Table of Contents
How to Make Sikaflex
In order for epoxy to adequately adhere to sikaflex, the surface must be very clean and dry.
If you have any scratches or imperfections in the metal, the chance of failure during this process is higher. Use some acetone to remove dirt and an alcohol cleaner to remove grease and other resistances.
Once the material is clean and smooth, you can apply thermoset polyurethane (also called enamel) over it which will improve adhesion. A word about enamels: They normally contain silicone, which helps them stick to plastic, but they also often contain petroleum solvents that are harmful to humans and the environment.
As mentioned earlier, if you plan on applying more than one layer of film, you should first prime the surface with solvent. After priming the surface, set the sample aside until the liquid has dried. Then you can either return it to the same place or begin another layer.
What is Sikaflex
Sikaflex is one of the most commonly used polyesters for making sign faces. It was developed in Germany as a replacement for cellulose acetate but with better heat resistance. Because it contains no chlorine, there’s less danger of flammability. Polyester has become the universal polymer in signs because of its low cost.
However, Sikaflex can also have a very rigid structure, which makes working with the material difficult. This rigidity can also make fusing letters harder than if your film had more flexibility.
Also, because of the complexity of the molecules that make up Sikaflex, they can get tangled together, causing reduced dimensional stability. In other words, over time the letter shape will change size and possibly even collapse.
This cannot happen with silylative plastics such as Silastic B (a copper salt) or Vespel; however, these tend to be much more expensive.
Another disadvantage of using Sikaflex is that it produces quite a bit of dust when rolled onto the surface. This is both environmentally undesirable and costly from an efficiency standpoint.
How to Use Sikaflex
Once you have applied some pressure to expand the gel coat, you can apply very thin layers of elastomeric coating material with a spatula or roller bottle.
The secret is to work fast before the gelcoat dries! (You don’t want to spend hours applying layer after layer until the wet paint has almost absorbed into the gelcoat.)
Sikaflex is an exceptional low-viscosity gelcoat that requires no additional processing time for application. It also sands easily where water is used as a thinner and does not require any higher viscosity index than regular oil-based Gelcoat.
It offers properties similar to conventional automotive enamels when cured. However, its glass transition temperature makes it suitable for use in cooler climates which are susceptible to resin shrinkage.
This is a much lower viscous liquid than most other Elastomers plus silicon free making it more effective at protecting your surfaces.
Tips for Using Sikaflex
There are many things you can do with sikaffix, but it is important to understand how each component works separately before mixing them up.
When placed in contact with one another, sifbalene from the resin will dissolve and penetrate into the epoxide of fb. Afterward, the two components connect by chemical reaction and form an advanced polymer that has excellent properties.
However, this process does not occur uniformly throughout the material, so care must be taken when mixing variables.
For instance, if the ratio of fiber to paste is changed, then the strength may vary slightly. However, the most common way to achieve these results is by using different types of fibers or pastes.
These mixes can also help reduce friction between surfaces, creating more flexibility. However, this comes at the cost of hardwearingness.
What is Epoxy?
Epoxy is a tough, solid plastic that can be molded into any shape and cured (solidified) in place by exposing it to heat or light. It’s used in numerous applications including protecting metal parts from corrosion, fixing panels to aircraft structures, and sealing joints between rock formations.
Here at Home Depot we use epoxies for hundreds of products every year. And while you might not have thought much about them, they are an essential part of your home improvement projects!
There are two main types of epoxies; ones to seal metals and others to seal fabrics. Both types form a very strong bond with their corresponding surfaces.
Sealants are a type of epoxy designed to protect metals such as steel. They come in various forms but work fairly similarly. When placed under pressure, this glue-like material flows to cover all exposed areas, then hardens overnight.
Clayton Plaster Products of Clayton, NC tops the list when it comes to industrial sealant lines. You get what you pay for here – cheap products aren’t worth its value. If you need reliable protection from damage, spend a bit more on quality brand name epoxide based sealants.
This also gives better results. There are many different brands and styles of sealants. Check out the options and find the one that works for you.
How to Use Epoxy
Properly applied, epoxy can last decades under extremely harsh conditions, including water, chemicals, heat, and friction.
However, it needs an excellent surface with which to bond, consisting of nothing but smooth, clean metal. If your component has any relief (machined surfaces), you will need to prepare it before application.
A few guidelines for use apply both to new projects as well as to previously machining-challenged areas.
If you are running out of space for new components, consider using thicker materials or thinner sheeting. This is because epoxy cannot be cut easily, so adds much extra cost to each square inch. Also, heavier sheets require more material per project.
Keep in mind that some applications may call for additives to improve conductivity or strength. These include accelerators used to make ground mat resistant, among other things.
The most common type of epoxide resin is sold as EPIKOTE 1710 and 1820. Note that the numbers after E refer to degrees temperature, meaning this product can withstand x number increments higher than room temperature.
Epoxy can be purchased prem mixed, or there are some good reasons why it should be pre-treated. Due to its viscous nature when fresh, heating it up red hot tends to thin it considerably more than normal. Heating it up fast drops the viscosity considerably. There are also chemical alternatives that reduce the viscosity while still
Tips for Using Epoxy
There are several things you should keep in mind when using epoxy; these include choosing an accelerator, proper mixing times, and applying too much or not enough.
Choosing an accelerant is very important, as it helps the resin gel and increases its durability.
There are many different types of accelerants that can be used including acid rain accumulators, gasoline, benzene, ethyl acetate, lye, etc.
However, use extreme caution when considering adding any additional chemicals to your bonding process. Furthermore, avoid sandpaper at all costs!
It is highly recommended that you read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to usage. I would also recommend reading their manuals for other applications (see below).
Once your base coat has cured, apply one thin layer of your resin. You may need to apply more layers depending on the type of item you are coating.
The thickness of each subsequent layer must be thinner until the desired dry film thickness is reached. Only then can you start working with the next element of the project.
When placing multiple sheets of glass together, note that they must be clean and dust free before going into the fixturing stage. Vacuum channels and install adhesive strips lastly.
Mixing must happen within 24 hours of application because reaction proceeds under standard conditions. Increase this amount by heating or cooling.
What is the Best Epoxy to Use?
There are two types of epoxies that can be used for bonding plastics–dipropylene diglycol (DPD) and novacure 801.
Both DPO and Novakane 800 have advantages and disadvantages you should consider before choosing one over the other.
DPO has excellent physical properties, including good resistance to heat and chemicals. Its main disadvantage is its slow reactivity in comparison to KF 50.
Novaco 80 uses an integrated catalyst system which reduces cost relative to DPO but increases potential corrosion issues.
If possible, using DPO will reduce these concerns. If your project requires special handling or cleaning procedures, use Novakane 800.
How to Apply Epoxy
Once you have obtained your epoxy, vacuum it to remove any air bubbles. Then, apply thinner into each corner of the area where you are going to put caping glue then wait for it to dry.
After that is dried up, spray more thickener through the holes in the corners and slightly cover the surfaces of the objects you intend to coat. When the newly laid surface has set, go back and thin out some of the material to make sure no areas were missed.
When everything is smooth again, start applying your second color or type of cement. Again, let both sets of coats dry until they’re totally hardened.