Are there any good cheap epoxy resins?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Texas-Tri, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Texas-Tri
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Texas-Tri Junior Member

    I’m looking to do some fiberglass work on the cheap. I am rebuilding an old trimaran and will be making some structural components for the cabin and deck probably with marine plywood coated in epoxied glass. I am new to this and I think that the general consensus is that West systems epoxies are the best and the industry standard, however they are not inexpensive. Has anyone had good luck working with any of the less expensive epoxy resins? For instance MAX BOND LV A/B is available on Ebay for about $40 per gallon. I’m hoping that someone has tried other (re: cheaper) epoxies and might be able to share your experiences. Thanks!
  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    I buy some at $32 a gallons. However, I limit their uses to reinforcing and non structural components. Still it saves me lots of money. I mix it with different compounds and make fillers and glue out of it.

    But definitely cheap epoxy is better than good polyester.
  3. tuantom
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    tuantom Senior Member

    I used US Composites epoxy for my boat project at under $50 for 1 and 1/3 gallons. I'm pretty happy with both the epoxy and their cloth prices.
  4. sbklf
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    sbklf Junior Member

    Where can I purchase this epoxy your speaking of?
  5. nero
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    nero Senior Member

    US.composits epoxy is Epon Resin. If you are buying by the barrel then go direct. It will drop the price to around $26 a gallon. Some of the Epon resins are available in smaller amounts. Not sure which ones.

    Also selection of an Epon Resin (there are 100's of them) is a bit involved.

    US composists was my supplier at first. The shipping costs have become as much as the epoxy costs.
  6. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    I am in Miami, Florida. And I can buy epoxy at $30 a gallon, or should I say $60 for a two gallon at a local supplier. I dont buy in larger quantity because I dont get much of a discount. I am also looking at new suppliers myself. But problem is shipping. These containers are not very sturdy and I think they consider epoxy a hazardous waste so I don't think it can be sent via regular ups.
  7. nero
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    nero Senior Member

    epoxy is not classified as a hazardous material or hazardous waste.

    Forgot to note that Epon is based in Houston. Maybe you can find a local distributor.
  8. fhrussell
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    fhrussell Boatbuilder

  9. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    you are right
    plastics ( including epoxies ) are not presently classified as toxic
    however virtually all the research being done on plastics
    and there is a LOT of research in this area
    is clearly showing otherwise

    Both epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A are endocrine disruptor's.
    both are prevalent components in epoxies
    the later being associated with genital malformations and reproductive and immune system disruption and mental disorders

    respectfully I would cite the following articles
    these are open access publications
    so there is no issues with reproducing portions of them here

    Graciela Ramilo1, Iago Valverde1, Jorge Lago1, Juan M. Vieites1 and Ana G. Cabado1

    (1) Microbiology and Biotoxins Area, ANFACO-CECOPESCA, Campus Univ de Vigo, 36310 Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain
    Received: 21 March 2006 Accepted: 17 May 2006 Published online: 17 June 2006

    Abstract Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE) and bisphenol F diglycidyl ether (BFDGE) are used as starting substances for the manufacturing of epoxy resins used in internal can coatings. They are obtained by a condensation reaction between epichlorohydrin with bisphenol A and bisphenol F, respectively. These potential endocrine disrupting chemicals are able to enter the food chain and to reach the intestinal epithelium, causing structural and functional damages. The human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line Caco-2 is a widely used in vitro model of the intestinal cells. The aim of this study was to characterize BADGE and BFDGE toxicity in Caco-2 cells, in particular, at the cellular and molecular level. Using several approaches, we characterized BADGE- and BFDGE-induced cell toxicity in Caco-2 cells. The treatment was done using different concentrations up to cytotoxic doses and different times of exposure to the agents. We evaluated the effect of these compounds on cell morphology, cell detachment, cell proliferation, F-actin disruption and plasma membrane integrity. Both compounds are able to induce morphological changes, cell detachment from the substratum and to inhibit cell proliferation, being these effects time and dose-dependent. Moreover, BADGE and BFDGE induce F-actin depolymerization, this effect is very potent at 24 h of incubation with the agents and a complete F-actin disruption can be observed at 200 μM BADGE or BFDGE. In addition, cell integrity is not damaged, since neither propidium iodide uptake nor LDH release takes place in Caco-2 cells exposed to high doses of these agents for 24 h.


