Above: Captain and first mate contemplate ways to free up the swim platform and keep the drinks cold aboard the 1986 242 LS, FUNKTIONAL.
My personal boat is a 1986 Formula 242 LS. With a soft riding deep V hull, good performance, and a small but well-appointed cuddy cabin, it is a great boat for me, my wife, and our dog to use for a whole weekend. One shortcoming, besides not having standing headroom in the cabin, is the built-in cooler located in the cuddy cabin. The cooler had a side door and was styled to look like a refrigerator. This may have looked “cool” in the mid-1980s but was impractical. We couldn’t put ice in the cooler without having the water leak out through the door. For any trip longer than one night, I had to use a standard cooler strapped to the swim platform. This was inconvenient and limited the use of the platform at the beach. Continue reading →
My wife’s 2000 Audi TT has a very sleek shape, and these smooth lines are carried under the hood with molded plastic engine covers that provide a very clean-looking engine. Unfortunately, when I was servicing a burned-out bulb, I attempted to remove the engine covers in the wrong sequence which caused a tab to snap off. Continue reading →
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 →
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: 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 →
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: Jeff Wright, Vice President of GBI Technical Services, poised to take a deep dive into types, materials, costs, weight, and stiffness of flat panels.
Many WEST SYSTEM® customers appreciate the benefits of cored composite construction. They understand that it creates a part that is lightweight, strong, and stiff. We often receive calls from these customers inquiring about using a composite panel when building or repairing something that would normally be made of plywood. Such projects may include a new center console for a fishing boat or the replacement of flying bridge side shields. Determining the best material requires consideration of many aspects of the project, but often comes down to cost versus weight. Continue reading →
Most production fiberglass boats are made with polyester resin, and we’re often asked if it’s appropriate to use polyester gelcoat over epoxy. WEST SYSTEM® epoxy is a wonderful material for repairing polyester fiberglass boats. One reason for this is the ability of epoxy to form a stronger mechanical bond to a damaged laminate than polyester resin. Epoxy also provides a better moisture barrier than polyester resin. Continue reading →