Tech Tip: Let’s talk Catalyst

Catalyst is an essential element to most processes in our business. Without the catalyst, no chemical reaction takes place and you might as well just pour water over your fiberglass or table. You would think catalyst would be an easy product to work with, and sometimes you are right, but you have to follow the directions exactly. It’s not pretty when you don’t (trust me).

catalystMEK-P or Methyl Ethyl Keytone Peroxide, not to be confused with Methyl Ethyl Ketone, a solvent, MEK-P is one of the most common catalysts. MEK-P is used for polyster and vinylester style resins. It is very specific on ratios and requires the most attention.

Vinylesters require a hotter catalyst we sell, called Norox 925, sometimes referred to as “High-Point 90.” It’s a hotter catalyst that works better for the Vinylester. You will also see Vinylester requires a ratio of 2% by volume, as opposed to gelcoats and resin which are closer to 1.5%.

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Gelcoat and Polyester resin, including Boatyard use a standard catalyst, or the 925 catalyst. These resins only require about 1.5% catalyst and are quite specific on the ratios, especially in hot weather. You will also use the same ratio’s for Polyester-based putty, like our OEM Super Poly Fill, or our gelcoat putty.

B.P.O. or Benzoyl Peroxide is a cream hardener that is used for most Auto Body and Bondo-like putties. It’s a bit easier and more forgiving on the mixture and comes in Red, White and Blue. The ratio is 1-1 oz tube per quart, or a 4 oz tube per gallon.

epoxyEpoxy activators are all proprietary, depending on the product. They range from a 1:1 ratio, like with our Table Top Epoxy, to our standard laminating epoxy allowing a 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 and 5:1, allowing for different ratios that effect hardness and gel time. With different ratios, the higher the ratio, the quicker the pot time and the harder the epoxy.

 

With all these activators, sticking to the ratio is key, so if you were planning on eye-balling it, may I suggest picking up a couple of mixing buckets, or a squeeze bottle and take the guessing out of the equation.

5 Tips for Using Vinylester Resin

Vinylester-Resin-Kit1. Vinylester Resin requires 2% MEK-P every time it is used in order to cure properly.
2. The maximum heat temperature is 220°F.
3. This product can be used to help gelcoat bond with epoxy.
4. The ideal temperature is at 77°F. Best results for this product can be obtained at temperatures between 70°F and 85°F, in a clean, dry, dust-free environment.
5. Do not go over 1/8” in thickness. More than 1/8” in thickness will generate too much heat.

Do It Best 2014 – $1,000 Shopping Giveaway Winner Interview: Kathryn Boshell

Congratulations to Kathryn Boshell for being the winner of our Do It Best 2014 – $1,000 Spring Merchandise Giveaway.

She resides in Sunrise, Florida and normally shops at our Fort Lauderdale location.

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  1. Have you won any giveaways before?
I won a turkey at the fairgrounds once, but nothing like this.

2. What products did you decide to choose for this giveaway?
I choose a swing set for my granddaughter.

3. How often do you shop at Fiberglass Coatings?
What makes you a repeat customer?
I shop at Fiberglass Coatings about once a week.
The staff is what makes me come back.

4. What products do you normally buy from Fiberglass Coatings?
Can you tell us a specific product/products you buy and what you use them for?
I usually purchase vinylester resin in pails. I use the resin for boat repairs.

 5. Will you be signing up for our fall merchandise giveaway?
Oh yes, I will be!

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We have shopping giveaways every fall and spring.
Be sure to sign up while you are in store!

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We have two locations: one in St. Petersburg, FL and one in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
We also have web presence at www.fgci.com and are featured on E-Bay and Amazon.
Our toll free number is 1-800-272-7890.