    In recent years, numerous substances have been identified as so-called "endocrine disruptors" because exposure to them results in disruption of normal endocrine function with possible adverse health outcomes. The pathologic and behavioral abnormalities attributed to exposure to endocrine disruptors like bisphenol-A (BPA) have been studied in animals. Mental conditions ranging from cognitive impairment to autism have been linked to BPA exposure by more than one investigation. Concurrent with these developments in BPA research, schizophrenia research has continued to find evidence of possible endocrine or neuroendocrine involvement in the disease. Sufficient information now exists for a comparison of the neurotoxicological and behavioral pathology associated with exposure to BPA and other endocrine disruptors to the abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. This review summarizes these findings and proposes a theory of endocrine disruption, like that observed from BPA exposure, as a pathway of schizophrenia pathogenesis. The review shows similarities exist between the effects of exposure to BPA and other related chemicals with schizophrenia. These similarities can be observed in 11 broad categories of abnormality: physical development, brain anatomy, cellular anatomy, hormone function, neurotransmitters and receptors, proteins and factors, processes and substances, immunology, sexual development, social behaviors or physiological responses, and other behaviors. Some of these similarities are sexually dimorphic and support theories that sexual dimorphisms may be important to schizophrenia pathogenesis. Research recommendations for further elaboration of the theory are proposed.

    I would also cite

    The estrogenicity of bisphenol A-related diphenylalkanes with various substituents at the central carbon and the hydroxy groups.
    P Perez, R Pulgar, F Olea-Serrano, M Villalobos, A Rivas, M Metzler, V Pedraza, and N Olea
    Laboratory of Medical Investigation, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, HUSC-University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
    See letter "Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether as a potential metabolic source of bisphenol A." on page A472b.
    This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
    The chemical structure of hydroxylated diphenylalkanes or bisphenols consists of two phenolic rings joined together through a bridging carbon. This class of endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogens is widely used in industry, particularly in plastics. Bisphenol F, bisphenol A, fluorine-containing bisphenol A (bisphenol AF), and other diphenylalkanes were found to be estrogenic in a bioassay with MCF7 human breast cancer cells in culture (E-SCREEN assay). Bisphenols promoted cell proliferation and increased the synthesis and secretion of cell type-specific proteins. When ranked by proliferative potency, the longer the alkyl substituent at the bridging carbon, the lower the concentration needed for maximal cell yield; the most active compound contained two propyl chains at the bridging carbon. Bisphenols with two hydroxyl groups in the para position and an angular configuration are suitable for appropriate hydrogen bonding to the acceptor site of the estrogen receptor. Our data suggest that estrogenicity is influenced not only by the length of the substituents at the bridging carbon but also by their nature. Because diphenylalkane derivatives are widespread and their production and use are increasing, potential exposure of humans to estrogenic bisphenols is becoming a significant issue. The hazardous effects of inadvertent exposure to bisphenol-releasing chemicals in professional workers and the general populations therefore deserve investigation.
  10. JRL
    Joined: May 2007
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    JRL Im with stupid

    US composites stuff is cheap, but good!

    Ive built several moulds. Made my own tooling surface coats. Also had decent luck making my own tooling clay using their resin.
  11. rwatson
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Bugger!!!!!! Looks like Aluminium *is* God.
  12. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    well now ya know wood floats
    plastic only floats half the time
    pretty sure that stuff sinks :)


    wood has an embodied energy of about 640 kw/ ton
    plastic 6x that of wood
    steal 14x
    aluminum 126x

    now there are a lot of ways you can figure embodied energy
    so whatever source you use for the numbers
    are different than the next
    but similar ratios are derived from whatever method you use
    you can hug a tree and build all the wood boats you want
    you can run over some bunnies till you run out of aluminum
    now I ask you
    what would Budda do
  13. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Ah yes Boston - embodied energy. But thats not the full story. Lets throw some "off the cuff" figures in the air ...

