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Thread: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

  1. #1
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    Default Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    We want to finish our balsa, epoxy coated surfboard with a clear top coat to insure waterproofness. Standard surboard finish method is to build up gloss coats of resin then buff it down to beauty. We're looking for waterproofness primarily, beauty is secondary. There are many options, marine 2 part LPU's , industrial 2 part polyurethane, automotive 2 part PU clear coats, floor covering epoxies, floor covering acrylic selaers, hardware store water and sovent based acrylic and PU, rattle can spray acrylic, and probably some others I don't remember because I'm lost in it all. It looks like nothing is truly waterproof but what does the best job possible for a clear top coat? Thanks, John C. San Diego
    Last edited by GTFD; 05-17-2007 at 05:16 PM. Reason: correction

  2. #2
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    Whatever you choose should have UV protection unless you only plan to surf at night -- the epoxy needs protection from the sun.

    I'd say Cetol clear, but don't have any personal experience with the product.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  3. #3
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    A 2 pack acrylic polyol based aliphatic polyurethane with UV absorbers will be the best you can buy for that job.
    Abrasion isn't as good as a single pack moisture cure poly, but better water resistance, as virtually all single packs are based on a polyether soft segment.
    Also urea groups from moisture cure are more water sensitive then the urethane group formed in the polyol to isocyanate reaction of a 2 pack poly.

  4. #4
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    Johnnyv, thanks for the reply, where in the common to buy paints is the 2 pak acrylic polyol aliphatic polyurethane found, is that the car paint formulation? I can probably figure that out from notes and more homework if you don't know. John C.

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    Folks don't like me to post here - "too commerical" - but this is too important - so I will weather the hate mail..

    In San Diego the VOC requirements are the toughest in the nation. Basically you don't have any options - except to move!

    Even our 2 part clear poly which was recently reformulated, doesn't meet the restrictions in Southern California. The restrictions there are almost beyond reach - most vendors just write-off Southern California.

    How the coating is classified determines the VOC limits - floor, mastic, metallic, etc. If you mis-use the product or add solvents to spray, you are breaking the law.

    There are no good sources for this info so I wrote my own - (here comes the hate mail!) www.epoxyproducts.com/voc.html

    time to go back into hiding!

    regards

    paul oman
    progressive epoxy polymers inc
    www.epoxyproducts.com/marine.html

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    Thanks for the Link Paul. The no-commercial police on this forum might object, but then they would also restrict information to come only from those that know little about which they speak. I notice that our sponsor still has ads in the mag we subscribe to and pay for.

    Yeah, I know they need those dollars to make the mag financially feasible and we need to see the ads.

    That is the point.
    Tom L

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    I know little about surfboards, but you don't mention any glass-have you just applied epoxy? If so I'd imagine your surface will lack strength, it will develop cracks from minor bumps etc, and no matter how waterproof your final coating, will let water in through those cracks. I think you need some glass cloth. After that, although most of the topcoats you mention are probably minutely porous, I doubt it really matters in a surfboard application, which is not permanently immersed.

  8. #8
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    Epoxy is a better water resistor than anything you can paint on. And, as has been said, epoxy is damaged by UV rays so paint, varnish or urethane with UV inhibitors is necessary. How much beautification you want to apply to something that is going to get beat up in the end is up to you.

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    Not knowing the finish composition of your board..I will sorta echo some concerns, and a caveats....Personally I would coat the boards with a very lightweight fabric like xynole, and after finishing the epoxy phase, I would coat the board with a product called Nyalic....from their website.....

    Spacecraft-Proven Protection

    NYALIC® ("nigh AL ick") is a nylonic, crystal clear, polymer resin coating that provides years of protection against chemical and ultraviolet corrosion on ferrous and non-ferrous metals, galvanized, anodized and painted surface. It also works well on fiberglass, wood, concrete and stone.



