The AWLGRIP Knowledge challenge

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by grady, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. fishweed
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    fishweed Junior Member

    airless or air?

    what is a good airless to use with awlgrip topcoats?which is best airless or air
     
  2. singleprop
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    singleprop Junior Member

    imron versus Awlgrip

    Some people wonder what differences there are between Awlgrip and Imron. This little "copy and paste" from a Sailnet discussion can clarify a little (I have not read all of this thread yet so don't know if this discussion has been covered).

    """Both Imron and Awlgrip can be touched up and repaired by an experienced professional. The key word there is experienced!

    There are, however, significant differences between these two linear polyurethane (LPU) paints. Both Imron and Awlgrip happen to be the best-known examples of the two main classes of LPU coatings but they are not he only ones. There are two basic types of LPU's acrylic polyurethanes (Imron, Awlcraft 2000, Interspray 800, PPG Concept, Sikkens Yachtcryl) and the polyester polyurethanes (Awlgrip, Interspray 900, Sterling, etc.) Both acrylic and polyester LPU coatings produce a beautiful wet-look shine that, with proper care, will last a full five or six years before any noticeable difference appears. The main difference is the polyester LPU yields a harder, more weather- and UV-resistant finish so your boat stays glossy longer, with less work, with Awlgrip than with Imron. This is the claim any way!

    Hatteras Yachts used Imron for years and years with very good results, this is why I say, "this is the claim".. If I'm not mistaken they have now switched to using Alwcraft 2000 which is very similar to Imron just made by Akzo and not Dupont..

    The problem with the polyester LPU's, like Awlgrip and Sterling, is that when they cure a thin hard surface is formed like a built in clear coat. This becomes a problem when and if you try to buff Awlgrip or a polyester LPU. Most people don't realize it but are actually only buffing this very thin surface layer made up of mostly the clear solids. Picture oil and water. As you shake the bottle they almost form together but if you let it sit the oil rises to the surface. This, in a sense, is what Alwgrip cures like with the clear solids rising to the surface to protect the pigment layer. It's really more complicated than that but it's about as easy as I can explain it. In most instances, when buffing Awlgrip, you will burn through this thin outer layer quite quickly using compounds & polishes. Once you've done that you'll be a slave to the Awlgrip until it's worn away or re-painted.

    We've all seen Awlgrip that's been chaffed by a fender or a winter cover. This chafing has basically worn through the "clear solids" and has exposed the base layer of the paint leaving it unprotected from the sun.

    Many smaller boat shops recommend and use the acrylic LPU's because they are a lot easier to work with. An acrylic LPU, like Imron or Alwcraft 2000, dries faster, and because it’s a solid paint, it’s easier to perform the buffing required to force a smooth shine onto a mediocre spray job full of dust and dull areas. We did an after the fact buff job on Tim's Imron (the red boat above) and I can tell you this paint is plenty hard! Finesse It II and Chroma 1500 barely touched it until after we had buffed it with Superduty Rubbing Compound and a foam "polishing grade pad".

    Awlgrip is quite unforgiving and it’s a lot harder to get good results in marginal painting conditions with but it purportedly lasts longer. Both types, acrylic and polyester LPU's, can be repaired by spraying a patch or brush touch-up and then wet sanding and buffing to blend it with the surrounding finish. Special blending additives help as well as experience.

    One of the biggest problems in repair work is color matching and that's where Awlgrip shines. Alwgrip reportedly, I say reportedly because of the red boat above, has better fade resistance to the acrylic LPU's and an Awlgrip hull color stays stable and fade-free longer than an acrylic. How much longer I don't know but these are the claims.. The problem then becomes how good is your repair guy at feathering an Awlgrip job vs. the much easier feathering of a acrylic LPU like Imron. I'll take an acrylic LPU over a polyester LPU for just the ease of repair any day.

    Tim's boat had some definite ghosting where the old name was but hell it's fire engine red, the color that fades easiest, and even Awlgrip would have ghosting at that age.


    The take away here is to know that Awlgrip should not be buffed unless it's a last resort and Imron or Awlcraft 2000 can be polished but don't over do it because you only have 2.5 - 3 mils to play with...""""
     
  3. lymanwhite
    Joined: May 2009
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    lymanwhite Junior Member

    Non Skid areas

    I was working a layup and noticed that the pattern left by the peel ply was not too bad for non skid areas, although not an open enough weave to the cloth.
    I was thnking of rolling on a clear LPU with some non skid beads in it, then rolling on a layer of some material like nylon peel ply, then pulling the peel ply off either after the kick like with epoxy, or during the kick.
    anyone had experience with this technique, or another like it?
     
  4. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    My best experience with non skid patterns was from putting the non skid material in a clean and dry spray gun, it is then sprayed onto previously prepared and masked in fineline taped surrounds. The base paint is rolled or brushed on, the area (still very wet) is then sprayed dry with the non skid material.

    The end result is near perfect, I have tried all other known methods, and the dry spray method definately gives the most even and well distributed result.
     
  5. lymanwhite
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    lymanwhite Junior Member

    Good idea. I'm trying to understand what you mean by 'is then sprayed dry with the non skid material.' Can you expand on this?
     
  6. lymanwhite
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    lymanwhite Junior Member

    'Many smaller boat shops recommend and use the acrylic LPU's because they are a lot easier to work with. An acrylic LPU, like Imron or Alwcraft 2000, dries faster, and because it’s a solid paint, it’s easier to perform the buffing required to force a smooth shine onto a mediocre spray job full of dust and dull areas. We did an after the fact buff job on Tim's Imron (the red boat above) and I can tell you this paint is plenty hard! Finesse It II and Chroma 1500 barely touched it until after we had buffed it with Superduty Rubbing Compound and a foam "polishing grade pad".'