    Lets say -
    wooden boat, working life average 10 years without maintenance. (I just cant stress how much maintance repainting, repairing, varnishing, glueing goes on in the life of a well maintained wooden boat - all with petroleum based materials.)

    Plastic - working life average 25 years with no maintenace. Sure fibreglass will last a lot longer with care, but lets say its a hard working boat. Once again, all petroleum products.

    Aluminium - 35 years with no maintenance. I would say on average aluminium boats would be expected to last 3 times wood with no maintenance. And it comes from red dirt - not oil! (The most common solid element in the universe, let alone the world)

    So, over a working life - overall energy spent is a lot less than the energy to produce initially.

    Now, all the boats sink!
    Does the aluminium boat get left to rot in the mangroves?
    Nooooo - it gets recycled because it has great resale/recycle value and the next time around takes less power to re-manufacture.

    I'm not going to do the thesis on it, but I dont think aluminium is as bad as you might think, especially if the power making it is hydroelectric (no carbon dioxide) - like in Tasmania where I was born.

    Buddha says Aluminium is God.
  14. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    all good points my friend
    Buddha said that eh
    Im going to have to look that up

    the embodied energy
    depending on what formula is used
    generally does take into account the life time energy expended

    I would put in a word for wood and say
    when I was a kid eons ago living out on the cape
    most of the boats in the boat house had been built by some one in the family
    and all were wood
    so you can see were I get my biased
    but if one of em started rotting
    and they did every once in a while
    boy the phone would start ringing
    and some one was going to get a ribbing that they might as well learn to live with for life
    white oak seems to be seriously rot resistant
    it all seemed to boil down to using the right wood in the right spot
    so Im just kinda having fun with you Mr Rwatson as I have no practical experience with aluminum
    although I can hear my grand dad yelling at my dad now when he started using epoxy on everything
    made old dad pretty grumpy
    although one day old pops almost sank ( thank god for wood eh )
    and that was the end of the epoxy issue for a while
    and my friends and I were just rolling on the shore laughing our asses off while just about everything that could go wrong with a launch did
    dad never really got over it
    we certainly never let him live it down
    was the highlight of the summer if you ask me
    I never realized the old man couldnt swim for beens till that fateful day
    Im wallowing in memories now
    I think he woulda died if that thing he called a boat was built out of aluminum
    ah memories

    have a great day my friend
    with a fare wind and a followin sea

  15. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    This is not accurate. Epoxy resin is synthesized by reacting bisphenol-A with epichlorohydrin. When the reaction is complete there is basically NO epichlorohydrin of any significance left; it has all been compounded into epoxy. Since epichlor is one of the most toxic chemicals around, if there were significant amounts of epichlor still left, epoxy resin would be highly toxic, both acutely and cumulatively, and the fact is it's not. (The curing agents are another story; search the old threads)

    Saying that epoxy resin is dangerous because of its toxic chemical precursor, epichlorohydrin, is a bit like saying that table salt is dangerous because it's compounded from that deadly gas chlorine and that highly reactive metal sodium:D

    The so-called 'endocrine disruptor' controversy is highly political, with various environmental political pressure group's propaganda campaigns being the main thing keeping the controversy alive. Using the very same test methodology, scientists have identified very powerful 'endocrine disruptors' much stronger than bisphenol-A in red wine among other things, yet you do not hear the scaremonger groups trying to frighten anyone about red wine, only about various industrial chemicals, because their real motive is to curtail industry in any way they can.

    And none of this has anything to do with finding cheap epoxy:rolleyes:

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
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