Spider Cracks: The Guide

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Spider Cracks are a thorn in many boaters side. They seem to appear out of nowhere, and for no reason. Fixing them can involve more than just slapping on some gelcoat, however, and that is where we come in!

The first step needs to be ensuring that your spider cracks are just that, and not a sign of a soggy core, or a broken support. If the underside looks solid, and the surface is steady, then a spider crack is just a spider crack.

For properly fixing a spider crack, you will want to open the cracks to properly fill them. Usually, the easiest way to do that is with a Dremel. Once you open the cracks to a good size, you can lightly sand the surface and wash it down with soap and water, or Acetone to get the surface clean.

From there, you will want some Gelcoat Putty. Gelcoat putty is sold in many sizes, and only requires you mix in a 1-1/2% ratio of MEK-P Catalyst. Once mixed properly, you can use a putty knife to work the putty in the cracks. Once dry, you will sand to a nice, smooth surface and you are ready for the last part.

Now that you have a nice, smooth surface, you probably notice your white patch is still, well, white. Now you want to apply some gelcoat over the top to cover your patch. We can match gelcoat to a sample you provide, or you can check out the stock colors we have. We even have a brushable gelcoat that just requires you to brush it on and be done.

So, there you have it! Your patch is done, and that pesky spider crack is gone, and your boat is good as new! If you have any questions, you can call our technicians or comment in the section below. We are here to help!

5 Key Points on Laminating Epoxy Resin

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. 125463There 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.

 

An Intro to Liquid Urethane Foam

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Our Liquid Urethane Foam is a two-component Isocyanate/Polyol base, with a pour-in-place system. The urethane apparatus is available in 3 separate density formulations by weight per cubic foot, which is displayed below:

  1.  2 quarts of 2 lb. foam will cover 2 cubic ft.
  2.  2 quarts of 4 lb. foam will cover 1 cubic ft.
  3.  2 quarts of 8 lb. foam will cover 1/2 cubic ft.

*Note: The 2 lb. foam expands the most whereas the 4 lb. & 8 lb. foam expands less.

One can discover the different categories for the use of liquid urethane foam:

  • Marine floatation
  • Art
  • Sculpting
  • Taxidermy
  • Prototyping
  • Mold Making
  • Decorative and Architecture
  • Millwork Pieces

When working with the foam, you will find: it’s resistance to mildew, mold, and solvent. The product also has impeccable durability attributable to it’s fantastic comprehensive strength. WOW! There is certainly a plethora of different purposes for Liquid Urethane Foam, and in addition to that; FGCI receives a number of questions concerning whether or not resin can be applied on top of the foam… We would like to mention that certain types of foam possess different temperature variations which can affect the application process, thus the system must be mixed correctly. If one were to mix in an excess amount of activator, the foam will become soft and spongy.   For more information on how to apply resin to foam, click here: Can I Apply Resin to Foam

Directions for General Small Quantity Use:foam

Step 1: Mix equal parts Base and Activator (1:1 by volume) or mix by weight (approx. 112 parts A-Side: Base to approx. 100 parts of B-Side: Activator).

Step 2: Mixing and metering equipment must accommodate the 1:1 by volume mix ratio.

Step 3: Mix thoroughly using a stir stick or a mechanical mixer. Please refer to Typical Reaction Profiles of Liquid Foam Chart for mix times.

Step 4: Pour immediately after mixing.

Step 5: Allow cooling between pouring.

*Directions may vary by application. For technical support and assistance with critical applications or large pours, please feel free to contact Customer Service at 1-800-272-7890.

 

Now That’s an Infusion!

At Fiberglass Coatings, Inc. we are thrilled to have brought our infusion seminar to the community, with an end result of the event being positively welcomed.

“We were there yesterday. Definitely recommend.” – @Nia_Auto_Design via Instagram

“Thank you guys for the invite. Was a great experience and got some insight on a few details to things better on the work.” – @mrcarbonfibermiami via Instagram

 

4_3_18ufgci3The University of FGCI partnered with Composites Consulting Group (CCG) and Diab to introduce the fundamentals of infusion. To begin the seminar, the definition of infusion; a specific technique that uses vacuum pressure to pervade or direct resin into laminate, was discussed.

 

4_3_18ufgci10As we highlighted key points in the infusion theory, we visited the sandwich concept; which consist of two layers, a top and bottom with a thick core. This learning material soon tied in with Darcy’s Law in correlation to the 5 variables of control fill time.

 

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In continuation with the lecture, appropriate consumables and equipment were noted in order to conduct proper vacuum bagging for infusion.

 

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In closing, with help from the University of FGCI, attendees performed a hands-on infusion demonstration where each individual was guided to establish the best method of resin infusion.

 

FiberGlass Coatings, Inc. would like to thank everyone who were in attendance. The seminar was an experience that everyone will be able to gain and implement on their next D.I.Y or professional work.

 

 

To view photos from the seminar, click here: https://business.facebook.com/pg/FiberglassCoatings/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2005223812825511

Product Spotlight: Duratec High Gloss Additive

123754-lrgAt Fiberglass Coatings, we have all the tools, materials and knowledge to help you with your job, whether it being a large commercial job, or just doing a project around the house. With that in mind, we are spotlighting a product we have had around for a long time, but not everyone knows about; Duratec High Gloss Additive.

This gelcoat additive is useful for several different reasons. The first, when adding this as a 50/50 mixture will not only produce a high-gloss, paint-like finish, but it will also thin the gelcoat without adding a yellow tint, like Styrene can do. This is why we recommend this product for thinning while spraying. In the process of adding this additive, you will not need to add Sanding Aid, as this would be the final coat. The only difference is that you will want to wait a full 24 hours before buffing to ensure the gelcoat has fully cured. In order to get a hi-gloss finish, 600 grit paper or higher, will be needed to sand, then buff with Aqua Buff 2000 Compound.

Another benefit of this product is eliminating porosity in tooling gelcoat. When you add this product as a 25% mixture, not only will it add an extra gloss to your tooling gelcoat, it will eliminate the porous surface by over 20 percent, allowing the surface to be waxed easier, and your part to pulled with less effort.

Check out the Tech Data Sheet HERE.

If you have any questions, be sure to contact us and we will be happy to help!