flowcoat

Discussion in 'Materials' started by garrybull, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. garrybull
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Location: portsmouth england

    garrybull Senior Member

    i used some flowcoat yesterday to start flowcoating out my compartments now there finished.

    im doing them in light grey.

    my problem is the flowcoat is quite thick and goes on like artex.

    can i thin it with a bit of resin?

    if i use 1kg of flowcoat how much resin should i add?

    the flowcoat i have dosen't seem to flow out very nicely when applied with a roller.

    using a brush is just as bad.

    is there anything else i could add to it to thin it down a bit?
     
  2. slneatboat
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Norfolk,England

    slneatboat Junior Member

    I sometimes have added resin if the flow coat or workshop is cold not any specific amount a dash if you no what I mean, perhaps say approx 150-200 grms to a kilo.
    Are you making your own flowcoat if so add some more of the wax which will thin it some more and make it flow. Also warm tempreture will help.
    Just another thought some people want to slosh it on,treat it nicely like your gel, not to thick not to thin and on verticals it will want to flow down wards if it's applied to thick and brush is best.
    Steve
     
  3. garrybull
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    garrybull Senior Member

    i normally make my own flowcoat.

    i add a little more than normal when adding the wax to it but it didn't make any difference to the thickness of the gel.

    i have used resin before to thin the gel but im worried it may make the gel more see through.

    i can get some pigment to add to the resin before i mix it in the gel.

    would styrene make much difference to the gel?
     
  4. slneatboat
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    Location: Norfolk,England

    slneatboat Junior Member

    Try using more wax perhaps you are not using enough, I don't measure it out as such I just tip some in and have got to know how much is needed but I probably use more than required.
    I can see why styrene might do the trick but never had to use it for that myself worth a try.
    Never had a problem adding clear resin but a little extra pigment but not too much more isn't going to hurt.
    Steve.
     
  5. garrybull
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    Location: portsmouth england

    garrybull Senior Member

    i don't think adding more wax will make much difference to it.

    i went over to the boat this afternoon to have a look at how it turned out and im not happy with it.

    its ended up with a mat finish and its not smoothish.

    its got more of a feel like 2000 wet n dry paper.

    i know flowcoat is not as glossy as gelcoating out a mould etc but ive never had it like this before.

    i'll try some styrene in the mix and see how that goes.

    i'll sand down the compartment again and then try the new mix.
     
  6. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    What is "flowcoat"? Just curious.
     
  7. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Wax will cause a dull finish.

    Anything you add will affect the hide, so only add a small amount at a time.

    No one can tell you the exact amount of resin or any other product to use to reduce the viscosity so it's usable for you because every gel coat brand will be different, plus how you plan to use it and your expectations will be different than someone else's. It's a trial and error type thing. Just add small amounts, don't over do it.

    Anything you add will reduce the weathering qualities (if that's important) and hide, so less is better.
     
  8. ondarvr
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member


    The term isn't used much in the states, it's regional, it's just gel coat or resin with wax added so it can be used more like paint.
     
  9. garrybull
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    garrybull Senior Member

    i know adding wax gives it a dullish finish and thats fine for what im using it for.

    im coating out all the compartments under the deck so no need for shiny finish.

    i bought some styrene today and added some to a small amount of the gelcoat and it has made a difference.

    its now a lot smoother.

    before when mixing it if you put a stick in the gel it would just stay on the stick and not even want to run off a bit.

    now its a lot better.

    i haven't used it yet but i am hoping to tomorrow so will post pics of compartment ive already done with the first mix and the new mix with styrene added.

    fingers crossed its fine now.

    just from mixing in the styrene i could see the difference straight away.
     
  10. garrybull
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    garrybull Senior Member

    in the UK its known as flowcoat or topcoat.

    its gelcoat with wax solution added so you can use it for your final finish and it cures completely dry unlike gelcoat without wax which stays tacky.
     
  11. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Styrene loves to turn yellow when exposed to UV light, but since these are in protected areas you may not see a change.

    It all depends on what you call a small amount, small to us is 3%, to some users is 30%.

    The hide will be reduced, it may not be noticeable though.
     
  12. garrybull
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    garrybull Senior Member

    i was told 10% max so i mixed up 2kg of gelcoat with 200ml of styrene.

    i will add the wax once im ready to flowcoat out the compartments.

    would it make a light to middish grey change colour?
     
  13. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    2% Styrene Monomer (Wax) is standard ratio, same as hardener. The gelcoat brand seems to make a difference to 'fluidity' most. I've had some stuff roller brilliantly and other stuff be a pig to get flattish even with low ammount of hardener. Obviously, flatter the better, however I have not tried using the spray version of gelcoat, available in 5Kg tins. You may well find this is much thinner and more suitable. It used to be 25Kg tins so far too large for me.

    If I ever have to do a third of a Finn deck again, I might well try that out myself....;) At least the Finn boys seem to have stopped using the translucent gelcoat at the gunwhales - for the time being.

    Knowing your project (I've seen it), I doubt you would have much trouble using most of the 5Kg! Worth a call to Scott Bader, Polyfibre, and other resin/gel manufacturers to check.
     
  14. garrybull
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    garrybull Senior Member

    i probably add a little more than 2% wax when flowcoating and have not had any problems.

    never used a spray gel and trying to spray the gel in the compartments wouldn't be easy so i 'll stick to the roller.

    whats the best rollers to use with gelcoat?

    i use a used 4" fluffy which has been used with resin.
     

  15. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I use the gloss rollers which are foam, definitely not the flecky sheep's coat emulsion things.
    Normally the firmish roller needs to be worked enough to get an even coat, then like paint, gently run back over to pop air bubbles and smooth out. Again like paint just one patch at a time, working from one end to the other. I often cut the mini roller down too, around half size to about 50mm (2") as long as it still sticks on the application handle/rod ie you don't cut the thin internal web out of it!. Found it easier to work with and more even than the full 100mm (4"), so tend to do that a lot. The 'cut down' version is essential on curves and tigher corners.

    Might be worth a blast with paint stripper gun too to smooth out a just finished section. Just to get the heat to quickly let the gel become more fluid and lie flatter. Always a little suck it and see, depending on the gel, conditions on the day etc. I've had good results just from straight roller even on vertical faces, but did need a couple of coats - so a rub in between to get enough thickness.
     
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