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Old 03-11-2003, 01:03 PM   #1
Evan

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Default US Composites Epoxy systems review

US Composites carry a couple of different mixtures of epoxy resin. Thick (system 635) and Thin (sytem 150). I highly recommend their system 635 epoxy resin for starters. They are relatively easy to work with and cures faster than other brands that I have tried. Be sure to read the specs for pot life and cure time vs room temperature to see if which specific mixture will work best for you.

You can only get this resin from http://www.uscomposites.com It doesn't seem like they have any distributors out there. Sucks for me because they are all the way in Florida but it's definately worth the shipping wait for you west coast guys who are starting out.
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Old 04-26-2003, 11:47 AM   #2
ElektronBlue

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Default Re: US Composites Epoxy systems review

Quote:
Originally Posted by carbon-werks
US Composites carry a couple of different mixtures of epoxy resin. Thick (system 635) and Thin (sytem 150). I highly recommend their system 635 epoxy resin for starters. They are relatively easy to work with and cures faster than other brands that I have tried. Be sure to read the specs for pot life and cure time vs room temperature to see if which specific mixture will work best for you.

You can only get this resin from http://www.uscomposites.com It doesn't seem like they have any distributors out there. Sucks for me because they are all the way in Florida but it's definately worth the shipping wait for you west coast guys who are starting out.
Hey Evan -

What hardener would you recommend for at home use in Oregon type weather - I'm assuming either the medium or fast. Yet, it stated for the fast it would leave a more rigid laminate.

Thanks,

- Jason
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Old 04-26-2003, 10:05 PM   #3
Evan

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Jason,

I'd go with the medium. The fast is rediculously fast and you will barely have any time to work on it before it starts to cure. Besides, I noticed that the faster the hardener, the less it bonds. If you're doing overlays, the fast hardener is not going to work. I know it's tempting to work fast and save time, but it's not always what it seems.

p.s. Give me some time to answer your other question regarding the vacuum pump size. I am going to pull up my chart and see which one is good base on what you need to do.

Evan
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Old 04-27-2003, 08:05 PM   #4
ElektronBlue

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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbon-werks
Jason,

I'd go with the medium. The fast is rediculously fast and you will barely have any time to work on it before it starts to cure. Besides, I noticed that the faster the hardener, the less it bonds. If you're doing overlays, the fast hardener is not going to work. I know it's tempting to work fast and save time, but it's not always what it seems.

Evan
Hey Evan -

My friend and I are going to be going in on a purchase of the uscomposite's resin. Just for clarification - you suggested to use the medium thick - you listed in your first post that the thick was 635 and the thin was 150 - according to uscomposite's page - the thick is 150 and the thin is 635.

It does kinda suck that they are all the way in Florida, I'm in Oregon :? - but you definately know what your talkin about so I'm eager to get it. Do you suggest the best quantity to buy w/out having to pay extra for the hazerdous chemicals thing? We were initially going to just buy a gallon of resin / hardener. Also, any other supplies I should pick up from them? Rather get the best bang for my buck w/ shipping and all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carbon-werks
p.s. Give me some time to answer your other question regarding the vacuum pump size. I am going to pull up my chart and see which one is good base on what you need to do.
That would be great - thanks!

Take it easy,

Jason
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Old 04-28-2003, 11:05 AM   #5
Evan

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Oops,

My bad. Go with the thin one and not the thick one. The thick is usually used to coat table tops and is too thick for laminating. One gallon is best. Invest an extra $5 and buy the set of pump too unless you already have some kind of measurement device.

The 3-to-1 pump ratio is basically two of the same size pump. Each pump delivers 1oz of resin per repetition so you'll have to pump 3oz of resin to 1oz of hardener. Now that's a lot of resin. Conveniently the pump height is 3 inches so what I did was make a mark on the hardener pump. That way I only have to pump out 1oz of resin and 1/3 oz of hardener at a time for smaller projects. You can mark them further down if you want even less resin.
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Old 04-28-2003, 10:25 PM   #6
ElektronBlue

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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbon-werks
Oops,

My bad. Go with the thin one and not the thick one. The thick is usually used to coat table tops and is too thick for laminating. One gallon is best. Invest an extra $5 and buy the set of pump too unless you already have some kind of measurement device.

