EPOXY RESIN SYSTEMS

 

Cycloaliphatic Epoxy

Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Cure

 

Cycloaliphatics are known for their:

* improved 'weatherability'

* water/moisture tolerance

* resistance to blushing and water spotting

* better chemical resistance.

 

 

cycloaliphatic epoxy explained

Cycloaliphatic Epoxies - NOT for epoxy floors


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Paul Oman, MS, MBA - Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc. (floor epoxies, marine epoxies, underwater epoxies, repair epoxies)

Member: NACE (National Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers), SSPC (Soc. of Protective Coatings)

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IF YOU DON'T USE CYCLOALIPHATIC BASED BIO CLEAR 810 ON YOUR POURED BAR TOP - TABLE TOP YOU'LL REGRET IT BIG TIME. HERE'S WHY....

A commercial epoxy pour contractor recently used our Bio Clear 810 to replace a badly yellowed epoxy poured covered logo on the INSIDE  floor of regional airport terminal with our 'almost no yellowing' Bio Clear 810 (cyclo-aliphatic epoxies to the rescue!)

This is a good example of why you want to use only a cyclo-aliphatic epoxy for your bar top. The other clear epoxies sold for table tops suffer from bad (excessive?) yellowing (and I bet they don't even mention it on their web sites). 

Don't be like the first contractor that just poured some cheap clear epoxy over the airport logo and thought they did a good job. It looked fine to start with and the contractor made a few extra dollars using generic clear epoxy. Too bad. The airport was lucky they could redo their badly damaged cheap epoxy mistake. Most folks cannot redo their special poured epoxy table top.

 NOTE: Because of the yellowing, it is generally not a good idea to have a poured epoxy table / bar outside in the sun, but if you do - use our cycloaliphatic epoxy and keep it covered when not in use.

Cycloaliphatics epoxy systems generally cost about 25% more then ordinary epoxies. In many applications they are not necessary. But they certainly are for clear table tops and bar tops.

 

Why You Don't Want, Or Need, A Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Floor Paint

There are probably dozens of companies (of dubious quality) selling epoxy floor paints over the Internet. Only one of them that I know of promotes a cycloaliphatic epoxy floor paint. Why only one? If it was such an advantage, other epoxy floor vendors would also offer cycloaliphatic epoxy floor paint. The answer is that at best it is  a useless option, at worst, it is a scam.

What are Cycloaliphatic epoxies? Two part cycloaliphatic epoxies use a special cycloaliphatic curing agent or hardener with the standard epoxy (part A) resin. This curing agent (most part B curing agents are actually a blend of different curing agents) improves some of the ordinary epoxy properties. These include outdoor weatherability, better chemical resistance (ordinary epoxies already have outstanding chemical resistance), and better moisture tolerance during application.

Note: cycloaliphatic epoxies are good for things like table top and bar top epoxies and are also used modern telephone pole wire insulators.

None of the benefits/gains associated with cycloaliphatic epoxies are needed in a floor epoxy paint. Simply put, it is unnecessary overkill. And the  downside is that it increases the cost by about 20%. If the price of company's cycloaliphatic epoxy paint is NOT 20% more expensive than its competitor's non cycloaliphatic epoxy it suggests three things: 1) the company doesn't want to make a profit and stay in business, 2) they are cutting costs in some other way or using cheaper quality resins, pigments etc.  (generally not a good thing), or 3) they are only adding a very tiny amount of cycloaliphatic curing agents into their part B blend of curing agents - just enough to claim cycloaliphatic status (sort of unethical).

So why would a company claim the cycloaliphatic floor epoxy paint niche? I can think of only two reasons. 1)  trying to impress unsuspecting customers, or 2) the company doesn't have anyone on staff that is really an epoxy expert and coatings professional.

Your best epoxy floor option? A 100% solids epoxy like Industrial Floor Epoxy (tm) -

visit catalog page.

