View Full Version : ship wrecked??

06-21-2001, 12:48 AM
My 26' planing hull is covered in spots of 'dark blue goo' oozing out uniformly all over!! I built the boat of white spruce that I dried for a year. It is a double (tapered) planked stripper [I never heard of it either] all glued together with WEST 206 & fir sanding dust bog. There are 2 layers of 6 oz glass fabric layed diagonally. I added barrier coat on the second fill coat. It went OK except for the particles of aluminum impurities in it large enough (1/8") to cut the cloth when squeegied on. [WEST says this has never happened to anyone else.] Next I put a couple of thin coats of WEST 206 w/ their copper oxide. Below the water line I coated with Copperpoxy, half of which I had to sand off as it went on far too rough. A couple of months later I have the blue goo oozing right thru even thick parts of the Copperpoxy as if it wasn't there. The ooze feels like uncured resin & washes off with vinegar. I suspect a compound of copper & carbon & H2O in the epoxy as some copper compounds are dark blue (azurite 2CuCO3-Cu(OH)2). I know it sounds like poor proportions or unmixed epoxy but I was very careful with proportions & mixed all very well w/ chordless drill & paint mixer in plastic beer cups. The shop is heated & free of fumes. The climate is dry. Does anyone know what this is, how it happened & what to do about it? I can wash it off & recoat but what if it happens again!! Any suggestions would be very welcome! Thanks, Jon

06-21-2001, 08:08 AM
Did you mix the epoxy and hardener before adding the additives?

06-21-2001, 06:58 PM
So you have aluminum and copper next to eachother? If so, you might have a galvonic reaction.

Dale Harvey
06-21-2001, 09:39 PM
I don't know who has been smoking something funny here, but I suspect you did not read everything about combining additives. No way will anyone, even our resident Scientologist, convince me to combine Aluminum and Copper on a boat hull, epoxy or not. You can't get there from here. No way!

Jerry Sousa
06-21-2001, 09:39 PM
It might be a religious phenomenon. Perhaps the sea gods are trying to tell you something?

Phil Young
06-22-2001, 12:36 AM
Oh Dear. Call the Chemist. Don't tell Bob. You are about to need a whole lot more plastic beer cups, for what I won't say at this time.

06-22-2001, 02:02 PM
I am quite sure I mixed in proper order because I tend to follow directions when in unfamiliar ground especially if it is expensive. Since it was months ago & being an old fart, I can't absolutely swear to it. I am interested to hear what you think might be an explanation in that event.

ihrig & Dale Harvey
Galvanic reaction occurred to me before doing it. I was assured by WEST that galvanic reaction was impossible as the copper is in a form that does not react plus it is encapsulated in the epoxy. I used the copper oxide as besides anti fouling back up, it is supposed to provide; UV protection, high abrasion protection & be a vapour barrier almost as good as barier coat.

Jerry Sousa
You are obviously closest to the truth. One friend offered a story about a fine bone porcelain plant that got mysterious small black spots in the products which was eventually attributed to the workers who ate lots of garlic which came out thru their hands into the work!

Phil Young
Shall I call NASA now or just start drinking now until THE CHEMIST shows up? ;)

WEST tec line says it is either; too rich hardener ratio or blush.
They set their pumps resin rich as it is preferred. I was very careful with mixing. I make a point of alternating from one pump to the other always starting with the resin so I can never loose count. I add a tad if I hear too many air blips, which only happened with the resin.
WEST says they had a similar case at the Main Wooden Boat school when blue spots leaked right thru the paint. They eventually attributed it to hydro carbons in the air from the oil fired radiant heaters that were not tuned quite right.
I washed & sanded my cured surfaces for blush extra well & the furnace is natural gas forced air, with a 6" combustion air supply duct to 'ensure' fumes go up the flue. WEST says it should be no problem just wash it off. WEST suggested that epoxy primer is better at filling pin holes than epoxy. Epoxy must be more porous than I imagined! I notice that the hardener that leaked on top of my hardener can is blue, tho it is clear inside. Certainly copper dust fell on this can as well as being exposed to the atmosphere. The spots wash off with water.
Thanks to all, Jon

[This message has been edited by jdwilsun (edited 06-22-2001).]

06-22-2001, 02:34 PM
JD - If you mix additives with the resin first it is difficult to insure adequate mixing of the hardener with the resin to get the proper ratio. This is particularly true with thickening additives like silica and microballoons. Having made that mistake once, it was the first thing to come to mind.

06-22-2001, 08:49 PM
Forget the galvanic reaction possibility, at least between the aluminum of the barrier coat and the copper compound. For one thing, if the epoxy was all properly cured, there wouldn't be much of a reaction until the boat got really really wet and it wouldn't manifest the way you described anyway because aluminum is a good deal less noble than copper. I'm no chemist, but I suspect that, somehow one of the layers of epoxy either failed to properly kick-off or you didn't give enough time for the last layer to fully cure. In any case, I think that the problem is in one of the epoxy coats and that the copper is incidental.

