Are flexible epoxies better than stiff epoxies? How stiff is too stiff? How flexible is too flexible?
By Bruce Niederer
Read the title of this article again. Could a statement be more confrontational? I sure didn’t think so when my ex-wife laid it on me! The issue of “flexible” vs. “stiff” epoxies seems to have become a battleground in a continuing debate among adhesive manufacturers, wooden boat builders, restorers and repair yards. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Is it even a “right or wrong” argument? Continue reading →
More people are using recycled plastic/wood composite lumber for decks and other various projects. Although each manufacturer of recycled plastic lumber has his own blend, we found that most are using very similar ingredients: an equal amount of melted recycled plastic mixed with recycled wood chips or sawdust and then extruded in the form of dimensional lumber. Since the wood is encased in plastic, the plastic/wood composite boards are supposed to last longer than traditional decking materials and carry a good warranty. Many of these boards are not intended for use as structural members, but they Continue reading →
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. regularly engages in testing to support those who use our epoxy in architectural applications, both in new construction and repairs. In the past, we have tested the compatibility of house paint primers over WEST SYSTEM® epoxy and found that a variety of primers worked well. Latex primers especially performed well when applied over cured epoxy, even when the epoxy was marginally prepared prior to painting (Epoxyworks 7, Spring 1996).
Our goal in a recent series of tests was to identify primer paints that worked successfully over WEST SYSTEM epoxy with minimal surface preparation. Specifically, Continue reading →
PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) is a water-based liquid plastic that can be applied to waxed molds to prevent molded parts from sticking. PVA is not always required. Often laminators rely solely on mold release wax to create a surface contaminant on the mold that allows parts to be removed. However, on complicated molds and on new molds, when the risk of sticking a part in a mold is greatest, PVA can be applied over a waxed mold to minimize the chance of sticking a part.
PVA can be applied by brush, paint roller or with spray equipment. PVA often leaves a texture on the surface of the mold after it dries. This texture is duplicated or molded into the Continue reading →
A question frequently posed to our technical staff is “can I thin WEST SYSTEM® epoxy so it will flow or penetrate better?” The answer to that question is “yes, but not without consequences.” Many of the advantages of thinning epoxy are offset by disadvantages in other areas of epoxy performance.
We like to think that all our customers are considerably above average, but every once in a while we encounter someone really exceptional. On January 25, 1999, our tech service department took a phone call from Elizabeth Tedford, a 7th-grader from Lansing, North Carolina. She was working on a science fair project that involved testing the adhesive strength of epoxy. Continue reading →
Previous Epoxyworks have reported test results from the “Hydromat,” a unique structural test developed at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), after a rigorous review by its D30 Committee on Composites, approved the Hydromat test method as an official ASTM standard. Continue reading →
My porch railing at home was badly in need of painting even though I had painted it the summer before. After just one Michigan winter, the paint had cracked and lifted. I wondered to myself if coating the top rail with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy would improve this poor situation and decided to turn the top rail into a small R & D project. Continue reading →
From ice boats to racing multihulls, wind turbine blades, and a thousand other projects — ours and customers — working with epoxies and our customers since 1969 has been interesting. The decades of experience in the shops, labs and libraries have given us a pretty good feeling for epoxy technology. We know its strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly we understand and appreciate its versatility.
My first experience with hardware bonding occurred shortly after starting work at Gougeon Brothers in 1980. Having just been hired into the wind turbine blade plant, I was excited to be part of this interesting company. Continue reading →