Learn more. Visit a massive web site of epoxy floor links

Paul Oman - MS. MBA - A.K.A. “Professor E. Poxy” - epoxies since 1994

Member: NACE (National Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers) -- SSPC (Soc. of Protective Coatings)

 

 

marine epoxy school

Introduction:


In the 50 or so years that epoxies have been in existence, one of the technological advances was the introduction of cycloaliphatic curing agents ten or twenty years ago. For many years it was the 'secret weapon' of epoxy formulators. The addition of cycloaliphatic curatives in the Part B (hardener or curing agent) of epoxy resin systems greatly improves the epoxy. Usually the Part B is a blend of curing agents selected due to properties and/or price. Generally, cycloaliphatic curing agents (and their are several) are more expensive than the regular/standard curing agents (by 25 - 40% or so).

 


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EPOXY RESIN SYSTEMS

cycloaliphatic epoxy explained

Cycloaliphatic Epoxies - NOT for epoxy floors



Benefits of Cycloaliphatics:


Cycloaliphatics are known for their:

* improved 'weatherability' -sometimes used on pebble stone decks

* water/moisture tolerance

* resistance to blushing and water spotting

* better chemical resistance.

The ring structure (the 'cyclo' part) also provides (in many cases) a bit more structural 'stretch' than the traditional straight chain curing agent. This provides for better 'impact' resistance (note: 'hard' epoxies, on the other hand, offer better abrasion resistance).


The benefits and higher quality of cycloaliphatic epoxies becomes more obvious if you perform an Internet search for "cycloaliphatic epoxy". You'll find nearly all the search results refer to cycloaliphatic epoxy electrical insulators in comparison to traditional ceramic glass insulation. You'll find, after a bit of reading, that the insulator industry likes the long lasting, weatherability of cycloaliphatic epoxy insulators and think them suitable for long term outdoor exposure. There is no mention of non-cycloaliphatic epoxies.

A commercial epoxy pour contractor recently used our Bio Clear 810 to replace a badly yellowed epoxy covered logo in the INSIDE  floor of regional airport terminal with our 'almost no yellowing' Bio Clear 810 (cyclo-aliphatic epoxies to the rescue!) This is a good example of why you want to use only a cyclo-aliphatic epoxy for your bar top. The other clear epoxies sold for table tops suffer from bad (excessive?) yellowing (and I bet they don't even mention it on their web sites).  Because of the yellowing, it is generally not a good idea to have a poured epoxy table / bar outside in the sun, but if you do - use our cycloaliphatic epoxy and keep it covered when  not in use.


The conclusion is that the most or all of the top grade, exterior quality, high performance epoxies use a Part B curing agent blend consisting partially of cycloaliphatics. Thus, checking the MSDS of the Part B side of an epoxy product for mention of cycloaliphatics is a good way to judge the quality and performance of the epoxy (just like epoxies with a necessary induction time are often low end epoxies - visit our
Epoxy 101 web site).


Cycloaliphatic chemistry explained by "The Chemist" - the hands-down expert on epoxies - in a 2/18/03 post on the Wooden Boat Forum --


"The cycloaliphatic structure refers to a six-member carbon-atom ring in the backbone of the curing agent instead of carbon-carbon linkages between amines in some other curing agents such as West or Sys. 3. The cycloaliphatic curing agents have the amine groups connected to the rings. Both use Diglycidyl ether of Bisphenol-A as the major component of the epoxide curing agent, and both contain benzyl alcohol, a volatile plasticizer which acts as a molecular lubricant and facilitates curing [although systems with cycloaliphatic curing agents contain much more, typically 20-30%, as they simply do not cure more than about half-way at room temperature without it.]

While the cycloaliphatic ring is resistant somewhat to UV degradation, more that the carbon-carbon linkages between amines in some other types of curing agents, both contain the aromatic ring structure of diglycidyl ether of Bisphenol-A, which breaks down fairly readily on UV exposure, and both contain amines; these give both molecular breakdown and yellowing all by themselves.

None of these structures should be considered UV-stable, even though the cycloaliphatic structures are better than the aliphatic amine-structures in that regard."


