Clear epoxy

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Micke, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Micke
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Tenerife

    Micke New Member

    Hello builders,
    I am planning on a more free and environment friendly life style. As always I need shelter, food, water and transportation. My plan is to build a 30ft catamaran out of clear epoxy and glasfiber. I think I can make it clear by polish not glass clear but 70-90 light intake. I would like glass clear finish like acrylic or polycarbonate sheet, but it gets to heavy?.. I want a floating greenhouse. Solar panels on the whole rofe for all convinc as a home and as electric motor. Is this possible? Cooling?
     
  2. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Epoxy doesn't work well for that application, it's resistance to UV is poor. Where do you plan to use this craft?
     
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  3. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    You must cover epoxy. Klar ist verbotten!

    The way to achieve you goals is to put windows in the space or skylights. The sun is very damaging to humans; so limiting the sun is good, too.
     
  4. Micke
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    Micke New Member

  5. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I did a plywood sailboat deck last summer with a 6 oz glass overlay and epoxy. The deck then gets varnished with a UV varnish about 5 coats minimum for a covered boat here in northern latitudes; more in other locations or if the boat is always out in the sun. Then periodic maintenance of recoats on 2 year intervals or more if you are in a uv saturated area.

    The best covering for epoxy is something more absolute. In the case of the boat deck I did; it was a wood sailboat and the aesthetics made it worthwhile. All for looks in other words...

    Portions of a boat can more easily be made clear with windows.

    Bright finishes (clear) are generally the opposite of environmentally friendly as so many layers are required and later recoating more often than paint. Perhaps this will open a small can of worms...but in general is correct.

    The most environmentally friendly hull material is probably wood with some pinetar. But just not practical for anything large.

    Epoxy degrades badly under uv. I have a 15 year old canoe I never varnished the inside that spent maybe 4 - 6 weeks of its life outside and the epoxy is all degraded and peeling inside. It needs a sandoff; new epoxy and the varnish I never gave it. The outside ws varnished with epifanes - 3 coats and has no sign of chalking or peeling.

    If you read the fine print on the product you linked; says it has uv inhibitors that help uv inhibitors in varnish. The stand alone idea is not discussed. There is an epoxy vendor here with a uv product. It would be good to get his input as well.
     
  6. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    UV inhibitors in epoxy help, but epoxy starts out with such poor UV resistance that the bar is set low, and while the inhibitors and other formula modifications help, the resistance would still be considered poor compared to other coatings.
     
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  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    All UV inhibitors used in some epoxies (not many BTW) will break down in time and UV exposure, so . . . The only protection is a UV laden clear coat, which too will have it's inhibitors break down, but is a lot easier to replenish.
     
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  8. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Why not fiberglass, it loves UV and is hugely translucent.
    But your solar panels are going to block all your light anyway.
    But that's okay, you can just turn on a light powered by all the solar panels.
    'Round, round we go...
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Micke, you are kidding yourself to think you'll have much more than a slight ambiance of light below, on the hulls and deck of a 30' cat, regardless of resin type, fiber employed or polish used. It might be best to head own to the local boat boneyard and have a look at some hull shells, to see just how much light comes through. Yes, quite a bit does, though certainly nothing near what you'd like to see. Conversely, you can cast some 1/4" to 1/2" thick pieces, say 6" square, to see how much you might get with various resins and laminate schedules.

    A floating greenhouse is possible, but think of it as a boat, with glazing installed to best benefit for the plants, not a translucent or transparent boat.
     
  10. Micke
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Micke New Member

    Thanks allot for the answer :) yes I see your point. In this case epoxy is not the magic no maintenance option.
    My goal is to make a costal cruiser with as many of this onboard as possible:

    Tower Garden: Grow Food with a Vertical, Aeroponic System http://www.towergarden.com

    Ok but this design:
    The $21K catamaran: Build a cat fast and cheap http://www.thecoastalpassage.com/cheapcat.html

    but change some sheets to:
    ePlastics Mobile Store http://www.eplastics.com/m/mobile.html?type=lstnavv&name=Polycarbonate%20Sheets%20in%20Clear&catid=23

    Or acrylic

    Is it possible?
     
  11. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    The vessel you linked has never been shown built by anyone.

    If you can find a finished one; please give a link.

    You don’t change panels; only add a window. 1/8” glazing space required for cte (expansion).
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed, acrylic or polycarbonate panels will not replace structural or plywood panels, though these materials can be used as lights (windows) or ports (opening windows).
     
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  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Um - are you talking about the Cheapcat ? The one where they have pictures of it being LAUNCHED ?
     
  14. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    the one?

    Or was it two?

    Seriously-I have never seen a builder’s photo beyond that one..not against being told otherwise, but why only one? That webpage been up for a few years or more now...and I don’t mind being wrong-wanted to find others...
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018

  15. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

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