    NYALIC® can be used on any metal, painted surface, or fiberglass. Because it is impermeable, NYALIC® is highly corrosion resistant. It lasts from 5 to 10 years on metal, up to 2 years on fiberglass. It can be maintained indefinitely, and re-coated, with no sanding or priming required. It's also non-conductive, so it fights harmful electrolysis.


    I use it as a coating on radio transparent antenna housings and they withstand the blowing sand in Iraq and elsewhere where regular paint disappears in 2-3 weeks....
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
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    Hot Stuff cynoacrylic "glue"can be used to saturate fiberglass in the same manner as epoxy at a fraction of the weight.visit their web site and some of their links to learn more.I recall reading something about it in relation to building surfboards.I use cynoacrylic in building strippers...amazing stuff and it keeps evolving.

  11. #11
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    Being a 'coatings junkie' I looked up the Nyalic product mentioned above - went to their web site. No mention of VOCs but sure sounded like it uses lots of VOCs and it suggested uses puts it in a low VOC required classification (for entire USA not just S. California) ---

    So... I found their MSDS - it is out of Australia (maybe that's how they get around the laws??) - No mention of VOC levels on the msds (don't think this is legal, but don't really know), so I looked at the ingredient list. Well, first ingredient - greater then 60% chemical # 64742-95-6. This is simple, cheap naphtha - the same primary ingredient in CPES. The only other ingredient (10-30%) - was listed as nylonic polymer resin. Never heard of it and a google search turned up no useful information.

    In defense of Nyalic and 'that other product' - I think (not 100% sure) that naphtha might be an exempt solvent in the VOC regulations.... Bottom line however, no matter how you cut it, is that both products are basically type 1 naphtha cut with a little bit of some kind of resin and that if naphtha isn't an exempt solvent there are lots of VOC violations going on!

    In most of the country, and especially California, we are not talking coatings designed by scientists any more, but rather designed (mandated) by lawyers and tree-huggers.

    Note that while all epoxies will yellow over time and with UV - there is a very wide difference in the rate of yellowing from product to product (over 60 or so different epoxy curing agents to pick from plus other factors). For S. California best (or most legal) fix might be a slow yellowing, low visc., solvent free epoxy.......

    Epoxies cannot carry UV blockers - they are mostly (maybe only) found in solvent based coatings which is a VOC no-no.


    paul oman
    progressive epoxy polymers, inc

  12. #12
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    [quote=paul oman;
    Epoxies cannot carry UV blockers - they are mostly (maybe only) found in solvent based coatings which is a VOC no-no.paul oman
    progressive epoxy polymers, inc[/quote]

    Woah, Paul. I have used many kinds of additives in epoxy, including carbon black. That is the additive that we use in all the black polyethlene telephone and power cables that you see in the air to reduce solar degradation. No additive will completely stop solar degradation but maybe I did not understand your point. Why can epoxy not carry a UV blocker of some kind?
    Tom L

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    The one guy I know who can, most likely, answer your question is my old buddy Tom Morey, the guy who invented the Boogy Board.
    http://www.tommorey.com/
    kaiyjabunga,
    Jay

  14. #14
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    How about Smith and Companies 5 year clear coat...adheres great to epoxy and gives great UV protection.

    RB

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    the epoxy is "waterproof", get some polyurethan varnish with UV inhibitors and it's done,,hell, how about some exterior latex paint on the top and just don't transport it bottom up.

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    The board is built with glass/epoxy laminate. The replys are great, I'm digging into every one of 'em. Thank you!

  17. #17
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    Tom -

    some clear epoxies yellow much faster than others. I am currently replacing one of my fast clear floor epoxies with one that some folks actually offer a 1 year no yellowing deal on.

    All my formulators and suppliers (I have several) would love to have a clear epoxy with UV blockers and UV absorbers - cannot be done - something about the crosslinking. Whoever manages to do it will be living next door to Bill Gates.

