Diatomaceous earth

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by SeaJay, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. SeaJay
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    SeaJay Senior Member

    Does anyone have an experience using DE (Diatomaceous earth) as an epoxy filler? I ask as I have a bunch of it (used as a swimming pool filter medium) and also remember it being recommended as an admix for ferro cement construction. Anyway, I was wondering what its properties might me as a filler material.
     
  2. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Sorry can't help you with that,but food grade DE really knocks down cholesterol levels
     
  3. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    The closest I have come is using vermiculite and perlite, both of which have a tendency to float in the epoxy - especially perlite. DE is a little denser so give it a try and let us know how it works!
     
  4. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Make sure you pick the cat poop out of it first.
     
  5. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Really ?
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Mildly abrasive, but I'm concerned about it's absorbent qualities being more problematic.
     
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Food grade DE has much less risk to the lungs, although it still exists so avoid breathing in the dust.

    -Tom
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I believe the water content is quite high. They make it to filter water after all. If there is water in it, the epoxy mix won't cure.
     
  10. srimes
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    srimes Senior Member

    Huh? I thought water was an accelerant? Still not something you want...
     
  11. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    "They make it to filter water after all" - Gonzo will periodically lapse into non sequiturs as if...well, never mind. Just ignore this. Of course, use dry DE.
     
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  12. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Water is not an accelerant for epoxy. It will make it become a gooey mess.
    mark775: What do you mean "ignore this"?
     
  13. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    water is an accelerant, for a couple of epoxy curing systems. I managed to speed up a 300 minutes system to 20 minutes cure time, by adding less than 5% water. It also creates a lot of bubbles, by the way.
     
  14. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Because something absorbs water HAS NO BEARING on if it actually has absorbed water. Because it is used for filtration HAS NO BEARING on its propensity to absorb water. Wood absorbs water, for goodness sake.
    "Water...will make it become a gooey mess." _ You are thinking of poly here. Most epoxy just tends to fail to adhere.
     

  15. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    DE is just glass. Silica dioxide, if you will. It is not hydrophyllic like salt. It is fairly inert. It is used in parmagian cheese as an anti-caking agent. It will tear the cells in your lungs because it is very sharp.
     

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