Above: Robert Patenaude performs emergency rudder repairs with G/flex so he can get back into the regatta and take first place.
Robert Patenaude had ten miles left to reach the finish line in the Bermuda One-Two offshore race when a 30-ton whale hit Perseverance, his C&C 41, seriously damaging the rudder. Not content to drop out of the competition, he called on his racer friends to help him remove the 160 lb, 9′-long rudder from the boat while it was still in the water. He reasoned that if the contenders in the Puma or Vendee Globe races could make major repairs without dropping out of a race, he could too. Continue reading →
Above: This joint style in an edge-glued, 1/8″ thick HDPE plastic strip which holds tight when deflected and is a good choice when gluing plastics.
One of our goals for G/flex® was the ability to bond to a variety of plastics. This was an ambitious goal because plastics historically have been used as mold release surfaces for epoxy, allowing the epoxy to release from the plastic when cured. While developing G/flex, we tested adhesion to a number of plastics with a variety of surface prep methods. Continue reading →
Above: Stan and Glenda Bradshaw in the Mad River Freedom 16′ Royalex canoe repaired with G/flex Epoxy in August 2007 on the Blackfoot River near Ovando, Montana a couple of miles downstream of the Roundup Bar.
The wooden gunwales of Royalex canoes can rip a hull apart if left out in bitter cold temperatures. Somewhere south of freezing, the plastic body of the canoe shrinks while the dampish wooden gunwales expand. Unless the screws affixing the inwale and outwale are backed out, they pin a shrinking hull to an expanding gunwale, and something will give. That something is always the hull. Continue reading →
D-ring pads are often attached to flexible surfaces with urethane adhesives to gain load-carrying capacity where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. They are used on waterproof fabric cargo bags, heavy tarpaulins, and inflatable boats. They are also sometimes used on the decks of canoes and kayaks to hold cargo in place on long trips. D-rings are not typically used on polyethylene canoes and kayaks because the urethane glues are not recommended for use on HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. We experimented with gluing D-ring pads with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive to HDPE plastic with that end-use in mind. Continue reading →
It all started when I got a tech call from somebody asking if WEST SYSTEM® 105/206 would accept a nail pounded into it, after it was cured, with no pilot hole. I confidently said that it would not work well and in most cases, it would fracture the epoxy. Just for fun, I went out in the shop and tried it because even though we all pretty much agreed it wouldn’t work, nobody had ever actually done it. Well, we were right—the nail caused a “brittle” failure. Continue reading →
Above: Mixing G/flex with other WEST SYSTEM Epoxies increases the versatility of these epoxy systems.
WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin-based epoxy is a very versatile system. For years, experienced users have been mixing and blending the various product combinations in countless ways. For example, users may blend 205 Fast Hardener and 206 Slow Hardener to make a hardener with a modified cure speed. Different uses of 410 Microlight® Fairing Filler provide a further example. Many customers assume that the only use of 410 is to make a fairing compound—it is added to thicken epoxy to a peanut butter consistency to create a light, easily-sanded filler. Continue reading →
G/flex Epoxy is a toughened, resilient two-part epoxy engineered for a superior grip to metals, plastics, glass, masonry, fiberglass, and wet and difficult-to-bond woods. Introduced in June 2007, G/flex Epoxy is currently available in two consistencies: G/flex 650 Epoxy, a liquid epoxy, and G/flex 655 Epoxy Adhesive, a pre-thickened epoxy. Both have a 1:1 mix ratio. Continue reading →
Above: The notched-beam test for creep stress determines flexible properties.
The Technical Staff at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. regularly discusses material properties in a variety of applications. For example, it is not uncommon for us to discuss with a customer how to use carbon fiber to stiffen a structure, such as the shaft of a kayak paddle, and then within minutes discuss with another how to bond a dimensionally unstable wood, such as oak, and ensure precautions are taken so that the relative movement of the wood will not cause a failure. Continue reading →
Above: 12oz fiberglass is used to patch holes in an aluminum boat. Fiberglass patches for both the inside and outside of the hull were wet out with G/Flex 650.
When we started testing G/flex Epoxy as a solution to leaky seams and rivets in aluminum boats, we put out a company-wide call for test boats. John Kennedy offered his old 15′ Michi-Craft canoe, saying he would bring it down from his cabin at the end of hunting season. Not smiling, he asked a few weeks later “just how big a repair we could handle.” It turned out John jack-knifed his utility trailer on an icy road, punching a fist-sized hole in the stern quarter of the canoe. Ouch. Continue reading →
We wanted to experiment with using G/flex to fix leaking aluminum boats. I was quite surprised to find that every aluminum boat owner I talked to said they had some sort of leak. Within three hours, I had several co-workers volunteer their aluminum boats for the experimental fix using G/flex. Continue reading →