The 3-to-1 pump ratio is basically two of the same size pump. Each pump delivers 1oz of resin per repetition so you'll have to pump 3oz of resin to 1oz of hardener. Now that's a lot of resin. Conveniently the pump height is 3 inches so what I did was make a mark on the hardener pump. That way I only have to pump out 1oz of resin and 1/3 oz of hardener at a time for smaller projects. You can mark them further down if you want even less resin.
Thanks for the clarification - I was looking at those pumps - seem like it would be a better way for mixing!

I'll probaby be picking up some at the end of the week!

- Jason
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Old 06-30-2004, 07:28 AM   #7
ibis

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Default Us Composites Epoxy more complete review

Hi,
So I'm a Grad stedunt at the University of Florida in Aero engineering, and a few years ago I became greatly enamored of sailing. I became so interested in it that I decided to build a boat: I found free plans online for the all-plywood Minicup.
I started building my Minicup in the livingroom of my studio-apt at the beginning of last summer. By mid-summer it was epoxy time.
I chose US Composites epoxy because it was very inexpensive and had cheap shipping. Here's my thoughts:

I've used both the thick and thin epoxies with medium hardeners. The thick is great as a wood glue. I used it greatly to glue stringers to the ply. I did many peel tests with ply pieces and also drilled through it a lot: it machines nicely. I took a cured billet and was able to machine it on a milling machine rather well also. It isn't as stinky as many epoxies can be but doesn't work too well with the mixing pumps. It's thick and it takes a while for the pumps to recenter. I asked USC for a material data sheet and they sent me one. If anyone is interested I can post the data if it's legal.

The thin epoxy: I love this stuff. Those pumps are great! It is very thin and wets out even thick laminates fairly quickly. I did most of my epoxy work w/ this stuff outside(during the summer) so I can tell you how it cures in high humidity and heat. Heat can set the medium speed stuff off very quickly. It gets 88+ most days here in the summer and that gives you about 15 minutes before a single 4 oz serving gels. However, the daily rains bring the temps down to about 75, and that gave me problems. First, at 75 deg it may be overnight before the thin becomes hard. However it has almost always cured within 2 days. The humidity causes an amine blush that can cause little dimples in the surface. Indoors this cures nicely but stinks to high heaven. Finally, do not get this epoxy wet anytime before a 90% cure. Some part of this epoxy must be water soluble because my deck got rained on after a coating. The epoxy never cured even after 4 days of hot sun. It had the consistency of gooey rubber, and I had to sand and scrape the whole thing off, a real pain.
After sunlight exposure this epoxy yellows considerably. However that doesn't seem to affect it's properties too much, at least in the short run. I left my rudder outside for over a year(pine ply coated with USC thin 3x) and it didn't seem ill affected. I coated every single surface of my boat generously with USC thin, and then I applied all kinds of fiberglass. I have the idea my little minicup will now live till I'm an old man...
Anyway, I give it my recommendations,
Whenever I do work at school I alwaus plug USC products because of my positive experiences. My girlfriend uses USC thick in her lab to attach PVC to itself and other plastics because it doesn't stink like pipe glue, cures over time, may be thickened, and overall is less expensive.
I've also purchased many of USC's fabrics and urethanes and thickeners so ask me questions
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:35 AM   #8
owkaye

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Default Is US Composites out of business?

US Composites has a funny way of dealing with new customers:

Their website cannot calculate shipping costs so I had to contact them for a quote. I used their online web form that supposedly sent them my quote request, but it's been 3 days and I still haven't received a reply. Then I sent them an email yesterday morning as a follow-up and they've ignore this attempt to contact them for the past 25 hours too.

What's the deal? What do I have to do to get them to respond? Do they always ignore web and email requests like this? Or are they actually "out of business"?
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
craj1031tx

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They always pick up their phone when I call, I'd suggest you do so and see what's going on.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:27 AM   #10
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They got in touch with my via email so all is good.
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