Resins Epoxy and Polyester - RC Groups
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Jul 27, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Resins Epoxy and Polyester

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up on one of the places I used to buy resins when I built surfboards. They have just about anything you want there and are located in Florida. One of the relatively cheaper places and they sell in smaller quantities to the public.

I'd like to draw attention to two products they have. One is their SS2000 Epoxy resin. Its a 2 to 1 mix that goes on clear and remains clear. Has great UV inhibitors so it wont yellow out in the sun. A gallon and a half kit sells for around 90 bucks which is a lot cheaper than west systems. The gel time is 30 mins with sandable cure in about 6 to 8 hours and full cure in 24 hours. Its tintable with either transluscent or opaque tints and they are also available from the same company. The resin is thin enough that it will wet out 3 layers of 4/6 oz.weave jps cloth easily. I just used a squeegee and could do a 9 ft longboard lamination in 15 mins. Another thing about this resin is a lot of the toxicity that epoxies have is reduced and you are less susceptable to allergic reactions. Epoxy catalyst generally are more toxic by the mix ratios they require.

The second product is what they call suncure catalyst. Suncure catalyst is a UV activated catalyst that you can mix to polyester resin instead of using the more toxic MEK Peroxide. It comes in a powder form and has several advantages and truly only one disadvantage. You cant leave the garage door open while your laminating or the sunlight coming in will set off your lamination, and your exposed gallon jug of premixed suncure you had sitting on the bench.
Advantages are that it will gel when exposed to UV light in about 15 secs and reach full cure in about 15 mins. I could literally build a surfboard from shaping to finished sand in one day with this resin. Then buff and polish on the 2nd day. The good thing is it will not cure till exposed to UV light so if your making molds you can pick at all of those little air bubbles for as long as you want and get them just right before turning on a UV sun lamp or walking outside and exposing your lamination to the sun. Lastly, polyester resin never cures as well as epoxy resin. A polyester lamination with MEK catalyst will continue to cure for 25 years and wont reach a fully usefull cure for about 1 to 2 weeks. Epoxy will reach about 95 percent of its cure in roughly 2 to 3 days. With the Suncure UV Catalyst polyester resin approaches the same levels of full cure in about the same time as Epoxy. The only other disadvantage of it is that you cant use it on anything that is embedded. The UV light must be able to get to the surface of the lamination so that it will kick. Though I used rice paper decals printed with my logos and they cured fine underneath as the top layers kicked. Just thought that you mold makers would like this as you can lay up a few layers. Let them kick a few minutes then lay a few more layers and you should be able to do the complete mold and it would be usable on the same day. Also if at any time you see something going wrong while its curing you can remove the UV light source and the resin will stop curing. This is a great advantage as you can get a part to gel stage and then trim it up before the final cure.

I worked under normal flourescent lighting and then turned on my UV source lamps when I was finished. Im not sure what amount of UV rays common socket type house lights put out but I never noticed any trouble using them as well and there were one or two of those in my laminating room that sometimes were on when I did laminations. So I dont think they are a significant UV light source or at least not to a level as to cause the resin to begin to kick prematurely when laminating.

Hope this helps someone,
I know I've learned a heck of a lot from reading all you guys threads and you've given me the bug to build some planes again.

Last edited by Stikmkr; Jul 28, 2006 at 12:14 AM.
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Jul 27, 2006, 11:11 PM
find me @samotage
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Far out! Suncure!

I once played about with glass glues used that were UV catalysed. Needed a UV lamp to make 'em kick - it was pretty cool. Line up the parts, light on! Stuck.

who likes a suntan.
Jul 27, 2006, 11:20 PM
Registered User
Sam I swear by this stuff. It makes a surfboard cure so hard you can go ride it the same day you finish and it wont pressure ding easily. I did this many times on my own boards as I just couldnt wait. It also got me out of many binds when I made promises as I worked a normal job and building boards was a hobby that became a business quicker than I intended.
Jul 28, 2006, 12:00 AM
Nucking Futs
I'm Rick James's Avatar
Cool info there. I'm currently watching my West Systems cure which is about as boring as watching paint dry.

BTW, is there a surf scene in Corpus Cristi??
Jul 28, 2006, 12:23 AM
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TFLG's Avatar
The UV cure polyester is cool stuff. You can lay up a fuse inside and the resin stays wet, then take it outside in the sun and BAM it cures. Gel time is a few seconds, leave it for 15 minutes and it's rock hard, ready to be pulled from the mold. It's cools stuff indeed when you need a part or a repair in a hurry.

Jul 28, 2006, 12:28 AM
find me @samotage
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How does it go under UV lighting, like your typical fluro tubes? I could see laying up with the normal tubes... then pop black light in and BAM!

who likes to rhyme.
Jul 28, 2006, 12:50 AM
Registered User
You need to use a sunlamp or any kind of uv source lamp. I just had a couple of tanning tubes in a flourescent light fixture. The first few times I used it I just went out in the sun after laminating. I build a couple of boards that way before I got a small socket type sunlamp from Sears. I'd walk around the board holding that lamp till it was cured enough to handle safely and I could turn the board and laminate the other side. Then later I found a tanning booth supplier that sold me a couple of old bulbs and a used ballast to try it out. I put these in an old flourescent light fixture I had and changed the ballast out and this worked fine for like 3 years till I quit making boards. Be advised that tanning bulbs are very expensive. About 100 bucks a piece.

Hi Rick, You a surfer too?

There is a fairly large group of surfers on the gulf coast. Ive been going for a little over 35 years. Im 52 now and started when I got my restricted license at the age of 15. First trip I was hooked and never looked back. Most those I started with gave it up and got fat in the recliner. Waves here are generally in the thigh to chest high range with a few larger days when fronts pass in spring and fall. It does get clean and glassy with clear water those times of year. Though its not often.
Last edited by Stikmkr; Jul 28, 2006 at 01:07 AM.
Jul 28, 2006, 07:47 AM
find me @samotage
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Sounds like sloping.

who's never surfed anything shorter than 18 feet.

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