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Issues with Two Part Marine Epoxy Resins

Amine Blush - Learn about this important epoxy issue before you buy (epoxy)

 Marine Epoxy Blush -  Amine Blush and Clear Marine Resin Systems

 
 

   

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Blush (amine blush) is a waxy layer that forms as most marine epoxies cure. When very bad, it is a visible white layer, otherwise it might not be visible, but still there. It is due to moisture in the air during cure. Specifically the amines in the curing agent can react with carbon dioxide and moisture to from ammonium carbonate (blush). Generally it is the cheaper marine epoxies that blush (those using a very basic amine curing agent) and the top of the line epoxies (sort of amine hybrids) that do not blush - or are harder to make blush.


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Blush (amine blush) is a waxy layer that forms as most marine epoxies cure. When very bad, it is a visible white layer, otherwise it might not be visible, but still there. It is due to moisture in the air during cure. Specifically the amines in the curing agent can react with carbon dioxide and moisture to from ammonium carbonate (blush). Generally it is the cheaper marine epoxies that blush (those using a very basic amine curing agent) and the top of the line epoxies (sort of amine hybrids) that do not blush - or are harder to make blush. If your epoxy is blushes often, it is probably not a very high end epoxy. Blush needs to be washed off the surface of the epoxy before it can be recoated or painted.


Vendors with blushing marine epoxies downplay the problem so it can be difficult to determine how bad this issue is.

The best ways to reduce blushing, besides using a no blush epoxy, is to work in warm temperatures (the epoxy sets up faster, reducing the blush window) and with humidity at low levels. Certainly avoid conditions where moisture is coming out of the air as temperatures fall.



How serious is blushing? Here is an actual post on a boating newsgroup:


Some time ago I decided to build the 6 hour canoe to get some practice for a bigger sail design hopefully to come in the future. I used fir ply and fir trim. The construction went well, barring the gun'l split. Next I coated the entire canoe, in and out, with (a leading competitor's 'regular' - blushing - epoxy) followed by 2 primer coats and 2 finish coats of a marine paint from Home Depot, I don't remember the brand. The paint was sprayed on.

Well, I goofed. I forgot about the blush before painting so naturally the paint didn't stick, and it looked so nice for a while. So once I finished the appropriate amount of cursing a sanded of all of the primer and finish coat, wiped the hull down with acetone followed by alcohol and repainted. I thought I was all set but the peeling has come back. So now the 6 hour canoe has become the 6 year canoe..... and I'm about ready to give up.

Thanks, B
----

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What exactly is marine epoxy amine blush and how will it affect me?

The best explanation I found about amine blush I found at:

http://www.oneoceankayaks.com


Here is what they have to say:

Epoxy Blushing


When some marine epoxies harden, a byproduct of the curing reaction rises to the surface
appearing as a greasy, waxy layer. On contact with high humidity or water, this coating
turns into an opaque white smudge (during or even after cure) which turns into dry chalky
powder with time. This 'blush' will not wipe off easily with thinners or solvents. It can only
be dry or wet sanded after the epoxy completely cures.

This property has a huge implication on the time and amount of labor you need to
expend to recoat or for bonding. Blush free epoxies allow additional filler coats and
bonding without prior sanding! This benefit also cannot be overemphasized if you ever
experienced allergic reaction to fiberglass and uncured epoxy dust.


The way this works is that if you re-coat before the prior coat is completely cured, the
new epoxy will dissolve the top layer of the 'old' coat and fuse 'chemically'. If let cure for
longer, the absence of the blush (surface contamination) permits a clean mechanical
bond. Despite the clean surface, it is a good idea to wet-sand cured epoxy if subsequent
bonding isn't done within 24 hours or so. This assures a good secondary (mechanical)
bond.

Marine epoxies that suffer from blushing are difficult to trust (without a lot of intermittent
sanding). Filler coats can be applied without sanding but it must be done as soon as the
epoxy starts setting or shortly after. Furthermore, unvarnished surfaces (such as the
insides of the cockpit) may turn smudgy white with time which is quite ugly,
aesthetically speaking.

What is Blush? - technically speaking

The greasy layers that appears on some epoxies are largely the salts of amine carbonate.
Depending on the type and formulation of the epoxy, amine compounds on the surface
combine to various degrees with CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water in humid air forming
hydrates of amine carbonate. This stuff is supposedly water soluble but it will not leave
without some abrasive scrubbing.


Why do some epoxies blush and some don't and why wouldn't everyone want to make
non-blushing epoxies?


It just happens that the amount of blushing is very related to the shape of the amines .
These molecules in turn determine the physical properties of the cured epoxy. Low blush
epoxy formulations often contain 'cyclic amines'. The geometry of these molecules as
well as their 'mono functionality(one reactive side only) improve the surface, slow down
the cure rate and reduce the strength of the cured mass.


