View Full Version : comments on cold weather epoxies?????
11-24-2002, 05:10 PM
I'm looking for any recommendations, comments or
suggestions regarding cold weather epoxies. I would like to
develop an epoxy for the 35-55 degree Temp range but always
best to check with the 'pros' before I go off on some
Is there a real need for a low temp epoxy, or is everyone
content to work in the 55 degree plus range? Is something
around $60 per gallon (base and hardener) reasonable (the
non blushing, low temp curing agents are expensive).
thanks in advance
progressive epoxy polymers, inc.
11-24-2002, 05:32 PM
An epoxy in that range is very useful indeed; but many manufacturers already have one - for instance System 3, which I have been using for nearly 20 years.
11-24-2002, 07:33 PM
I don't work very well in that range, let alone the epoxy! I wonder what the market potential is for such a product given the current level of penetration, especially without one or two unique factors in your favor, with price probably being the most easily recognized.
11-24-2002, 07:41 PM
Too cold to work in, for me anyway! I would rather have the shop warmed up am enter in a tee shirt. Others may have a genuine need for such a product, though I don't.
That's my opinion.
11-24-2002, 09:05 PM
We work for about three months of the year in the range of 20 to 30 degrees and sometimes more or less. We heat our epoxy before we use it and we make liberal use of heat lamps and other heaters. Sometimes, even with these precautions the epoxy cures so slowly moisture condensation can prevent curing. An example would be a few year ago when we tried to fair a lead keel in January. We could heat the surface of the lead, but the bulk kept a cool temperature and condensed over night. The moisture prevented the epoxy from curing and the epoxy was a gooey mess! Can you invent an epoxy that isn't affected by moisture? If you can do that then you big business in the northern latitudes.
B. Darrah Thomas
11-24-2002, 09:23 PM
I use epoxy often enough in our moderate winter that it has been a concern of mine. I have heated the garage for 3 days, even brought projects in the house. This year I put a half dozen batches in an exterior application & had to question whether the weather would let it "kick". I do work in that temp. range & it might be nice to have epoxy that did too.
Would that material be "clear coat" quality or are you sticking to the bonding alone? ('lil pun there) ;)
11-24-2002, 10:53 PM
System Three resin with the fast hardener works at that temp. It will kick off in a few hours but take several days to get really hard, it seems. It also gets a good amine blush. I rushed painting over it so had trouble with Kirby Paint getting hard. The warm your work as much a reasonable when you put it down but it seems to me that because it is slow to cure it has more time to penetrate. Go for it, you'll be fine.
11-24-2002, 11:37 PM
Here in the "North" where it does not get very warm at any time I use Cold Cure made by Industrial Formulators in Burnaby B.C. I have used it for many years, never heat my shop because of the fact I am using epoxy and the stuff is good down to 35 degrees F. They must have a Web site.
11-26-2002, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by Walcheren:
I use Cold Cure made by Industrial Formulators in Burnaby B.C. They must have a Web site.At the recent IBEX U here in Seattle, the people at System 3 told me they have merged with Industrial Formulators. You ought to be able to get info on Cold Cure from System 3.
[ 11-26-2002, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: bainbridgeisland ]
11-26-2002, 03:18 AM
Definately a yes. I've been wondering how I am going to get anything done in my unheated workshop this winter. It would certainly be a plus to be able to work on the days that get into that range. Even if I added a little heat, it sure beats trying to get the uninsulated boss's garage up to regular epoxy working temps. As to others having this kind of stuff, hey.!.! nothing like competition. Could you put a spout on the cans tho, hard to get into the pumping bottles without mess and waste.
11-26-2002, 07:31 AM
Since my only workshop is a unheated garage, I've learned to adapt to the temperature issue when working with epoxy. First, I use a kerosene powered torpedo heater, which I try to switch on about 20 minutes before starting to work. The heater is annoyingly loud (a bit like a jet engine sound), but it throws a LOT of heat and burns very cleanly. On a 35 degree night, I can get the garage to nearly 60 degrees without difficulty. I've read that the combustion products of a kerosene heater has a negative effect on epoxy cure rate... but I've never had a problem.
I also use infrared heat lamps, the 125 watt variety, mounted in simple clamp-on sockets with reflectors. If I want to cure a coated surface which is 'face up', I suspend the lamps above it. If I'm coating an upside down hull, I place the lamps below the hull, pointing up. In the latter case, it is amazing how much heat will be trapped by the hull, even when the rest of the garage is ice cold. I'm always careful to make sure that the lamps are far enough away from any surface, especially a combustible one, and I make sure the power cords aren't draped over the bulbs or reflectors. It's not scientific, but it works... all you need is the faith that the epoxy will EVENTUALLY cure, regardless of temperature.
I've only used West System epoxy so far, and always with the fast hardener, and have never had an epoxy failure. It may take a fairly long time to become hard enough for sanding, but it always eventually polymerizes, and I've never had a failure. I find that, after a day or so, any amine blush can be washed off with hot water.
I'm contemplating trying some other epoxies, based on the opinions I've read here. Perhaps some of them are better, in very cold temps, than the West System products... and, for sure, they'll be cheaper! (The last time I bought epoxy, it was nearly $90 for a gallon of resin and a quart of hardener).
11-26-2002, 09:08 AM
Thanks everyone for all the feedback. As many of you may know, we're in the epoxy business and have 4 or 5 marine epoxies with a wide range of price from various formulators that we offer as well as about 25 other epoxy coatings, etc.
I've been testing several low temp forumations over the last week or so and think I have found the right one. Looks like a 6 oz sample gives about a 15 potlife/set time at 75 degrees, about 30 minutes at 60 degrees and about 70 minutes at 38-40 degrees.
On some wetted out fiberglass cloth at the 40 degree test it took about 6-8 hours for a tack free surface.
I suspect the pricing will end up being about $60 per gallon (base and cure).
Looks like there will be a small market fo this sort of epoxy in the winter time. It's easier for us to add another epoxy like this because it is but one more in a growing line and doesn't have to 'pay the mortgage' all on its own.
thanks again everyone. Suspect I will probably have the epoxy ready and on the internet in 3-4 weeks.
11-26-2002, 07:56 PM
Recently I bought Epoxy and copper dust from you. The copper dust went on great and looks very good. I will let you know what kind of properties it has over time and I will send you pictures.
Good luck on the cold weather epoxy.
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