Epoxy can’t do what? We’re here to debunk another two common epoxy myths, this time with the help of Technical Expert Hamish Cook. If you thought WEST SYSTEM epoxy was only good for wood or GRP, or that it doesn’t stick to plastic, then stand corrected!
Myth 5: Epoxy is only good for wood
Wrong! Whilst it’s true that WEST SYSTEM® epoxy was initially developed in the US for use with wood, it is a general purpose marine epoxy – and the product has been evolving constantly ever since.
Epoxy is now the material of choice for all manner of applications, from GRP builds and repairs, to fairing cement and aluminium hulls. It’s not just used for marine work either, we have customers who use our epoxy for repointing their houses, or for making decorations and even artwork with items set in cured epoxy. It’s even used on tube trains, buses, aeroplanes – the sky (or your imagination) really is the limit.
Just one caveat here is that different substrates need to be prepared differently to achieve great results with epoxy. We have a huge amount of literature on how to use epoxy with different materials – get in touch if you need support on a specific non-wood project.
Myth 6: Epoxy won’t stick to plastic
False again! There’s a WEST SYSTEM product specifically for this and it’s called G/flex® epoxy. There are lots of reasons why it delivers better results with plastic than traditional WEST SYSTEM 105 epoxy®.
First, I should say that you need to flame treat your plastic surface to get good adhesion with any epoxy product. By passing a flame incredibly quickly across the surface, without even heating the plastic, you create an oxidised surface that can be wetted out with the epoxy, rather than the plastic surface repelling the epoxy.
With the surface ready, G/flex epoxy delivers amazing results. It is much more elastic than other epoxies, so it can flex with the plastic and tolerate shocks and impacts. Just as a comparison, a 10cm length of regular WEST SYSTEM epoxy can stretch to 10.4cm before it breaks, while G/flex epoxy will stretch to 13cm. It’s a huge difference and really important for strong, long-lasting results with plastic.
Thanks to Hamish Cook for his expert help. Look out for the fifth and final instalment of our myth-busting blog series next month!
Did you miss part 3 of the series? Find it here.
Learn more about the full portfolio of WEST SYSTEM epoxy products.