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What is epoxy and does it matter what type of epoxy you get?

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What is epoxy and does it matter what type of epoxy you get?

Epoxy … the word that describes many things. You will hear reference to “epoxy” as a paint and as a resin.

As a resin it is simply a binder just like polyester plays and the resin plays only a minor role when it comes to the final structural result… It is the reinforcing that plays the major role when the word “epoxy“ refers to something structural.

As a paint it is mainly a primer and a very good one. Particularly in the Caribbean where older fiberglass has become quite brittle and resistant to adhesion and “epoxy” paints (rather than resin) are the practical way to get adhesion. Both epoxy paints and resin exhibit the same great adhesion when surfaces are dry and have some “key.”

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I once heard someone say that “epoxy is epoxy is epoxy.“ That is very much not true. The qualities of epoxy differ enormously and so does their price.

Epoxies are all two parts even though some paint manufacturers claim one-part paints as being an epoxy.

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Vapors and build up are two major quality factors. Use a high vapor emitting epoxy when painting a locker and you will know what the downside is. Use a stable high quality epoxy primer and you will be pleasantly shocked at how such paints can fill crevices and reduce the work required for a job.

As a resin in structural applications the good resins have attributes that allow them to saturate reinforcing as well as substrates like wood, particularly if they are nice and dry. They will saturate and adhere to many surfaces but some like wood will be better than others.

Mr Epoxy is an all-rounder!

Please send in Questions for the Experts to answer in a future issue to editor@allatsea.net

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Sir Robbie Ferron founded the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta and served as Caribbean Sailing Association President for nine years.

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