06-28-2001, 09:48 PM
Hmmm. I still think copper and aluminum shouldn't be together.

It should be the aluminum sacrificing itself to the copper. The blue color would indicate a copper reaction, so it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Adatives to the epoxy will efect the waterproofness. Addition of solvents will leave the epoxy porous enough for water to enter.

Why not try some experiments? Try to repeat
it with and without metals and other additives. Try different hardner/resin ratios. You could boil samples in water too, drop some in salt water.

07-10-2001, 12:16 PM
Just got an e-mail from jd about this...sorry I missed the post when this was going 'round.

You did originally say you added "barrier coat" on the second "fill coat". I do not know exactly what those two things are, exactly, but it may not matter except for completeness in the autopsy.

It could well be a religious thing. Clearly there is an evil spirit in the vessel. Have you sent for an exorcist?

The Blue Goo [I can almost hear Patsy Cline in the background...] is a copper-amine compound, and the copper dust you found on the hardener can shows this. Copper complexes with amines. The complexes are Blue.

I am not a great fan of mixing metal powders with resin systems, for it opens the door to an infinite variety of experimental experiences which often become religious in nature, creating as they do new life forms from other dimensions.

When dissimilar metals are in an electrolyte, currents can flow and reactions happen.

An incompletely mixed epoxy resin/hardener system is an electrolyte, for amines are capable of forming ions [quaternary amines, they are called...].

Failure to mix a resin and hardner to a state of mathematically perfect intimacy, with all the little As and Bs right next to each other and perfectly interleaved, will create to some degree an electrolyte.

Do you have any idea how many of those little As and Bs there are in a beer-cup of mixed epoxy? About ten-to-the-twenty-fourth. Do you have any idea how big a number that is? Do you have any idea how many times you have to interleave that mess to get it perfectly interleaved? [The answer is eighty, and thankyouverymuch].

Now, here is how it goes wrong: The average consumer mixes the stuff, and it is mostly mixed, some perfectly mixed. Most of them fail to transfer the mix to a second container, and mix again. That would get the bunch of As [or Bs, as the case may be...] off the bottom right corner mixed with the rest of the stuff. Failing to do that results in too many As mixed with the rest of the A-B mix as you scrape out the last of the container contents.

Okay, let us say you mix to a degree of molecular intimacy. You can still screw it up, and here is how: Just dump the metal powder into one component, or in top of the A and B as-yet-unmixed container contents, before mixing all those little As with their matching Bs. What happens now is that some of the little metal particles are entirely coated with As, and others are entirely coated with Bs, and some of those little metal particles have forty-seven As on one side and seventeen Bs on the other side. Those molecules do not want to walk around the particle and find their mates, and there ain't enough there anyhow, so some will have to migrate, and they do not do that immediately or readily. For each reactive chemical group, finding another and reacting is a form of death, and none go gentle into that long good night. The reluctance of self-preservation preceedes the violence of demise. As the chemical curing reaction proceeds, migration becomes more difficult, and one ends up with an unbalanced mixture, which cures, immobilizing the initial anisotropy [not the same in all directions]. After a while, Blue Goo happens.

By the way, I seriously doubt that you are the only one to whom this has ever happened. WEST [or, for that matter, most other manufacturers] are highly unlikely to admit to such things, for their lawyers advise them that the admission of the existence of a failing may be construed as an admission of responsibliity [by agreeing that the failure even exists at all] and open their companies up to suits from other equally vicious predators [lawyers]. Thus, do not attach too much credence to their assertion.

While reading the foregoing, it may have occured to you that there were little things that you did or did not do that could have been responsible for your condition. While it is true that WEST could have better informed you of how to use their products, the present situation is that You Have Blue Goo.

The question before the house is how to Make It Go Away.

Now that you see what causes Blue Goo, I hope you see that you are gonna have to strip off everything that has any copper powder in it.

As for trying to make a barrier coat of some sort by mixing metal powders into epoxy, please do not do that. Manufacturers of a "system" who cannot make paint will try to sell you every sort of powder under the sun to mix with their "system". Paints are engineered resin/mineral systems that DO form effective moisture-diffusion barriers. A little metal mixed in with a glass/resin laminate or a resin coating does not, but WILL consume more of an inappropriate product to the enrichment of the manufacturer. The datum that such should be done, when it is not an effective or really appropriate thing to do, is called False Data.

Society abounds with false data. There is actually more of it floating about than true data.

There are many manufacturers of epoxy paints which do the moisture-barrier task very well. There is no reason not to use them.

ken mcclure
07-10-2001, 02:23 PM
Save the goo when you scrape it off. Uncle used to use something like that for lubricating the gronicles. (SEE posts elsewhere in the Miscellaneous section)