Removing contact adhesive

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Steve W, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I have bought a boat with a lot of that foam backed vinyl hull liner material which was glued to the fiberglass hull with contact adhesive. Any builder who uses this material should be strung up, the foam turns to dust and it all falls down. So ive ripped it all out and am left with the task of removing the adhesive. Im sure others here have been faced with the same and am hoping, found some miracle method of removing it and are wiling to share it. I would like to paint some of the areas, other areas i will probably just replace with a fabric without foam like automotive carpet in which case i wont need to remove the adhesive.

    Steve.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Sanding is the only way I know of removing it.
     
  3. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    I have tried different nasty chemicals, but not much help from that side. The adhesive turns into a sticky mess. As the surface will very probably be a bit bumpy, any solution will be a lot of work.

    As Gonzo said, rig yourself up with a sander of choice, attach a vacuum cleaner, and spend a couple of hours (days, if the area is large) sanding the stuff. Grit 40 worked for me. Use a large grinder to get rid of most of the stuff, and a smaller one to clean out the lows. Too much heat and the stuff melts (sort off), move to another spot and only come back to the melted spot when the temp went down again (couple of minutes mostly).

    Good luck.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Toluene or xylene will cut it pretty good, though it takes quite a bit and it will be a gooey mess as it comes off. There are a few home made concoctions that's I've made that will have slightly more success, but you don't want to be fooling around with these without a respirator. Once the bulk is removed, sand the surface clean.
     
  5. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Try paint stripper. There are strippers that remove all kinds of coatings, some that are very safe and some that use a peel-off cover (or make your own from plastic, etc.),that allows the stripper to stay wet (effective) longer.
     
  6. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    With aggressive solvents like toluene you turn the dry brown stuff into adhesive again for a few minutes, making the mess even worse.

    I had the same problem, my boat cabin was covered with foam backed nylon fur that kept coming down. The only thing that marginally worked in a small area was a spray can with a solvent to remove labels and decals, but tedious and far to expensive for this purpose. The solvent smelled like citric acid.

    I removed the dust with a wire brush and a vacuum cleaner, sanded the bumpy parts with 40 grit and used contact adhesive to attach new fabric to the ceiling. The other surfaces I did with an acrylic dispersion adhesive for styrofoam; it didn't work for the ceiling because it didn't dry fast enough.
     
  7. variverrunner
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    variverrunner Junior Member

    Steve W,

    Have you tried Goo Gone? Its available at all hardware and big box stores.

    I have used it in similar situations with good results. I use clean cheese cloth as a rag.


    Allan
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If you look at the label on "Goof Off" or the other similar products, the primary ingredients are toluene or xylene. Both of these chemicals are relatively modest solvents, particularity compared to other commonly available stuff, such as acetone or MEK, which have higher flash rates and are much harsher.

    There are some citrus based cleaners that can be an option, which is what CDK is probably indicating. I don't know of any good ones off the top of my head, but they are usually in the same location as the more traditional chemicals, offered as biodegradable alternatives.
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Get off as much as you reasonably can with coarse sanding, wire brushing, vacuuming. A pressure washer works well if the situation permits. Sharpened paint scrapers work well and take the place of sanding in a lot of fiberglass situations.

    Being as you're in a confined space inside the boat working overhead, using chemicals is no fun, fiberglass dust is no fun. Where they glue that stuff on is usually raw fiberglass, with no gelcoat, so what I do (where you are going to paint) is get the major lumps and junk off and then paint it. I usually use latex porch and floor enamel. What that does is solidify the rubbery lumps of contact cement and carpet fur that doesn't normally sand easily. Once the paint has solidified it all, it is much easier to sand. So then sand with a coarse paper like 80 grit and wire brush it a little and then clean and paint a second coat. That's usually good enough, otherwise you can repeat with finer paper and put on a third coat.
     
  10. variverrunner
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    variverrunner Junior Member

    Steve

    Check this googone.com . It is petro and citrus.


    Allan
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    GooGone is 90% distillates and 10% nice smelling citrus goo. Now, I wonder which does the most work in this mixture.
     
  12. variverrunner
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    variverrunner Junior Member

    Goo Gone

    PAR,

    Have you ever tried it? To me, if it works it works. I wear nitrile gloves when I use it.

    It is a lot less nasty than lacquer thinner or acetone.



    Allan
     
  13. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    sometimes, depending on the adhesive, apply some heat from a heat gun will soften it enough to allow you kind of rub or roll it off the surface with a plastic scraper.

    I had bought a car cheap that the previous owner's children had kind of turned in to an "art car" by covering it with stickers and other decorations. I tried all kind so solvents, some quite costly, they only made it goopy and not any less sticky. The heat gun allowed it to be scraped off easy with a plastic scraper without harming the paint. I would not recommend a torch with a flame, but that would work too, the heat gun allows you to control the temperature better.
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Alan, no one is suggesting harsh chemicals, like acetone and yes, I'm familiar with these types of products. The citrus is there to make you feel good about using the petroleum distillates. There are actual citrus based solvents that work well too (no petrol solvents).

    With rubber cement and similar adhesives, what works fairly well is more of the same. I have a large rubber cement block (2" square by 6" long) that I use to clean belt sander belts. It works as an eraser on many things and possably will do a fair job on this as well. Most hardware stores sell them attached to a paint stirring stick most times. Rub it on the surface and the glue balls up and drops off. I used it on an automotive headliner to clean the old board back of residue, before gluing new fabric down.
     

  15. sabahcat
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    sabahcat Senior Member

    +1 and have used these myself
    I was also two stroke petrol, not sure what the addition of 2 stroke oil is supposed to do
     
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