One of the biggest problems customers face in the dead of summer is the heat. Gelcoat and resin are very sensitive to heat. The hotter the work environment, the quicker the work time, and conversely, the cooler the work environment, the longer the work time, so with that being said, we have a few tips to beat the heat!
- Cool down the gelcoat or resin. By refrigerating the product, down to about 65 degrees, you can get up to 15 minutes of working time with the product. It’s not hours, but it’s way better than 2 or 3 minutes.
- Cool the mold down by having fans on the mold, especially the back-side, to get a bit more working time.
- Epoxies are very sensitive to temperature changes. By cooling down epoxy systems, they become thicker, but as they heat up, they become thinner and if you are laminating, especially vertically, then thinner is not your friend. By keeping the product the same temperature, you will get a consistent flow.
- If you are able to cool down your work area, be mindful of the humidity. Remember, humidity is not your friend, so make sure the mold and the surrounding area is nice and dry before spraying.
- Make small batches of gelcoat or resin at a time and catalyze at 1-1/2 percent on gelcoats and polyester resins (still 2% on Vinylesters) to avoid the material getting any hotter than it already is.