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Old 11-03-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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West Sytem and vinegar

Greetings,
Vinegar seems to be a good solvent for cleaning mixed, non polymerized West System (WS) epoxy from tools, spreaders etc. Can one thin mixed WS with vinegar to lessen the viscosity prior to pouring said mixture into a cavity for example or should acetone be used instead?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
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That is a great question!

And one I am eager to hear the answer to.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Rt

I have built myself 3 boats in wood epoxy. I have never heard about that. Unless it is immediately after you use the object that you want to clean. Vinegar is acetic acid and epoxy is an organic polymer.
OH H OH
/ | /
R=O H-C-C=O
|
H (Structure of acetic acid)

Yes, to pour use only acetone or a specific thinner for epoxy. Once the epoxy is set, it is hard to dissolve it.
Then again, that's only my opinion. I did not discover it. I just used it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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Another thing you can use to clean is dehidrated alchool, the same that goes in cars tanks as fuel.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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RTF: Somewhere in the archives there was a discussion regarding CPES and West System Epoxies and thinning (if I remember), I think, a reference was made about thinning West System with MEK for greater penetration into wood similar to CEPS.

I did flipped through the Gougeon Brothers book and here's what they said: "Don't thin West System epoxy with solvents because doing this may compromise the moisture resistance and physical properties of the epoxy". Hope this helps.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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West System is just a brand name
Do you call all Hamburgers McDonalds?

Epoxy resin is what you mean
Denatured alcohol or methylated spirits is what is used to thin epoxy, but many would suggest that it does weaken the resin.
Saying that, I have used it for my first coat on ply especialy if it is going into a never to be seen again part of a boat and I also add a bit of biocide in the mix as well, followed up with several coats of unadulterated epoxy.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:15 AM   #7
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Git Rot and similar products use alcohol to thin the resin, their trick is to use more hardener to assure a cure.

The alcohol drags the epoxy into the wet wood (miscable?) and with more hardener it all cures solid.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Git Rot and similar products use alcohol to thin the resin, their trick is to use more hardener to assure a cure.

The alcohol drags the epoxy into the wet wood (miscable?) and with more hardener it all cures solid.
More hardener for epoxy resin?
Are you sure about that?
Got a link that says so because that was always the ultimate no no as far as I was concerned?
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:22 PM   #9
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always best to ask the distributer or manufacturer as all epoxies for sale are different variations of just a few basic formulas made by a few major chemical companies.

there are 2 schools of thought out there as far as thinning..it can be done..it can't be done...

What I have learned in life is usually the truth is somewhere in between.

Changing basic mixing instructions usually starts changing the performance specs pretty quickly...however...if you aren't looking for any of the maximum performance specs like adhesive qualities...then you can do a lot to it and it may still harden such as in a wood rot treatment...but some of it's qualities may be substantially degraded.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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I have had some luck in getting West system epoxy to penetrate by lightly applying heat to surface after application. I believe West recommends vinegar and/or alcohol for clean up, as opposed to acetone; particularly on the skin.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:18 PM   #11
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I have had some luck in getting West system epoxy to penetrate by lightly applying heat to surface after application.
In Australia where the temp today is 28 deg C, the heat from those temps alone causes outgassing on timber if you are not careful.
I do resin coating and glassing as the day cools so the timber cells pull resin in, not push it out which is what happens when you heat up the substrate.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:15 AM   #12
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In Australia where the temp today is 28 deg C, the heat from those temps alone causes outgassing on timber if you are not careful.
I do resin coating and glassing as the day cools so the timber cells pull resin in, not push it out which is what happens when you heat up the substrate.
True enough...most epoxies with thin a bit as they start their thermal reaction...when using thickened epoxy...sometimes that is difficult to control without additional heat.
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