surface coating for steel laminating table

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Phil Locker, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Phil Locker
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Phil Locker Junior Member

    We've got a large steel table (8'x20') that we just had the mill scale sandblasted off of. Now we've got a clean but pitted surface that we'd like to coat. Ideally the coating will bond well to steel, be hard and scratch resistant, and be self levelling.

    Any suggestions beyond the clear "Table & Bartop" epoxy systems?

    Thx
    Phil
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The epoxy for poolsides and floors is more resistant than the bartop.
     
  3. Phil Locker
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    Phil Locker Junior Member

    Really? Just the Home Depot 2-part stuff, or is there better?
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Maybe you should define your needs a little better, as most commonly available epoxy formulation may have some issues for you. It'll stick really well, but if you place hot items on it you can deform the surface, as well as other concerns. What will this table be used for (worst case)?
     
  5. Phil Locker
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    Phil Locker Junior Member

    Its simply a large steel laminating table for infusing flat panels etc.

    My supplier has recommended we simply shoot it with Duratec VE then release coat it.
     
  6. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I used to sandblast bulk storage tanks at Standard Oil tank farms. If we didn't get a primer on the blasted metal within a few hours, we had to blast it again. You are putting the cart before the horse. Once you figure out the system to use, you might do well to re-blast the steel.
     
  7. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Be specially carefull with this steel laminating table specially laminating large flat panels. The panels curl when released.

    During the curing process of the laminate, the resin exotherm or release heat. The resin has to reach a certain temperature in order to cure properly. No problem on the topside but on the bottom side where it contacts the steel, heat is "robbed" off resulting in improperly cured bottom side. If you have a Barcoll hardness tester, you can easily confirm this by taking hardness measurement on the topside and bottom side.

    This unevenly cured laminate can bow up or curve, resulting in a not so perfect flat panel. There is no way you can force the cured laminate to become flat again.

    The only remedy is to preheat the mold. It is common practice to have preheaters on steel molds. Another way is to insulate the laminate from the steel mold. Use the steel as a base but use high insulation value material in between.

    I have used flat glass, melamine board, plastic, plywood laminated with glass and did not have any problem.
     
  8. Phil Locker
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    Phil Locker Junior Member

    I should clarify that we are not new to laminating on steel tables - we have two other tables in the shop, each 8' x 16', and last year did about 700 large foam cored infused panels on contract. Those tables were sandblasted to a finer finish, then simply sealed and waxed. No issues. Matt finish on the panels, but that's what the customer wanted.

    The table in question has too coarse a finish on it after sandblasting... perhaps the mill scale was worse. At any rate, we've decided this one needs a finer finish than just the blasted bare steel, so we're looking for a good coating to apply.
     
  9. Phil Locker
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    Phil Locker Junior Member

    We've also used teflon adhesive films on the tables, but the seams were not acceptable and they did not wear well over time.
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Block it up level and flood coat with epoxy.
     
  11. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    every one will have a differant story for sure !!

    Only thing i would use is as a finish would be Duratech !!
    I have worked on a few benchs 20mtrs long x 4.5mtrs wide and we made all kinds thing all the time on it!!!, that surface was a epoxy and had nothing but problems with it from day one !!
    Had a bench on wheels in korea 6 sheets 3 long 2 wide all tongue and grooved edgesepoxy glued together, top surface flood coated it with epoxy and left outside in the sun during each day for a week ,sanded to a beauitfull shiney surface and eveything stuck after 6 waxes and a coat of release PVA !!!! so used a two pot paint over the top and a month later after a couple of panels that did not want to come off we had to duratech it after that was perfect every time so my lesson is epoxy as a finished coat on a work bench you could have problems !!!
    I went to another glass shop and they had a steel work bench and had use 2 pot reaction laquares and it was really nice but had to be carefull with thick glass and the heat build up
    A friend had a full table made from a full one 15mm thich sheet of glass from an insurance job for a commercial building it was the ultimate but had to have a really good base under it .
    so durateck or glass for sure .
    Have heard of guys using 6mm thick aluminium sanded and polished but had problems with black coming off even after waxes and pva so it got painted with two pot problem solved .
    thats my story !! :p
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It's assumed an epoxy coating will be painted or other wise protected. The flood coat makes a dead nuts level surface that's easy to fair, the paint a sacrificial coating that can be easily renewed if necessary.
     
  13. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    One thing about a nice bench it has to be looked after no cutting ,only clean soft shoes or socks and hammers and wedges or out completely ,nothing metal comes near at all , some woods and some plastics ok but still can scratch !!!!!:eek:.
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I use a good quality of LPU for the paint, for it's hardness and durability.
     

  15. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    jonr Senior Member

    Maybe cover it with sheets of UHMW PE.
     
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