What does it all mean? It seems that very slow, glossy, low blush epoxies harden to
solids with lower moduli of elasticity (softer and more elastic) which allows for
deformation and better impact absorption without cracking. Faster setting, blushing
epoxies are generally far stiffer, harder as well as more brittle. At the extreme of this
spectrum lie high moduli epoxies which are never used for clear coating but are
unsurpassed in their strength. These epoxies are used in high tech, high strength
composites that are post-cured with heat.

Once again, thanks to Vaclav Stejskal at One Ocean Kayaks for the above information.

 

BASIC NO BLUSH (tm) MARINE EPOXY - review

 

boat building marine epoxy

Progressive Epoxy Polymers (epoxyproducts.com) Attn: Paul,

Attached is a zip file with photos, plan view, vessel description, and some shots of the previous builds of the same boat. I am using your Basic No-Blush marine epoxy as my sole epoxy coating & glue solution throughout this entire project and I just love your product! Having used all the major brands on the market today I find your epoxy to be the easiest, most consistent, and most forgiving marine epoxy product of them all.

This boat is being built in an unheated, semi-weather tight workshop, on an island on Lake Winnipesaukee (central New Hampshire) and consequently I'm more often working in temperatures outside of what is optimal for most epoxies. I've had success with your epoxy (with the Regular curing agent) setting up in temps in the low 50's and also behaving kindly with temps in the upper 80s to 90+. While pot life varies considerably in such a wide range your product is very consistent, predictable, and telling when it's time to 'wrap it up', which is definitely not so much the case with some of your competitors.

In addition, your pricing is very attractive and while price is not the primary reason why I use your product I definitely appreciate the value you offer, so thank you.

Jeff - 2014 - Offshore Skiff boat builder

basic no blush epoxy marine

basic no blush epoxy

Originally designed for Offshore Magazine, the Offshore Skiff was intended to be an economical shoal-draft family cruiser or alternately--in the open center-console version--an all-around utility boat. A skiff. of course, is any fairly small, shoal, economical vessel. She could be a 15-foot rowboat, a 30-foot Jersey sea skiff, or even a 36-foot 17,000-pound Sea Bright skiff. The Offshore Skiff, falls nicely in the middle of this range at 28-feet 3-inches overall , 24-feet waterline, 8-foot beam. 5400-pound displacement, and drawing a scant 1 1 inches to the bottom of her hull. (She draws 26 inches to the bottom of her outboard.)

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This current page is all about:

MARINE EPOXY

Marine Epoxy Blush - Amine Blush and Clear Marine Resin Systems

Amine Blush - Learn about this important epoxy issue before you buy
XX


 

Epoxy "Stab Brush" --  "Regular Brush"

Use with products on this page

buy separately or include with your order

STAB BRUSH - 3 inch wide with 3/4 inch bristles. Most epoxies are too thick for a regular brush. Stab brushes allow you to push and move the epoxy around and 'stab' or poke it into cracks, voids, and corners

REGULAR BRUSH - 2 inch wide and extra thick with synthetic bristles. Use with varnish, paints and thin epoxies. Priced for disposable use.

Find Stab Brushes and Regular Brushes in our MARINE CATALOG or in our HOME/COMMERCIAL CATALOG

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premium no blush marine epoxy

custom spear gun with Premium No Blush protective finish

 

Hi Paul,

Hope this finds you well... Here are some pics. Let me know what you think.

In terms of practical testing your Premium No Blush Epoxy in sea water...it is just Great...it stood against very harsh conditions and still going on very strong. Unlike W@@T Sys@@m Epoxy...it did not blush at all...and actually the yellowish color addition makes the guns even nicer...reacting with teak wood to a golden dark brown color...beat that!

Because of your epoxy, I had to recall most of the guns (coated with W@@T Sys@@m) sold locally and recoat them with your epoxy...just couldn't handle them coated any other way.

Best regards, Ihab - Egypt - Custom Spear Gun manufacturer. 

 


The Marine Epoxy Everything Guide

Everything from user reviews, repair examples,

pricing issues and vendor evaluation tips

 

Basic No Blush Marine Epoxy Product Page

Basic No Blush 12 oz Marine Epoxy sampler

Marine Epoxy Catalog page (multiple epoxies)

Basic No Blush Marine Epoxy User Reviews / Feedback

How To Evaluating Marine Epoxy brands and Vendors

Marine Epoxy prices - what it really costs!

Marine Epoxy amine blush - what is epoxy Blush?

Boat repair examples using Marine Epoxy

Dinghy Marine Epoxy boat repair case study

Stitch and glue Marine Epoxy construction

Progressive Epoxy Polymer's marine web site

Buy two part Marine Epoxy now

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We also catalog Internet floor epoxy links!

 

 

 

 

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Marine Epoxy Blush - Amine Blush and Clear Marine Resin Systems

Amine Blush - Learn about this important epoxy issue before you buy
XX