Imagine sitting on a secluded beach with an ice cold beverage, listening to the waves crash on shore, and the birds chirping in the palm trees. Sounds relaxing? The summer months can be a perfect time for a vacation, but when working on a project, the heat can be a big problem. Here are some helpful tips on how to work with brushable gelcoat during the hot summer season.
- Cooling the gelcoat, by refrigerating the product to around 65 degrees, will give you up to 15 minutes of working time.
- Humidity can be another factor, so, make sure the mold and surrounding area is dry before applying your brushable gelcoat.
- Make small batches of gelcoat at a time and catalyze at 1 ½ % to avoid the material from getting hotter. When spraying the gelcoat, make sure you catalyze at 2 %. If you choose to use Duratec, please note, the product must be cool as well.
- If you seek to roll on the gelcoat, the product should be applied evenly at 14 mil thick.
- Do not apply gelcoat in direct sunlight.
Many FGCI customers and subscribers have asked questions that were related to a better understanding of Carbon Fiber. So, we sat down with our technician, Pat Hery, and informed him of the common questions, and we must say, the responses were quite interesting!
What are the common uses for carbon fiber?
There are many common uses for carbon fiber such as golf clubs, bicycles, aircrafts, automotive, iPhone cases. But, we usually see carbon fiber used as aesthetics, like car parts, hoods and speaker boxes. Unless used for race car or boats were speed is the demand.
What are the advantages of using carbon fiber?
The advantage is, it has the same thickness compared to steel. And as far as stiffness and strength the comparison will require more fiberglass to get the same yield.
What is the prep method before the application process?
The method depends solely on the mold or if they are overlaying a part. Using epoxy or Vinylester can also be a determining factor. Now let’s say they decide to use epoxy, then, they need to determine if the epoxy is high temp due to the fact that most epoxies will soften up in Florida or in an area that is hot. If they are overlaying a part or making a one-off, they will laminate the carbon, put an extra coat of resin, sand with a 320 and apply an automotive clear.
What are the different ways to apply?
The different methods to apply carbon fiber depend on the surface area one is trying to go over. Carbon Fiber doesn’t like anything but a general curve. When it comes to the application, most will spray super 3M 77 so once the carbon is put in place, it won’t move when doing a thorough wet out of the carbon.
Does the thickness of the carbon matter?
When it comes to thickness of the carbon, this will be important as it can dictate the maximum strength you are looking for. Lastly, the thickness of the layup will depend on what you are trying to achieve.
We discussed Laminating Epoxy and its 5 great key points about the product such as product comparisons, ratio, cure time, and activator results. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our blog, (Click Here ).
Now, let’s change gears slightly and talk about Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy. You may have noticed the Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy’s first appearance looks similar to Table Top Epoxy and after the cure process, both products obtain a clear result. With the noticeable similarities, we assure you there are also differences that make them stand out. For one, Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy works great for surfboards and casting because of it’s 2:1 ratio. In contrast, Table Top Epoxy requires a 1:1, thin pours of no more than 1/4 of an inch. This allows a perfect coating application not casting. Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy provides a clear gloss surface without the need to sand or buff. How is this possible? The results may sound similar to the Table Top Epoxy, however, the Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy cures to an almost clear finish all due to its zero UV additives. Because the product does not consist of any UV additives, your project will need to be clear coated after it has set up. With its 100% solids epoxy resin system, this product is designed for both laminating, casting and coating applications. It has a great easy wet out with a moderate gel time of 20 – 30 minutes at room temperature in a 1/2 pound mass.
Tip: Cure may be accelerated by mild heat such as lamps or tunnel ovens.
We can guess that you have used Epoxy before, if not, more than likely you have seen furniture, an object or project with epoxy on it. Now, Epoxy is not the same as Polyester and Vinylester due to its chemical properties. Another difference is, Polyester and Vinylester uses the same hardener and as a result, the appearance between the two are similar, while epoxy tends to have a slight yellow or amber appearance. There are many different categories of epoxy, so today we will highlight one of them; laminating epoxy.
1) The laminating system cures to a high strength moisture resistant plastic, with good physical properties.
2) The ratio is well suited for use with high-solids marine, maintenance coating and bonding agents.
3) The cure time is three days in the sun or a week if it is not. Set time changes with activator and film thickness.
4) If there is an excessive amount of activator applied , the laminating epoxy will be soft and rubbery. In contrast, if there is not enough activator, the epoxy will not cure hard.
5) The epoxy cures faster in high temperatures in thick layer applications.
Please note: additional recoating of this material is thoroughly cured. If the product has cured hard and tack-free, a light sanding and solvent wash is advisable before recoating.