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Old 04-10-2014, 10:53 PM   #1
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Resin brand reviews

Its been a while since I've done much f'glass work that really mattered and back then my Dad was in charge of all those things like selection of materiel. All I can remember was plain white 55 gal drums of resin, not much marking other than a haz-mat sticker.
I did some swim platform work while the boat was on the yard at the last minute while awaiting some unforeseen machine work to be done. My local supply house only had West System polyester resin in stock, so that is what I used. Luckily the platform is completely above the waterline and the repair was on the underside. But I now want to go ahead and get a gallon or two to keep on hand for various ideas I have planned for my diesel CJ7 project. So what brand resin do you guys use and why? I'm leaning towards more West System (5:1 mix) but going with epoxy this time, since I already have some 205 hardener. I'm curious about the MarPro (2:1 mix) and whatever else others are using. $100/gallon just for resin is not exactly cheap, esp if you are doing things the old fashioned way without a vacuum bagger whiz-bang mass production operation.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:17 PM   #2
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I've been a West System guy for a few years now. Most of my projects are pretty small, so I use the quart size resin and tape the hardner can to it. I love the 5:1 pumps from West. Typically I reuse the West brand plastic cups over and over- being careful not to scratch the inside surface. I typically "crack" the hardened mix apart to remove.
The other day at Ken's Hardware in Gulfport the counter guy showed me a product they carry that uses the 5:1 ratio. It has the fillers available and looked to be for most appearances the same product. Can't remember the name, but the company provided several other marine products along with this and is out of New Orleans. Cost was much less- so I plan to give them a try on my next round I purchase.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:50 PM   #3
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I used West to build my boat. 110 gallons of glue!!! I know that stuff well. But other local boatbuilders are using other brands (I can't remember the product names), they are are less expensive and work just fine.

I've never heard of anyone complain about poor quality epoxy resin from an established vendor. My guess is they are fairly similar. Some are lower viscosity and wet out faster, but drain off vertical structure. Gots to thicken those before wetting out...

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Old 04-11-2014, 01:28 AM   #4
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You might want to look into something with less volitols I think its some thing like Mass epoxy SX
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:18 AM   #5
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Only 2 or 3 companies actually MAKE epoxy resin , most store brands are simply repackaging of the resin and a few styles of hardener.

After long storage the hardener may die a slow death (5 years) , but the resin is usually fine.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:55 AM   #6
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I bought about 20 gal and all the supplies to redo my decks, flybridge, entire bottom several coats/60z cloth and lot's more.

Have used plenty of West over the years working for various outfits...this stuff is very similar but lots cheaper..works the same in my book. They also have a volume discount matrix and offer great tech support over the phone.

US Composites
Fiberglass , Epoxy , Composites, Carbon Fiber - U.S. Composites, Inc.

But shipping is the killer so just a couple gallons may be cheaper locally.

FF is correct that most (probably all) of these retailers specify a formulation and the materials are actually made by just a few chem corps in the US.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:47 AM   #7
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Greetings,
While West epoxies ARE good products I have had problems with amine blush on curing. I have used MAS epoxy with success and evidently no blush. This link is an ad BUT does explain this phenomenon. Amine Blush - Bad Things with some Marine Epoxy Resins
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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If it isn't a non-blush formulation, I don't use it. I've had excellent results from MAS products, which are non-blush and very low volatile.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:44 AM   #9
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Never heard of this "blush", but I do live in extraordinarily warm climes. I've always sanded and wiped before painting and usually wait quite a while before painting to make sure the glass is fully cured. I have also always used the fast cure hardeners---perhaps that has some effect?
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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Some of the distributers do sell non-blushing hardeners with their resins...and they do have their uses...but the distributers do recommend that amine based hardeners be used in some applications....

Necessary????...probably not for most amateur work but then again...if you know to expect a blush it's not really any big deal.

Here's from the link RT provided...

What does it all mean? It seems that very slow, glossy, low blush epoxies harden to
solids with lower moduli of elasticity (softer and more elastic) which allows for
deformation and better impact absorption without cracking. Faster setting, blushing
epoxies are generally far stiffer, harder as well as more brittle. At the extreme of this
spectrum lie high moduli epoxies which are never used for clear coating but are
unsurpassed in their strength. These epoxies are used in high tech, high strength
composites that are post-cured with heat.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twiisted71 View Post
Never heard of this "blush", but I do live in extraordinarily warm climes. . . . . . . .
Amine blush is a waxy surface layer that forms on some cured epoxies. Applying a new layer of epoxy without removing the blush produces "fish-eyes" in the fresh liquid because the surface is greasy. Oh, and you can't escape amine blush by living somewhere hot - no prizes for guessing how I know this!
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:35 PM   #12
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you can't escape amine blush by living somewhere hot !
I'd just read something about it being worse when temps were below a certain level (80-85*F IIRC) and slower cure hardeners allowing more time for it to rise to the surface. Again I think its neither here nor there for me since I'd not be guilty of trying to lay a new layer of glass atop a slick unsanded layer of glass.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:50 PM   #13
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It's really no big deal...a wet cloth wipes it right off...better if you can flood the surface or a warm water wash with a little soap...even better.

The biggest mistake is sanding and getting it down into groves before it is removed.

I epoxied a whole flybridge, all the main deck and the entire bottom of my boat with zero issues either in poor adhesion of the next layer or of painting when done....beside the hundreds of small epoxy projected through the years on a fleet of assistance towing boats.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:41 PM   #14
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Its amazing how off the rails my topics go. I don't really care if someone else wishes to install a center console straight down on top of slick, cured, "un-prepped" f'glass decking. I'm going to rough mine up and actually grind it down a little to make sure I get a good "bite" with the new glass as well as allow a little better surface evenness with the new layers of glass and the old deck.
Not that anyone gives a rat's buttocks about my method either but I:
Grind/rough up
vacuum/sweep off
wipe down with acetone
if a large job has significant vertical work I'll mix a small batch of resin and wet the entire work area and allow it to just get to the point it cooks off and lay my first layer of glass down, it helps to hold it into place. Subsequent layers are much easier to lay atop and keep in place this way. Though it results in a little waste you can also use clear packing tape to hold your first layer of glass in place on vertical surfaces.
I understand there are some resins that are thicker and work better for vertical projects, but all I ever have on hand is just plain old general purpose resin.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:37 AM   #15
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The Amine in the hardener is the reason so many folks get allergic to epoxy.

It can easily be removed with house hold dish soap and a good scrub brush.

Scrub BEFORE sanding , so the sanding dust doesnt get you.

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Old 04-12-2014, 10:46 PM   #16
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I have used many brands of epoxy and although the ratios and consistency vary they all do a good job. If you want to save some money try AeroMarine on line. They sell a 1-1/2 gallon system for about $120. This is a 2 to 1 mix and it works very well.
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