Epoxy Preference?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by die_dunkelheit, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. die_dunkelheit
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    die_dunkelheit NA Student

    It seems like there are a couple "Marine" epoxies available, a few of them are referenced here on boatdesign, but I haven't really seen any comparative data (that is, impartial comparative data).

    Personally I've been using WEST Systems and find it easy to work with, but do not have any real long term observations with it.

    I'm looking for this information:
    Do you have a particular brand of epoxy that you prefer?
    What experiences do you have that make you prefer it?
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Non Blushing epoxy is easiest to use for a small builder, working single handed.

    West Epoxy is great stuff, but needs peel ply or surface cleaning of blush to guarantee secondary bonds. No blush epoxy only needs a rough up or a green stage wet on wet work schedule.

    Viscosity is also an issue. West is meduim viscosity and good all round epoxy. Some of the other epoxies are lower viscosity and good for wet out, but tedious to fill the weave with hand layup.

    In the end its up to the user. Price, blush, ease of use for your project

    If its a big complex project the best epoxy is the one who can supply one site technical assitance.
     
  3. die_dunkelheit
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    die_dunkelheit NA Student

    Thanks Michael, but what epoxy do you use?

    I guess I should've noted that I'm mostly using WEST for what it is actually made for, and that is wood to wood and glass to wood. After all, it is "Wood-Epoxy-Saturation-Technique"...

    On my C15 I did have to repair the side deck forward of where the starboard shroud connects. This has been my only glass to glass use of WEST, and now 14-15 months later, including 20-25 days sailing her last season alone, the repair is still likely the strongest place on the boat. (I guess that means I have had good experience with WEST)

    Come on guys, let's get some information flowing here. WEST has worked well for me, what works well for you? Do you use something different for wood structures than glass?

    More-so looking for the variety of epoxies you guys use and why, not advice on one or the other...
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    You need to ask folks who build boats for a living. I use West because that is what is sold in the shipstore.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The folks that use West are amateur laminators or professionals using some of their other resin systems (not 105). West is about as high a priced product you can get, though preformance is good, most of the hardeners used with 105 blush.

    Serious laminators use semi or full custom formulations and/or buy direct, rather then off the chandler's shelf. These folks also test laminates and resin systems to optimize weight, strength, cost, etc. This data is costly to acquire and often not willingly surrendered to the public, for this reason (it offers an advantage). Most of the major formulators do supply physical properties data if you ask.
     
  6. robwilk37
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    robwilk37 Senior Member

    try aeromarine in san diego. good web page, excellent on the phone, non-blushing. great price and customer service.
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Somewhere between West System and PAR's custom brew I find System Three to be a great vendor.

    They have excellent technical support and their hand laminating epoxies are fantastic.

    They are all non-blushing and mix at a 2:1 ratio, which makes for no mistakes in the shop.

    SilverTip is slightly lower in viscosity with long open times for laminating glass. It's all I use when hand laminating. It's just perfect and soooo easy to use.

    http://www.systemthree.com/store/pc/SilverTip-Epoxy-c10.htm

    The General Purpose is a bit thicker and slightly more "rubbery" than the rock hard SilverTip, which makes it better for doing fillets and such.

    http://www.systemthree.com/store/pc/General-Purpose-c11.htm

    All of their epoxies can be used over a tremendous temperature range (unlike some companies I won't mention) and are just dead simple to work with. They have lots of different products for filling and whatever, but I just mix up my own microballoons, colloidal silica or glass fibers to make whatever I need in the shop. I only do this with the General Purpose because it's already kind of thick.

    I use the SilverTip exclusively for hand laminations and nothing else.
     
  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    All of the major brands are within shouting distance of each other in physical properties. Most of the major formulators also have thinner or UV inhibitor added or reinforcement filler mixtures available. Simply put, unless you're looking to hit a modulus threshold or other critical physical property, the major brands all play the same. If you'd like to save some money, try "Marinepoxy" at bateau.com. It has about the same physical properties as System Three, but around half the price.
     
  10. die_dunkelheit
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    die_dunkelheit NA Student

    That's a lot of good stuff gentlemen. On another thread I realized that I did not really clearly state what I'm shooting for here (pun intended), so here it is. My point was to get this information and a culmination of others' experiences in a single place to make it easier for others to find.
     
  11. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member


    Very interesting. As a student you will be very experienced at assessing information and its sources, far more than I for instance ever could.

    Perhaps from the expert boat builders from all over the world hands out valuable information,-- you may want to judge who you felt has the most experience and informative approach.

    For the benefit of others you could give them a 1 to 10 on thier level of intelligence mark to help the,--others.

    I appreciate you not here to judge but Im sure you could.
     
  12. die_dunkelheit
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    die_dunkelheit NA Student

    Yeah, I'm not sure what somebody else is trying to do here, but I'm not judging anything.
     
  13. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    epoxy glue !! think west is best !! :D
    And guns are not needed !!! or drugs !!
     
  14. susho
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    susho Composite builder

    I have used a lot of SP/Gurit products. Ampreg 22 for boatbuilding, comes with different hardeners, and some good information on the datasheets. And a wide product range for other epoxys too.
    Recently I began using Sicomin products too, mostly automotive application. They too have a wide range, and good products. I've used the SR1660 for High Tg mouldbuilding, and the foam to fill hollow structures. Their standart laminating resin SR8500 has a good Tg, and good quality. I plan on using it more.
    I've used west only once, but I'm not a big fan. It foams a lot, and is a little too thin in my experience. It is expensive, and the properties aren't that good.
     
    1 person likes this.

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    That's good advice. Buying from Joel is always a pleasurable experience.

    Which system three epoxy is his stuff similar to, or is there an entire range of products in that marinepoxy brand he has? May try it, but is it more like silvertip or gp?
     
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