Feel free to download the West Systems article regarding this topic.
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Great test. Enjoyed the videos and the information
It appears to me you have put an old wives tale to rest about gelcoat not bonding to epoxy.It was a great experiment. I will now use epoxy resin without worry. Thanks,Mike
just be sure to follow west system prep closely 🙂
Andy, Thanks for the great test and video. As a long-time diyer and Assistant Mgr at West Marine, this info backs up what West Systems has been saying for years. I am now telling my customers that you can (with proper prep) apply gel-coat over epoxy. I recommend a couple of days cure time to eliminate any possible off gasing from the curing process.
I will use epoxy for the modifications and repairs to both my power boats over polyester to ensure a stronger repair.
You give us more confidence in using an epoxy coating. But it should be done properly. And always make sure that the surface is clean before the application. Thanks!
I have a question about the procedure for the shear test where you bonded polyester and epoxy based substrates together with gel coat.. When you did the gel coat bonding, did you apply the gel coat to one surface and then press the two substrates together? If you did that did you always apply the gel coat to the same substrate (i.e., applied to epoxy in all cases, or vice versa)? I can see a reason for the difference in the results if you applied the gel coat to the 207 and 207 and then pressed the poly into the gel coat, but applied the gel coat to poly and then pressed the 205 substrate into the gel coat. I suggest this because flashing off of the gel coat might effect its bonding properties.
Alternatively, did you apply the gel coat to both substrates at the same time then press the two gel coated substrates together. If this was the case, there may well be a difference between adherence to 205 based epoxy and polyester.
I applied gel to both surfaces (poly and epoxy sides) and positioned them on top of one another using shims to maintain even and proper gelcoat thickness for curing (roughly 20 mils thick). I made sure there was enough gelcoat applied so that both sample faces were completely covered. Any excess gel was squeezed out which was why there was gelcoat visible along the sides of each sample. The edges were sanded after cure to remove this excess. All the gelcoat was applied from the same batch / mix at the same time. Unfortunately it was these details that had to be edited out of the video for length (plus it wouldn’t be interesting / exciting for most people to watch.) In total I believe I had close to 3 hours of raw video that eventually was edited down to 2 segments; (1) 7 min video and (1) 17 min video.. Hope this answers your question 🙂
Thanks, you nailed it Andy. Well done.
I have had excellent experience with System Three surfboard epoxy. It is blush free and flows well to a glassy smooth surface. I use it on top of West epoxy as a tie coat and have had excellent bonding results. It is also UV resistant so any UV that might penetrate the gelcoat is stopped before the West epoxy which is not UV resistant.
I second Andy’s comment on including a layer of glass beneath the repair otherwise cracking can occur at flex points.
I am faced with having to install new stringers.I plan to use epoxy resin. Can I add wax to the final coat as one would with polyester resin to avoid sticky final coat? I don’t want to be walking on sticky inside hull trying to install floor later.I could sand new stringer tops before epoxying deck in.Just not sure about wax in epoxy for final coat .
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