Proper Mixing and Tips
by Erik Steinbring

When using Epo-Grip Industrial paste epoxy adhesives it is very important to not only mix the proper ratios but also induct the material correctly. Improper induction will yield inconsistent results, often with hard and soft spots in the batch mix.

When mixing epoxy paste materials due to the high viscosity of the material it is hard to mix these products in a cup or vessel of some sort.   At Newton Supply Co. Inc, we recommend the use of a rigid flat surface to mix our paste epoxy adhesives on. A simple piece of cardboard works very well and is usually easy to locate. When on the go a small legal pad also works well. Once the mix is done and the material is applied you can toss the mixing board. If using the legal pad, peel off the top sheet, below is a fresh new clean surface to mix on for the next application. Both of these items are inexpensive and readily available.

Most folks like to use popsicle sticks to mix with and they are a cheap effective way. We recommend a Stainless Palette knife with a goose neck handle. These tools will give a lifetime of service. The spring steel blade construction makes mixing much easier and also the handle keeps your hands out of the material. After you mix your batch just wipe the blade off with a paper towel to clean it. Should material ever harden on the blade, just take a sharp razor knife and scrape the blade clean.

When we mix these high viscosity industrial adhesives it is important that one does not just swirl the two components into each other. The process of lifting and folding the material into itself will yield a better mix in a shorter amount of time. Taking extra care to make sure that all of the material is being mixed in, even the outer edges which often get neglected. A small mix batch for most repairs should not take more than 30 seconds to induct. When mixing we want to insure consistent color and texture throughout the mix.

By using these few mixing tips one can pretty much rest assure that they will get consistent predictable results every time.  

 
Altering the Mix Ratios with Industrial Epoxy Systems
by Erik Steinbring

There appears to be a lot of confusion between the differences between Polyester based systems and Industrial Epoxy Adhesive systems. The reason I say this is because nine times out of ten, people in my seminars answer the following question incorrectly.   How do you accelerate the cure time in a EPOXY system, neglecting changing the base resin materials? Ninety percent answer add more catalyst or "B" side.

If you read the previous two BLOG posts, you would know the correct answer would be: In a epoxy system, the adjustment of temperature and the amount of mass. The answer the ninety percentile give is absolutely correct if we were discussing Polyester based systems but the question was for an Epoxy based system. The biggest problem with this misunderstanding is that it could lead to failures and call backs to job sites.

Bottom line, the systems are two different animals when is comes to mix ratios. So let's take a look at how altering the mix ratio of an epoxy changes the dynamics.   First let me explain what a 1:1 mix ratio is, that would be where one part of "A" (resin) is mixed with one part of "B" (catalyst). A 2:1 would be two parts "A" mixed with one part "B".

To explain the effects of changing the mix ratio I would like to use the Epo-Grip Clear Paste to illustrate. In this paragraph we will discuss the results by altering the mix by adding more "A" side.   The Epo-Grip Clear Paste is a 1:1 mix and it provides a cured result that has superior adhesion, is hard but not so hard that it will not take abuse, vibration and shock. If we take that same material and mix it 2:1 we end up with a harder cure that has good adhesion but is a much harder cure and not as apt to take much abuse or shock. Last if we mix the material 3:1 it will yield a very hard cure, where adhesion is compromised, will not take any shock or abuse and will often shatter like glass upon impact.

On the flip side what happens when we add more "B" side or catalyst. We already discussed what results occur with a 1:1 mix above. Now if we change that to a 1:2 mix ratio the end result is a softer cure, one that will readily take fingernail impressions, adhesion has been compromised, and is often sticky to the touch on the surface. A 1:3 will often yield a cure that can be peeled up with fingernail, with little to no adhesion, is very sticky and will often never cure beyond that. I think we can stop there as a 1:4 is nothing but a pile goo. 

 To summarize, the addition of more "B" side will not accelerate the cure time, but rather compromise the strength of the bond.  The addition of more "A" side will make a harder curing product, but adjust the ratio too far and failures can occur.  If you are in business, calls backs and redos are not an option and cannot be afforded.  Mixing industrial epoxy adhesive products to the specified manufacturer ratios is very important in order to achieve reliable consistent results.  .

 
The Mass Component
by: Erik Steinbring

Continuing the discussion from the last BLOG post we will discuss the effect of mass with industrial epoxy adhesives.   Epoxy system curing occurs by a catalytic reaction. With any catalytic chemical reaction heat is created as a result.   Knowing this as well as the effects of the ambient temperature we can control the rate of the reaction more effectively.

If one mixes the two component system and leaves the mixed material in a large pile the material will cure faster than if it is spread out in thin film. The large bulk pile has the ability to create and maintain more heat or temperature than the thin film thus accelerating the curing process. Now if we take this into consideration when gluing, if one was to repair a joint on a chair. If the joint is wide and gaping it will require more material to fill the joint or void, expected a faster cure time opposed to a joint that is tight and a thin film is required.

Hopefully this information will help when it is summer time and the industrial adhesive you mixed up cures faster than expected, or in the winter when it appears that is it taking forever.
 
The Temperature Component
by: Erik Steinbring

Winter time is in full force and with that when dealing with Industrial epoxy systems there are things every professional should know. Every year we get calls from confused and irate folks wondering why their epoxy has not cured.

All Epoxy systems including our Epo-Grip line, are no different than most epoxy products available on the market. As a industry standard all cure times are predicated at 77 degrees F. This is important to take note as there are only two things that drive the cure time of the epoxy catalytic reaction. We neglect relative humidity as these industrial systems can be cured under water. The two basic driving factors are temperature and mass.  Today, lets discuss temperature, it is usually the snake in the grass during winter months. in the next BLOG posting we will discuss mass.

For a simple realistic scenario, let us take and mix a small batch of Epo-Grip #30 paste and laminate two pieces of wood, with clamps at a ambient temp of 95 degrees F . Based on that scenario, one can expect adhesion and the ability to remove the clamps in 3-4 hours. However, if we flip the ambient temperature and do the same clamp up at 55 degrees F , we can expect a cure to occur in days if not weeks.  The question why, comes to mind. The reason is that the mixing of an epoxy system creates a chemical reaction namely a catalytic one. So the more heat we have the faster the reaction will occur.

A big snake in the grass is found in the workshop. Most are located in a either a basement, garage, or shed, if you turn off the heat at night, or when you are not there, expect your adhesive to be cold, the viscosity thicker and the mixed reaction to slow down due to the drop in temperature. If one chooses to turn off the heat, leaving a heat lamp on, close to project will ensure a cure will occur within a predictable range of time. Warming or storing your epoxy adhesives in a warm environment will also aid in more consistent results and cure times.

In the next BLOG we will discuss the Mass component to the cure rate of Epo Grip adhesives.
 

Epo-Grip Blog


Welcome to the Epo-Grip BLOG spot. We have created this special place for you, our customers. It is our goal to use this page to share information, tips, techniques, and to keep you informed with current events and announcements.

Everyday we talk to professionals who share the amazing things they do with our fine line of Industrial, Taxidermy, Furniture and Hobby products. The goal is to post at a minimum once a week either photos, video or blurbs sharing current events, what can be created, repaired or built with our fine industrial epoxy systems.

If there are specific tips, techniques or questions you would like to see answers to posted here,
with regard to application, please do not hesitate email us your request.

Please stop in frequently, pull up a chair, sit back and enjoy!

Best Regards,

Erik Steinbring