Now that you know about cycloaliphatic epoxy curing agents, you should also know about the use of
nonyl-phenol in epoxies as well.



MORE ABOUT - COMPARING MARINE EPOXIES - WHAT TO LOOK FOR - OURS AND THEIRS - CLICK




Cycloaliphatic Epoxies offered by Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.:


Progressive offers several different cycloaliphatic epoxies:


Premium No Blush - (CLICK here to view in our marine catalog and CLICK here to view in our industrial catalog) - Generally used as a marine epoxy.


Water Gard 300 - (CLICK here to view in our marine catalog and CLICK here to view in our industrial catalog) - Generally used as an industrial epoxy or marine barrier coat epoxy. Color - white - light blue.


NSP 120 - potable water version of our Water Gard 300 (CLICK here to view in our industrial catalog) - Generally used as an industrial epoxy Color - white - light blue.


Wet Dry 700 - (CLICK here to view in our marine catalog and CLICK here to view in our industrial catalog) - Generally used as patch/repair product - a Kevlar (tm) epoxy paste that works underwater.


Corro Coat FC 2100 - (CLICK here to view in our marine catalog and CLICK here to view in our industrial catalog) - Generally used as an industrial epoxy or marine barrier coat epoxy. Contains Kevlar (tm) and feldspar ceramic which reduces the natural 'give/flex' of cycloaliphatics, resulting in a harder, more abrasive resistant coating. Color gray.


ESP 155 - (CLICK here to view in our marine catalog and CLICK here to view in our industrial catalog) - A clear epoxy primer and sealer. Solvent based for max. penetration. Generally epoxies used as primers use lots of solvents and the lowest quality epoxy available. ESP is an amazing exception, probably nothing else like it available. It uses a top of the line cycloaliphatic curing system as a starting point!

DATA SHEETS - MSDS for these products - CLICK HERE



Cycloaliphatics in Marine Epoxies:


As far as we can determine, our Premium No Blush is the only cycloaliphatic marine epoxy available, despite their obvious benefits. This is probably because:

* cycloaliphatic curatives are more expensive

* many marine epoxies pre-date cycloaliphatics

* no one else is/was doing it and the end-users wouldn't understand or appreciate the benefits

* the marine epoxy market is static and small compared to industrial epoxies (when was the last time you heard of a marine epoxy 'advance'?)

 


 

What You Can Discern About Your Epoxy From It's MSDS Document (Chemistry - Properties)



Most telling is the MSDS for the Part B curing agent (two part epoxies will have an MSDS for both the Part A and the Part B). The curing agent (Part B) MSDS that tells the best story. Unfortunately, the MSDS usually doesn't tell as much as you wish it would.
Section two in MSDS documents list the primary ingredients in the product. Some vendors proudly list their high end chemicals. Others decide to hide as best they can legally the ingredients of their products. Good or really good products will probably list: cycloaliphatic, or cycloxxx, or aliphatic followed by amine or polyamine. They also might use the words modified amine or modified aliphatic amine, yet they could all be the same thing. Again, not very useful for figuring out what you have or for comparing against another vendor's product.


The term Adduct is a good thing to see. Adducts use a little bit of the epoxy resin in the curing agent. This improves properties and blush resistance.


In very general terms, if the Part B uses the term cycloaliphatic and amine or polyamine and or adduct, you probably have a top tier quality epoxy. Seeing "aliphatic amine' might suggest a really good, albeit, second tier epoxy (or a top tier epoxy hiding its top tier roots). Clues, at best. Most, maybe all, underwater epoxies are use cycloaliphatic curing agents.


Even the Part A resin (Bis A generally) comes in flavors. Add that to the nearly endless blends of amines, polyamines, amides, in aliphatic or cycloaliphatic form, as well as other additives and a formulator can develop a product with just about any property desired (viscosity, blush or no blush, chemical or solvent resistance, flex, pot life, etc).


