Saturday, 30 January 2016

Found my Brand - Reactive resins for the win!

*EDIT* Reactive resins have since ceased trading, a real shame if you ask me.

Right, before i go any further i'll say this i am nothing to do with reactive, i'm not affliated in any way, on the payroll, an ambassador / rep for them - nothing. Nada. we go....................THIS STUFF FUCKING ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Gees,.............. if only i found this epoxy, oh i dunno, say 8 years ago - perhaps the project would've gone alot smoother. All i can say is its the absolute conkers. I spent today playing with it in small batches getting a feel for it.

This Syntac epoxy resin is genius, not just because it doesn't blush and is better value than Wests, but because it comes in three different viscosities. I'm using EPAFD the lowest viscosity resin that ratios  2:1 (by weight) with the hardener; the one i'm using is Synamin 220, again one of three available which is their fast hardener but in these conditions you'll have plenty of time. 

I'll be honest i was a little hesistant in changing epoxy supplier seeing as i have loads of West Systems additives still left in the cupboard not to mention a third of a c pack but a combination of anger and frustration with the amount of work that wests requires eventually forced my hand. So top of the agenda was mixing up the Syntac resin and adding it to my array of go-to fillers.

First up was my everyday workhorse - Cabosil - God only knows where i'd be without this stuff, what always puzzled me though with both Cabosil & Wests own Silica was i'd always end up mashing the crystalline rocks that hadn't mixed in properly with the laminating roller no matter how much i stirred the pot.
Not a problem with the new resin - by the seventh or eighth stir of the pot I got a beautifully silky paste all even and mixed, this would be the first of many revalations. 

Next up: 410 Microlight which is Wests fairing additive, again mixed up to the consistency i use I planted it on a board along with 404 Low Density filler and 407 High Density filler all of which by this evening were dry and not atall sticky or waxy. I'll double check that in the morning and report back - initial reports are good.

Which brings me to the work at hand - namely tabbing the ply bulkhead, for this i went three layers of 600g bi-ax cloth on a cabosil-thickened epoxy, i should say firstly i filleted the joint properly with a dense cabosil mix. Oh yeah before i forget - piping bags - another epiphany - god they cut the mess to zero, just started using disposable ones - I almost look professional now when i work. 

Anyway I started laying down the cloth - slight fuck up as i laid the hull side down first and then unfolded the bulkhead side only to find it was overlapping the tape i had applied to the edge of the rebate - this to cut down mess - so that had to come off making the left side a bit amateur-looking but no worries all went fine. I think i worked quicker too as the epoxy is so easy to work being thinner than Wests.

Another observation was how much heat you can put through this Syntac epoxy - with Wests if you held the gun on it point blank you'd fry the saturated cloth solid almost immediately, not so with the new kid - it stayed wet. Because of the temperatures i'm post-curing with a couple of heaters and a quick touch of the cloth earlier this evening reveals a much smoother finish to the cloth too than Wests without peelply and the thought of not having to wash or sand this tomorrow makes me grin ear to ear.

Seriously if you have a job that requires epoxy, forget West Systems - meet your new epoxy system from

Cheers RR fanboy.


Unknown said...

Looks good and this new epoxy should help the future progress enormously.

roger ball said...

Tell me about Norm, i cant believe how easy this stuff is to use, an absolute revelation this stuff.