Category Archives: Epoxy Products

Time is Everything

A last-minute ski repair

By Grant Hilger

On the evening of March 19, 2013, I inspected my 217cm Atomic™ downhill race skis in preparation for race day. Because of the early ending to winter in 2012, these skis have not seen the light of day in almost two years. The only real chance I get to ski with them is at the annual Boyne Highlands Downhill Race in Harbor Springs, Michigan. This late March tradition is usually the grand finale of Michigan’s ski racing season.

This year the weather was shaping up perfectly for outstanding conditions, and I was chomping at the bit to ski fast! Much to my surprise, when I picked up one ski I found that a section near the tail was delaminating. On the inside edge of the left ski, a 1.5″ x 0.5″ area of the top skin was bubbled up from the ski’s sidewall. The bubble was 3/8″ of an inch high. I was less than impressed with this find, knowing that in order to race I’d need to repair the ski.

Delamination area on the ski.

Delamination area on the ski.

Some of the steel inside the ski’s core corroded, causing the top sheet to lose its bond and bubble up. This corrosion was most likely accelerated by salt, which is often used in late-season ski races to keep the snow from softening in the intense sunlight. The salt and water must have made their way into the ski’s core during the 2011 race. It then had almost 24 months for the corrosion to occur. With the issue identified, it was time to plan a repair. The clock was ticking.

I had a cartridge of WEST SYSTEM Six10 Epoxy Adhesive in my repair kit, and I thought that this would work for the application. I rounded up acetone, pipe cleaner, mixing stick, mixing cup, small flathead screwdriver, paper towel, gloves, safety glasses, wax paper, wood blocks, and a C clamp to complete the repair. My plan was to attempt to salvage the top sheet and re-bond it to the ski’s core. This is the procedure I followed:

Step 1: I gouged out the corroded metal from the bubbled-up top sheet. I was careful not to damage the top sheet because then I’d need to repair that as well. I used a shop vac to help suck the metal shavings out of the hole in the ski. Once all the corroded metal was removed, I blew out the void in the ski with compressed air.

Step 2: I used a pipe cleaner and acetone to clean out both the inside of the ski’s top sheet and the ski’s core to aid bonding.

Step 3: Once the area was dry, I mixed a small amount of Six10 adhesive and brushed it into the void on all surfaces with another pipe cleaner. I then used the plastic mix stick to fill in the void as much as possible. This probably added more epoxy than was needed, but it was such a small area that I wasn’t too concerned with waste when it squeezed out. I was more concerned that the repair was robust.

Step 4: I applied wax paper to the skis so that the epoxy wouldn’t get anywhere that I didn’t want it to, and then I clamped the ski as shown in the photo.

The ski repair, clamped and curing at 68°F

The ski repair, clamped and curing at 68°F

Step 5: I allowed the epoxy to cure for 24 hours before removing the clamp.

The repair seemed to be sound, and time was of the essence, so I prepped the skis for racing by hot waxing them with the race wax. I was concerned that adding heat to the ski this quickly after curing might compromise the repair. To my delight, everything held fine. Hurdle number one, cleared.
Now the ski had to hold up to the stresses, vibration, and temperature of a 38 second, 60+ mph run down an icy ski hill. The ending to this story is a happy one. The repair passed its first trial with flying colors. No ill effects were observed in the ski’s performance, and following the race run I inspected the repair. It looked like just as it had when I removed the clamp earlier that week. If you’re at all interested in the race, the skis allowed me to complete the race run in 37.99 seconds, hit a top speed of 66.1 MPH as recorded on GPS, and win my age class by 0.5 seconds (a significant margin in ski racing).

A timeline of the events:

• 3/19/13 (6 pm) – Discovered ski delamination
• 3/19/13 (8 pm) – Ski repair complete, epoxy clamped and curing
• 3/20/13 (7pm) – Hot wax skis for race day
• 3/24/13 (1pm) – Race

Ski repair complete, ready for wax, and then the race.

Ski repair complete, ready for wax, and then the race.

For this repair, time really was everything!