    We, like lots of folks due have most of the additives, including graphite (like you mentioned) - teflon (tm), copper powder, pigments etc. yes they will stop the UV below the surface.....

    My favorite UV blocker is varnish......


    Corrections on my posts previously on this thread - 1) it is the LA area, not the San Diego area that has the toughest VOC regulations (southern California kind of blurs together to us Yankees) -- 2) probably some exemptions also that I don't know about....



    paul oman
    progressive epoxy polymers
    www.epoxyproducts.com/marine.html

  18. #18
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    Paul, An auto paint store sales person told me LA suppliers aren't allowed to sell the controlled materials, San Diego suppliers can still sell them, the use is controlled. for your info.

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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen e morris View Post
    Hot Stuff cynoacrylic "glue"can be used to saturate fiberglass in the same manner as epoxy at a fraction of the weight.visit their web site and some of their links to learn more.I recall reading something about it in relation to building surfboards.I use cynoacrylic in building strippers...amazing stuff and it keeps evolving.
    New to this forum thing, so I'm not sure if I had to make a new post or use this one for my question. Stephen E Morris mentions using cynoacrylic glue for building strippers. I looked up Hot Stuff and found only some instant glue there. I'm also building a stripper and would appreciate any info and availability in eastern Canada if possible on that product as an alternative to epoxy.
    Thanks again

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Welcome to the Forum, and yes do create a new thread in this section of the forum with a specific Subject/Title asking your question about glues.

    You will get much better / faster answers that way. Also be as specific as possible -- what stripper model/plans, what materials, etc.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Give West 207 a shot. It has some UV protection properties although the Gougeon Brothers do recommend a higher UV coating. A two part urethane would be best. And agree over balsam a 4 or 6oz glass cloth would harden up the surface without registering the cloth pattern.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Won't graphite added to epoxy physically block sunlight from penetrating too deep into an epoxy surface? I've read that it also produces a slicker surface when used as an additive to epoxy. For a surfboard, though, you'd need a different color for the deck area otherwise the surface there would get to hot to hold the sticky wax that helps keep your feet from slipping. Or you could just surf during the favorite feeding times of your local sharks – sunrise and sunset.

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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Great info as usual Paul. If not for you posting here on this forum, I would not have spent days reading all of the great epoxy information on your site. I probably learned more there than any one place. I appreciated the fact that you bothered to include the information without the sales hype. I also agree with the varnish as a protective top coat. Not only will it help to block UV, it will be the easiest coating to scuff and restore periodically/seasonally to keep your board looking fresh.
    I often wondered how all of my fishing rods, who's thread wraps are only coated with epoxy (Flex Coat) stay looking so good for so many years in this Florida sun. I suppose it is possible that them being small and round may trick the surface area from ideal, degrading UV conditions under normal storage and usage.
    I don't know how your board is carried and stored when in use but perhaps keeping it turned so that the sun doesn't stay focused on it's large areas could help, hanging a beach towel over the sunny side could serve 2 purposes of shading and drying the towel etc.
    I often wondered about graphite being that though it may block certain intrusions, it seems the trade off would be it makes the surface dark and that the heat absorbed may somewhat negate the protective attributes.
    Last edited by pipefitter; 02-07-2008 at 11:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Two pack water based polyurethane Aquacote from Boatcraft Pacific is sold in the US. I find it to be a fine product. I put Aquacote clear (which I often tint using acrylic tints for transparent coats) and Aquacote solid colour paint onto epoxy on carbon or glass cloth over balsa and other timber types. I also paint Aquacote Clear directly onto timber without using a primer.

    All of the technical stuff above only confuses me, so I just do it. I have no idea what any of that technical stuff above means what so ever (kind of) but as far as doing the job Aquacote does the job although I do not spray it. It is a bit toxic when airbourne. I cut and polish both Aquacote Clear and Aquacote paint with Farecla G3 Advanced Liquid Cutting Compound. Aquacote is a tuff paint it can take a knock. It certainly can take the UV, I have Aquacote Clear painted on the exterior timber of my home. Aquacote doese not yellow ... or I should say not within the seven years that I've been using it, that I notice.

