about amine blush - CLICK HERE (amine epoxy blush).
Nonyl phenol is a non solvent additive that can be used added to either Part A or Part B. It does have some useful properties, but is often more widely used to 'water down' the epoxy, making it much cheaper to manufacturer and giving the vendor much higher profits. Nonyl can also retard the drying of enamel paint over epoxy. If you want to enamel paint your epoxy project either use a primer over the epoxy or use our Premium No Blush epoxy. More about Nonyl Phenol - CLICK HERE (nonyl phenol).
FORMALDEHYDE - one of the major epoxy vendors uses formaldehyde in their curing agents! Check the MSDS of your vendor's epoxy for this chemical. (formaldehyde in competitor's curing agent - click here).
Some epoxies are non-hazmat to ship (again, very few) - big thing here is that the non hazmat curing agents generally have a more gentle exotherm and slower more uniform curing - (doesn't get super hot, melt containers and turn hard in the blink of an eye). Note that the hazmat epoxies must be shipping by ground, not air, but generally no additional cost. Non-hazmat curing agents tend to be amber colored, hazmat curing agents can be amber or clear. More on Hazmat shipping - CLICK HERE (epoxy shipping)
Hazmat or not - the ones with a more gentle exotherm always seemed better to work with - no worry of 'bubbling up or melting' the areas you are working on.
The 'serious' marine epoxies are formulated using the raw resins manufactured by the giant chemical companies. Many (some?) low cost epoxy vendors merely repackage these raw bulk resins. Not a good thing! Learn more - CLICK HERE (epoxy prices).
Mix ratios as close to 1:1 or 2:1 are better as they tolerate slight errors in the mix ratio better. Given an error in a 5:1 mix ratio and you can suddenly be mixing it at 4:1 and not knowing it. The result might not be good. More about mix ratio errors - CLICK HERE (epoxy mix ratios).
And finally, evaluate your marine epoxy by what other users say about it.
Customer feedback and comments on Basic No Blush marine epoxy resin - CLICK HERE.
I have been using Basic No Blush marine epoxy (standard cure) on my plywood boat, and I have been impressed. I work on the boat when I have time and sometimes that means a dry 75-80 degrees, or a hot and humid 95. The epoxy seems to be very accommodating to temperature and even an accidental improper mixing a time or two. I am ready to fillet large areas and have been using no blush with wood flour and have been getting nice looking fillets. I need to place another order soon...
another email :
I'm in the process of starting a boat school in Portland, OR (http://wind-and-oar-boatschool.org/). We are working on our first boat, which is a St Ayles skiff, with a group of 10 completely novice women doing the build. Its the first all women build and the first on the west coast. The St Ayles Skiff is a Iain Oughtred design done for the Scottish Fisheries Museum and now the cornerstone of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project (http://scottishcoastalrowing.org/). Last fall WoodenBoat Publications picked up the concept and got 5 high schools in Maine to start the boat and I am mirroring the idea for high schools in Portland. The first youth boat will start this fall but in the mean time a group of women approached me about building one too.
When it came time to decide about epoxies, I turned to Michael Bogoger (Dory-man) for advice. He suggested your Basic No Blush marine epoxy and we've been extremely happy with it. The forgiving nature of the basic no-blush has been ideal for a school situation where many people are mixing and consistency is not necessarily high. Michael has covered our build on his blog several times and this link (http://dory-man.blogspot.com/2011/06/wind-and-oar-boat-building-school.html) is to one of his posts where you can see us using your product. His first post about us was on the occasion of his first visit to Portland when I had him give a little seminar on epoxies.
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Epoxy "Stab Brush" -- "Regular Brush"
Use with products on this page
buy separately or include with your order
STAB BRUSH - 3 inch wide with 3/4 inch bristles. Most epoxies are too thick for a regular brush. Stab brushes allow you to push and move the epoxy around and 'stab' or poke it into cracks, voids, and corners
|REGULAR BRUSH - 2 inch wide and extra thick with synthetic bristles. Use with varnish, paints and thin epoxies. Priced for disposable use.|
Goto our 3rd party storefront and purchase in the MISC SECTION
ONLINE PRODUCT CATALOGS
PROGRESSIVE EPOXY POLYMERS, Inc
page of marine catalog section (blue background)
|Section One MARINE - CLEAR EPOXIES
Section Two FILLERS THICKENERS ADDITIVES
Section Three THICKENED EPOXIES - EPOXY PUTTIES, ETC.
Section Four EPOXY PAINTS (barrier coats)
Section Five URETHANES AND NON-EPOXY COATINGS
Section Six NON-SKID DECK COATINGS
Section Seven MARINE REPAIR PRODUCTS
Section Eight MISC. MARINE PRODUCTS
MASSIVE BOAT HOW TO - ISSUES - HELP WEB LINK SITE
Residential / Commercial / DIY Catalog
page of residential/commercial catalog section (brown background)
Section A EPOXY PAINTS
Section B FLOOR EPOXIES (regular and non-skid products), SEALERS, ACCESSORIES
Section C THICKENED EPOXIES - EPOXY PUTTIES, ETC.
