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.
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.
When a project calls for sanding, one must confirm the correct materials are being used. Reason being is due to the different sizing, backing and grit of the sandpaper. But, how can we identify what type of sandpaper is best? Subjected to the work needed for your project, grit size will come into play. Thus, we must make note that sandpaper is measured by its grit size while others are measured by both the grit and grade of the backing. When buying your sandpaper, check the item to confirm it states the pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) or the grit and size number. This will help when deciding which one is best for the project at hand.
Sandpaper Grit Sizing: If you are looking to remove a previous material such as gelcoat; begin sanding your surface with a 150 grit or lower. A low grit number determines the coarseness of the sandpaper which will give you the ability to remove materials and coatings. Sandpaper with a grit number in the 200’s and higher would be great for finishes such as buffing, polishing or the removal of small scratches. A high grit number is equivalent to how small the grains are which will allow you to smooth the surface.
Sandpaper Weight Grade: One may see grade letters ranging from A-E which represents the durability of the sandpaper, where E is the strongest. For example, (based on the figure above) the red Mirka Royal 40 grit disc would be ranked as the most durable, next the Mirka Bulldog 120 grit Gold, followed by the gray Mirka Bulldog 400 grit Gold .
Here is a great tip!
If you are looking to conduct a wet or dry sanding, the sandpaper coating must be waterproof. An abrasive that is waterproof will last you longer with end results you’re aiming for in a wet/dry process.
Here, at FiberGlass Coatings, Inc., you will find many items in stock. From epoxies, gelcoats, to resins, fiberglass, abrasives, and curing agents just to name a few. And now, we would like to introduce you to our new edition to the FiberGlass Coatings, Inc. inventory… TACO MARINE! FGCI is pleased to say we are a one stop shop for your marine needs.
To purchase your TACO Marine products, please visit our Ft. Lauderdale location ( 5553 Anglers Ave Ste. 105 Ft. Lauderdale FL, 33312).
Hours of operation:
Monday – Friday: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM
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
The 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.
As 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.
In continuation with the lecture, appropriate consumables and equipment were noted in order to conduct proper vacuum bagging for infusion.
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