Has anyone used Smooth-On EpoxAmite brand epoxy?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by BrettinVA, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. BrettinVA
    Joined: Nov 2016
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    Location: Suffolk VA

    BrettinVA Junior Member

    I am considering using epoxy for a boat restoration - deck, interior etc and my local fiberglass products supplier recommended Smooth-On's EpoxAmite as a cheaper alternative to West System. It comes in at $320 for 5 gallons. Has anyone used it before? I can't find any references to it in respect to boat building & repair.
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Smooth-On products are an attempt to market something that already existed, such as low VOC's, low odor, 100% solids, etc. These are all qualities of the properties most marine epoxies have already. There are several discount epoxy suppliers around. RAKA, Marinepoxy, the stuff over at B&B yacht design, Progressive Epoxy Products, etc. all sell much cheaper than the major brand formulations. They all spec out within a few percent of the major player's just cheaper. Smooth-On is $70 a gallon with a 5 gallon purchase, which is cheaper, but you can get this price below $60 is you look around.
     
  3. BrettinVA
    Joined: Nov 2016
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    Location: Suffolk VA

    BrettinVA Junior Member

    Thanks for your reply. My price at my composites supplier will probably work out to $60 for Smooth-on. They don't carry any of the other cheaper brands and I don't think any other local places do so I'd have to order online. Smooth-on doesn't really seem to market towards the marine industry so I was curious about them. Do you have a preference when it comes to the cheaper epoxies?
     
  4. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    I have precise specifications:
    - Not too rigid, something around 5-6% elongation. Too rigid resins will have micro fissures, a plague happily cured long time ago by the epoxy marine brands.
    - Good tolerance mix ratios. The easiest 2 to 1. We are not in laboratories but in a shipyard. A +/- 10% tolerance can save your day, but it's easy to get the 1 % with a custom roman style weight balance which can be made with a few pieces of wood or aluminium and a 2 bucks ball bearing. Volume pumps can be very imprecise for big volumes unless you pay the price.
    - Several hardeners. Ultra fast, normal, slow or tropical. Hardeners must be totally compatible thus can be mixed to adjust the time of curing. A very practical feature.
    - Good resistance to ultra violets.
    - Good thinness and good wetting. About 1000 centipoises. Never dilute a epoxy resin with a solvent. It's better to start with a thin resin and adjust with small quantities of colloidal silica if it runs to easily. A thin resin accepts the additives and mixes well. Wets the triaxials like breeze, et controls the ratios resin/fiber.
    - No fish eye...Fish eye is the horror.
    - Easiness of sanding. A resin that clogs the sanding paper in the minute is an expensive plague. I'm a big fan of pneumatic sanders and wet sanding. No dust, twice the speed...
    - Minimal blushing
    - Maximal resistance to heat deflection. I have seen a small tri ruined by by a cheap resin which softened at too low temperatures. The tri was kept in a very hot tin shelter in the south of France, and was totally deformed by the creep of the resin. Also in Mexico the fairing ruined by the sun's heat on a dark hull.

    So I do not spend hours looking for the good resin, I use a specialized provider with good prices, a good catalog, and ready to counsel. I have been very happy with the resin 127 and its hardeners, their fillers and the fibers of Raka. Free advertisement...
    Resin price is not the most important criteria to choose a resin, and the cost of the resin is only a small percentage of the total cost of a boat, even a smal row skiff.
     
  5. BrettinVA
    Joined: Nov 2016
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    Location: Suffolk VA

    BrettinVA Junior Member

    PAR - I made it over to your web site and really enjoyed reading your Epoxy Tips and Tricks. I've done small repairs with epoxy but have spent most of the last 30 years using polyester resin because my background is in surfboards. Thanks for the help.
     
  6. BrettinVA
    Joined: Nov 2016
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    Location: Suffolk VA

    BrettinVA Junior Member

    Just to follow up with anyone interested. Working with the Smooth-On Epoxamite 102 has been easy and it's performing as good as I could ask. It sands easier than I expected and bulks up good using 3M glass bubbles for filler. The viscosity gets thick in cold weather and curing time is delayed but as long as the shop is 60F or better it seems to do ok.
     
  7. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Thanks for the good news. That lightens the day.
     

  8. BrettinVA
    Joined: Nov 2016
    Posts: 32
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    Location: Suffolk VA

    BrettinVA Junior Member

    It took 4 gallons total (64oz mixed with glass bubbles) to bed, level and glass the deck of this 16' skiff with one layer of 1708 over 1/2 marine ply.
     

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