Section D CLEAR EPOXIES
Section E NON-EPOXY PAINTS COATINGS SEALERS
Section F MIX-IN ADDITIVES
Section G OTHER PRODUCTS
Section H SURFACE PREPARATION PRODUCTS
Section I MISC. ACCESSORIES
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DID YOU KNOW...
Epoxy coatings are used because of
their outstanding chemical resistance, durability, low porosity and
strong bond strength.
Epoxies consist of a ‘base' and a
‘curing' agent. The two components are mixed in a certain ratio. A
chemical reaction occurs between the two parts generating heat
(exotherm) and hardening the mixture into an inert, hard ‘plastic'.
Epoxies yellow, chalk (or more commonly least lose their gloss), in direct sunlight (UV). The yellowing can be a real problem. For pigmented epoxies select colors that are dark or contain a lot of yellow (such as green). Even clear epoxies will yellow and cloud up. Often epoxies are top coated with latex or urethanes that will retain their color and attractive gloss. This is particularly true if color coding or matching company colors is important.
Epoxies will harden in minutes or hours, but complete cure (hardening) will generally take several days. Most epoxies will be suitably hard within a day or so, but may require more time to harden before the coating can be sanded.
By their nature, epoxies are hard and brittle. Additives can be added to epoxies that make them less brittle, but generally at the loss or reduction of other positive epoxy properties such as chemical resistance.
Other clues of cheap epoxies include ‘induction time' (after mixing the two components the mixture must sit for several minutes to ‘self cook' before being applied).
The best time to recoat epoxy is within about 48 hours after the initial coat. Because epoxies take days to reach full cure, a second coat applied shortly after the first coat will partially fuse to the first coat rather than forming a simple mechanical bond.
End users can thicken epoxy with many things, Tiny glass spheres, known as micro-spheres or micro-balloons are commonly used. Besides thickening, their crushable nature makes sanding the hardened epoxy easier. On the downside, they work like tiny ball bearings, resulting is sagging and slumping. Another thickener is fumed silica (a common brand name is Cabosil (tm)) which looks like fake snow. About 2 parts fumed silica with one part epoxy will produce a mixture similar in texture and thickness to petroleum jelly. Micro-spheres and fumed silica can be combined together.
Fisheyes are areas on a painted surface where the coating literally pulls away for the substrate leaving a coatingless void or fisheye. Often fisheyes are caused by surface contaminants such as a bit of silicon, wax, or oil. I have also seen them on clean plywood where epoxies paints have been used as sealers and the problem might be due to uneven saturation (soaking-in) of the epoxy into the wood. Surface tension plays a big part in fisheyeing. There are some additives that can be mixed into the epoxy that will reduce surface tension. Likewise, on wood, applying several coats of solvent thinned epoxy, instead of one coat of unthinned epoxy, seems to work well. Applying a thick coat of epoxy over a contaminated fisheye surface will bury the fisheye but expect the coating to peel away in the future. As a rule of thumb, always suspect some sort of surface contamination as the primary cause of fisheyeing.
Adding a bit of solvent to a solvent based or solvent-free epoxy is something that most manufacturers would not officially approve of and something that might not work with all epoxies. However, it can be done (unofficially) with the epoxies I deal with. Adding solvent to these epoxies will: 1) thin them out; 2) increase pot life; 3) allows them to flow off the brush/roller a bit more smoothly; and 4) perhaps allows them to ‘soak-in', penetrate, or may be soften, the substrate just a little bit. Not change is visible in the epoxy unless 12% or greater solvent is added. With that amount of solvent, the epoxies no longer cure with a glossy finish.
It is best to use epoxies with a mix ratio close to 1 to 1 as opposed to something 4-1, 5-1, etc. because errors in the mix ratios can be more pronounced with the latter. That said, no matter what the mix ratio is, some epoxies are more forgiving of mix ratio errors than others. One ‘trick' of epoxy vendors with odd or very sensitive mix ratios is to sell calibrated pumps that disperse the epoxy components in exact amounts.
How Thick? How thick should your coating be? Economics play a major role in determining how much coating to apply. One U.S. gallon contains 231 cubic inches. That's only 1.6 cubic square feet of surface at one inch thick and that's also assuming a solvent-free product. If the product is 25% VOC (i.e. 25% solvent) then dry thickness/coverage will be 25% less. Again, assuming a 1/4 inch thick coating (250 mils) maximum coverage will still be only 6.4 square feet per gallon. A solvent-free (100% solids) epoxy coating applied at 16 mils will cover 100 square feet per gallon (note: the wall paint in your office is probably 2-4 mils). While thick coatings sound like a good idea, they use so much product that they must be made very cheaply so that coating 1,000 or 10,000 square feet can still be done at a competitive price. A high quality, fairly expensive product with a coverage rate of 100 sq. feet or more per gallon, on the other hand, will have a low enough cost per sq. foot to provide both economy and top quality.
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