Epoxy Basics: Four expert tips to use epoxy resin effectively
By keeping these simple ideas in mind, you can make your work with epoxy resin as straightforward and reliable as possible.
Prepare to succeed
Before you begin using any WEST SYSTEM® epoxy products, ensure your workshop is clean, dry and free from dust. The ideal temperature is 20-22°C, which means you should feel comfortable wearing a t-shirt.
If you’re outside, use a tent to create a makeshift workshop and use a dry heat source to get the temperature up or down. Avoid using propane or diesel-based heating systems – both of these cause excess moisture to build-up, creating amine blush that can prevent your epoxy from curing.
Remember that in hot temperatures you can use WEST SYSTEM 206 Slow Hardener® or 209 Extra Slow Hardener™ to increase cure time.
Mix with care
Make sure you mix your resin and hardener thoroughly and at the correct ratio (you can measure this by weight or volume or use WEST SYSTEM Mini Pumps for clean accurate dispensing of resin and hardener). It’s vital that both elements are completely blended, otherwise the epoxy may not cure.
Use a WEST SYSTEM 804 Reusable Mixing Stick for best results. These can be used multiple times: simply flex the stick to remove dried resin.
To test how effectively you are mixing your epoxy, once the residue has cured, roll your mixing pot between your hands the day after use and push out any excess leftover resin. If any uncured epoxy resin is visible in the pot once you’ve pushed out the excess, you’re not mixing thoroughly enough.
Protect your skin
Take care to avoid getting epoxy on your skin. Always wear WEST SYSTEM 832 Disposable Gloves – and work carefully.
If you do come into contact with epoxy, don’t use a solvent-based cleaner, as this will actually push the epoxy back into your skin. Instead, wash the affected area with plenty of soapy water, or use WEST SYSTEM 820 Resin Removing Cream.
Give yourself more time
You can extend the amount of working time you have before the epoxy starts to gel by pouring the epoxy mixture into a container with a greater surface area like a roller pan. This can be particularly useful on intricate or complex jobs.
As an example, a 100ml quantity of epoxy in a small mixing cup will begin to gel in around 15-20 minutes at the recommended temperature of 20-22°C. Decant the same amount into roller pan, however, and you give yourself considerable additional working time.
For expert advice on everything epoxy, keep coming back to www.epoxycraft.com. New trade secrets and blogs from experienced professionals are added every month. Alternatively, to speak to one of our technical experts about a specific epoxy issue, please do contact us.