    I agree, a good modern bridge between the older Awlgrip world and the automotive finishes. I wonder if one could employ the base coat / clear coat auto system, by using some great looking auto color, with a good clear but thick acrylic LPU? The auto systems I'm used to use an LPU clear coat, but it goes on pretty thin.
     
  7. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    'is then sprayed dry with the non skid material.'

    sorry for not being more descriptive.

    The non skid particles are put into the dry and clean spray gun, they are in fact sprayed from the gun just as paint would be sprayed. There is no liquid in the gun, simply the dry powdered non skid material. It sprays exactly the same as paint would be sprayed, the trigger controls the volume sprayed the same. Not much air pressure is required, so adjust the pressure and volume from the air screw at the hose connector to the spray gun.
     
  8. Jimbo1490
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Imron (old automotive/fleet Imron, now called 'Imron 5.0') is a 'conventional' polyurethane, not a 'linear' polyurethane. Furthermore it is not an 'acrylic' polyurethane. It starts out as a polyurethane resin in liquid form. The catalyst cross-links the liquid resin to form a solid polyurethane coating.

    Awl-Grip, Jet-Glo and Sterling (and a couple of others) are actually 'polyester' urethanes because they start out as polyester resin (yes, the same stuff) which is cross-linked to form a poly(ester)urethane solid coating.

    Acrylic urethanes, like Awl-Craft, Awl-Grip 2000 and several others start out as acrylic resin.

    The Perfect-It 300 and especially the 'Perfect-It 3000 Extra Cut" are the buffing compounds for the polyester urethanes. These will take out 1200 grit and up in one pass with a white wool pad. They are pricey at $50 a qt and are also scheduled for deletion from the 3M product line.

    Jimbo
     
  9. lymanwhite
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    lymanwhite Junior Member

    Thanks Landlubber I've almost got it. But, tell me about how much build up you do of the sprayed particles onto the still wet painted surface. Are you lightly dusting, or thoroughly covering to remove excess later? Also, do you top coat the non skid particles to bind them in at all? Thanks for this technique, as it sounds like a good one.
     
  10. lymanwhite
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    lymanwhite Junior Member

    Thanks for filling these gaps. I could use a basic understanding of 'linear' with regard to the catalyst and linking up.
    Polyester resin is known to allow moisture to sponge into the composite. I wonder which of these: conventional polyurethane, acrylic polyurethane, linear polyester urethane has the best water seal, and which is most compatible with epoxy.
    One time a guy gave me an interesting view of the paint world when a group were discussing the tradeoffs of car paint systems (PPG Deltron) vs. Awlgrip for high performance trailer boats. His comment was Awlgrip has X amount of
    R&D time. The auto industry has maybe 1000 times the R&D that Awlgrip, etc. has. What product do you think is more appropriate for the boats we are building? This was about 12 years ago, before there was much use of automotive paint systems (base coat / clear coat) in use.
     
  11. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Non skid, the gun sprays the desired amount of particles, not overloaded, just enough to cover the area as required. The particles are then painted over after the base coat has gone off.

    Remove the fine line then asap
     
  12. jimflorida109
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    jimflorida109 New Member

    Hi all,

    Want to thank Jimbo and Grady specifically, and all the rest for this thread. I asked in a different thread about air respirators, educated myself as best I could.

    I know that most of you are pros and do this for a living, but I thought I'd post my experiences for the "amateur" boat guy.

    As far as my setup for those who want to spray:

    I used a 15 gallon DeWalt compressor rated at 7 cfm at 40 psi, 7.5 cfm at 25psi. http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/tool_detail.asp?productID=15014.

    I used a Harbor Freight HVLP gun, model number 90977 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=90977 (it is stamped, "made in Taiwan", not China) , rated at 5.9 cfm at 29 psi, for both 545 primer and topcoat. The gun was set at 30 psi with the trigger pulled for the primer, and 35 psi with the trigger pulled for the topcoat. The tip was the tip that it came with-1.4mm.

    I used a dessicant filter inline right at the gun, coiled 10 feet of hose, zip tied it and put it in a 5 gallon bucket of cold water. The compressor is not oiled, so I didn't have to worry about oil in the air. The compressor turned on around 5-6 times for each pass of the hull. I worked fairly slowly, overlapping by 50%. My boat is only 22 feet long, so I guess a bigger boat and that size compressor would be pushing it. If I continuously emptied the gun, my little pump probably would not keep up. But as it was, it was perfectly adequate at the slow, steady pace I went. I experienced very little overspray.

    I used a 3m 6000 full face mask and new organic vapor cartridges changed out after 1 hour of use. I had absolutely no odor. I wore a Tyvek bunny suit, duct taped the sleeves to my gloves, the pant legs to my boots and wore the full mask. After a few minutes I forgot I was even wearing the mask.
     
  13. lymanwhite
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    lymanwhite Junior Member

    Sounds good. I'm doing restoration on a trimarran that will include painting the deck and the non skid areas. I've never tried this method and wanted to get it clear so I could. Thanks again!
     
  14. lymanwhite
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    lymanwhite Junior Member


  15. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Anyone have a list of the top paint companies in the world?

    Sprecifically suitable for boat applications.

    I am looking for a supplier in southern China, Guangzhou.
     
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