Perhaps more telling from an MSDS than the chemistry of the epoxy, is the red flag addition of excessively large amounts of nonyl phenol or solvents. Another red flag (not found in the MSDS sheet) is the requirement of letting the epoxy sit for some amount of time after mixing and before using. This is often called induction time or sweat in time. Generally only very low end epoxies have induction time requirements.


Technically, MSDS documents should be dated within the last 5 years. I've seen MSDS documents from major formulators that are dated well over 10 years ago. Even our products have outdated MSDS sheet that slip by our attention (where do the years go?). Read what you want from this oversight.


Epoxy Floor Coatings - Sampler Kits

1) NEW Epoxy Floor/ Deck non slip coating  (ROUGH COAT (TM) FLOOR EPOXY) Check out the  8 oz test kit of Rough Coat (tm) - a tan colored  solvent based epoxy floor coating with non slip grit already mixed in. Standard unit size is one gallon which covers about 160 sf. Texture is suitable for bare feet. Use on boat decks, garage floors, shower areas etc.  This product is featured on the GreatThings4u.com website.

2) Solvent Free Industrial Floor Epoxy - 48 oz test kit of IFF in beige or light gray. Tired of the low end stuff sold in mass market box stores or hard sell epoxy flooring web sites run by a marketing major and staffed with ex-shoe salesman just interested in your money? Check out our industrial - commercial (you can buy 15 gallon units), solvent free, Industrial Floor Epoxy (even the product name is simple, no frills labeling). Use with or without chips (order separately - picking colors and percentages), and with or without clear epoxy or poly intermediate or topcoats. Shop like a Professional - where you pick and select what you need. This product is featured on the Best Epoxies  website.

CLICK HERE (floor epoxy paint options) to see these products in our online catalog.

 

The Benefits of Solvent Free Epoxies

(zero VOC - 100% solids)

(Same for epoxy paints and epoxy floor paints - see differences between)

 

* A smooth non-porous, cleanable with strong cleaners surface (thus antimicrobial - mold and mildew resistant) and great  for children's play rooms, bathrooms, showers etc.). Thus common in garage, shops, labs, trailers, etc.

* Solvent free epoxies little or no odor and no solvents to fill the air (great news for allergy and asthma prone during application)

* Wet thickness equals dry thickness (and it is a thick coating to start with) - so equal in thickness to many coats of 'regular' paint.

* Thick and self leveling it fills and hides small chips, depressions, cracks etc. Fill them during application and they will not reappear when the epoxy cures.

 

DISADVANTAGES - all solvent free epoxies yellow, especially in sunlight --- they will scratch ---  they have a surface bond only so they needs a top notch bonding surface to adhere to --- there are MOISTURE DURING CURE issues -- solvent free epoxies have a short pot life (working time during application) - air escaping from concrete can form bubbles in the thick solvent free epoxy (there are ways around this, but you need to be told of this possible issue).

 

CONSUMER WARNINGS - *** Some questionable epoxy vendors like to imply that only their solvent free epoxy has these benefits, which is not true. *** Some questionable epoxy vendors will compare their solvent free epoxy to other vendor's water based epoxies and solvent based epoxies. These are unfair comparisons designed to make their products look 'superior.'***  Some questionable vendors will deny their epoxy yellows (water based epoxies have limited yellowing - dark colors don't show yellowing). *** Some vendors will promote 'special epoxies (novolac, cycloaliphatic, flake filled, coal tar, etc.)  when they are not necessary for your intended application. *** Some questionable epoxy vendors will 'forget to mention' the potential disadvantages and problems listed above.  *** No epoxy vendor can know the condition and suitability of your surface for an epoxy coating, nor can they oversee your surface preparation, and weather/environmental conditions during your DIY epoxy application. So all vendor Warranty documents  have a built in escape mechanism and are presented only as marketing tools to get your business. All that an epoxy vendor can actually warranty is that when mixed correctly the product will harden and have the physical properties described in the product data sheet. An honest epoxy vendor will tell you this up-front.

 

 

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cycloaliphatic epoxy explained

Cycloaliphatic Epoxies - NOT for epoxy floors

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