    Search 'Wild Wassa Aquacote' on the Forum (going back as far as Feb 2002) and you will find many photos of my Aquacote paint jobs here.

    Some recent work ... http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ad.php?t=73875

    For decrorative work Aquacote Clear over solid colours in good. Topcoating with Clear gives a professional finish. The opalescent skins below are pigmented with thinned solid pigments that I normally use for fibreglass work. The transparent coloured skins are made with Aquacote Clear using transparent acrylic tints. If you are taping Aquacote pull the tapes immediately after painting ... Aquacote skins in about 8-15 seconds and is touch dry in about 2 minutes at 30C or in 10 minutes at 20C. Applying 12 coats in a day (a particularly good thickness to cutdown and polish) is not out of the question with this stuff in our warm summer temperatures. Aquacote is best cut and polished after 30 days but it can be cut and polished the following day if needed.





    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 02-07-2008 at 01:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    This really isn't nearly as difficult a question to answer as all these posts seem to be making it. Assuming that you want a clear finish on a glass/epoxy covered surfboard, apply the fiberglass cloth (synthetics like Dynel and Xynole, nylon, polypro, etc. won't go clear enough) use an epoxy resin made for clear finishes (WEST 105/207 for example), fill the weave with plain coats of resin, sand it smooth to about 100 grit with a random orbit sander and varnish it with a two or three coats of a marine varnish that contains a good UV blocker (simple one-parts, like Captain's Varnish will work just fine). Folks have been finishing strip canoes that way for decades and they're both lovely and hold up quite well. Water intrusion for something that isn't left out on a mooring somewhere for extended periods is generally not even worth worrying about. If you plan to store it on top of your car, have a Sunbrella bag/cover made for it as it will block UV extremely well. If you ding it, obviously it would be a good idea to fix it pronto as balsa cores tend to suck water in like a sponge.

    {Insert photo of your choice of any nicely finished strip canoe here and you'll see that despite not having a lot of big multi-syllabic chemical terms in the building process, it works extremely well and has for better than 30 years.}

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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    " ... as difficult a question to answer as all these posts seem to be making it." -TB.

    GTFD asked about a "waterproof clear top coat." There is a big difference between a clear coat and a varnish.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 02-07-2008 at 01:44 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    This is true Warren. Maybe he's planning on leaving his surfboard out on a mooring.... Otherwise in my opinion it's largely much ado about nothing. I've certainly never had a problem on day-sailed boats with water intrusion through varnished clear fiberglass over wood.


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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Hey, Guys. I've been using ZAR polyeruthane varish on my boats for a few years. It is for marine and exterior applications. The Company is United Gilsonite Laberatories, in Dunmore, PA.18509. The web is www.ugl.com. Phone is 1-800-272-3235. I buy the Zar from my local lumberyard, here in Aurora,Il. I have had good results so far. They have gloss and satin, in oil or water base. I pay 20 bucks a Quart, but it's good stuff. Oh! I use the water base Zar only. It doesn't smell like the oil. I like the clean up too. WATER!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Clear awlgrip would be the industry standard. If you have a problem with the local laws --it's a surfboard, throw it in the car/woody/vw camper and drive to Mexico.

    By the way, if you knew some of the professional boat painters I know, you'd know that those laws make sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by paladin View Post
    Memory is the second thing to go, canna remember whut the furst izz.....

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Waterproof clear top coat, any such thing?

    Warren mentions that two part clear Aquacote is available in the US. My Google inquiries only point to Australia. Anyone have some info?

    Also, Warren, have you used a HVLP sprayer to apply the clear two part Aquacote. You mentioned that you could apply a coat every 10-15 min. I was thinking of wrapping my spraygun in a wet towel between coats and applying the finish in one session. Would this work?

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