 

Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive

How We Formulated Six10 Epoxy

By Mike Barnard

We formulated Six10 Epoxy to work when dispensed from a u-TAH chambered cartridge with a mixing wand. Putting epoxy resin and hardener into a single cartridge was an idea we had years ago, but until the u-TAH cartridge was developed, the technology was never around to do it. Once that technology became available, it was time to formulate Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive. Continue reading

Squeezing the Most Out of G/flex®

By Julie Jezowski

Are you the kind of person who just can’t get enough of a good thing? Looking for a better way to squeeze out that last little bit of G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive from your tube rather than resorting to pliers, a vise, or maybe even Grandma’s rolling pin? Maybe you’d like to get a fatter bead of adhesive or your tube is a bit clogged. Boy, do we have some easy and inexpensive tricks for you! Continue reading

Shelf Life in Real Life

While WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has a long shelf life, age will eventually affect its handling characteristics and cured strength. When stored for very long periods, hardeners may turn darker (reddish to purple), become thicker and give off more odor. 105 Resin may lose some clarity and also become slightly thicker. Use extra care when mixing age-thickened products (stir extra thoroughly), and if color and/or clarity are crucial to your project, buy some fresh resin and hardener for best results. 207 Special Clear Hardener is specially formulated for clarity and flow. Continue reading

Epoxy Compression Test in Progress

Testing Epoxy to Determine Physical Properties

by Mike Barnard

In this article, I’ll describe our standards for testing epoxy and how we go about testing epoxy to determine its handling characteristics and cured physical properties.

Epoxy Testing Standards

These are the standards we follow no matter which epoxy we are characterizing.

Two-week room temperature cure

After proper metering and thorough mixing epoxy will continue to cure after it has solidified until all amines have paired up. Over years of testing epoxy, we have found that two weeks of curing at room temperature, which we define as 72°F (22°C), is a good indication of its full strength. Continue reading

WEST SYSTEM Boat Repair Kits

New Boat Repair Kits

New for 2012, WEST SYSTEM is offering three specialized boat repair kits designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Each contains the right materials and instructions for making lasting repairs and is available at your local stocking WEST SYSTEM dealer. Continue reading

At the end of the three-day Family Build Weekend, the nine family teams pose with their assembled Sassafras 16 canoes. After some additional sanding, coating and finishing these handsome lapstrake canoes will be ready for the water.

Sassafras 16 Family Build Weekend

by Grace Ombry
Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

WEST SYSTEM®, Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) and nine family groups joined forces at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut this June for the Family Build Weekend to build nine Sassafras 16 kit canoes. With only a blue and white striped rental tent to shield them from the unseasonably hot weather in Mystic that weekend, everyone labored hard to get their boats a long way toward completion in just three short days. Continue reading

Using G/5 Five Minute Adhesive

G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive

Uses and Tips for Furniture Repair and More

by Tom Pawlak and Captain James R. Watson

Above: G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive is applied neatly to a furniture joint. 

Let’s look at some ways G/5 Five-Minute-Adhesive can be used around the house for everything from furniture repair to building model railroads.

Continue reading

Six10 Epoxy Adhesive

Introducing Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive

Above: Introducing Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive, a two-part adhesive in a convenient, self-metering cartridge for permanent, waterproof structural gap filling and gluing.

Six10® Adhesive gives you the strength and reliability of a two-part WEST SYSTEM epoxy with the convenience of a single-part product. Six10 is dispensed with a standard caulking gun. Non-sagging Six10 bonds tenaciously to wood, metals, fiberglass, and concrete. Continue reading

Six10 Epoxy Adhesive

Understanding Six10 Epoxy Adhesive Properties

By Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

WEST SYSTEM® Six10 is a two-part, pre-thickened epoxy adhesive formulated with properties that make it perfect for many adhesive applications. Compared to other ready-to-dispense adhesives, its particular physical properties make it ideal for stitch and glue boat construction, fiberglass laminate repair and general bonding. This new formulation has a good balance between the elongation and toughness of G/flex® and the strength and stiffness of our 105 Resin-based epoxies. You can use it with as many materials as possible including wood, metals and composites. The long working time with fast thru-cure and unique shear thinning are additional characteristics formulated into Six10 that contribute to its ease of use. Continue reading