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  will mat or biaxial fabric w/ mat work w/ epoxy?

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Author Topic:   will mat or biaxial fabric w/ mat work w/ epoxy?
AC posted 08-12-2002 11:10 AM ET (US)   Profile for AC   Send Email to AC  
Is biaxial fabric stitched with .75 oz.mat compatible with epoxy resin? I am getting conflicting information:
1)West System recommends biaxial fabric w/ mat for repairs in their fiberglass repair video. They mention that this BIAXIAL cloth is stitched to 8 oz. chopped strand mat and that the mat is finished with an epoxy functional coating to enhance adhesion. I presume they are referring to their own proprietary brand. The problem with West Systems is that they only sell the biaxial cloth in 4" tape or 20-yard rolls. Well, I only need about 5 yards and am not going to give West Marine $454.99 for 20 yards!
2)LBI Fiberglass sells biaxial cloth on the internet in 3 and 5 yard economically priced rolls. However, they warn that "fiberglass mat cannot be used w/ epoxy because the binding material in the mat will NOT dissolve in epoxy resin. I am waiting to hear back from them regarding their bixial cloth w/ mat.
3) Seafit sells a fiberglass mat that they claim is for use with polyester or epoxy resins. This conflicts with LBI.
Have any of you used mat (more specifically, biaxial cloth w/ mat) with epoxy resin with safe results?
russellbailey posted 08-12-2002 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
I have not heard of this problem with mat, but I don't use mat much as it is harder to patch with than cloth.

I can direct you to www.fibreglast.com, an excellent mail-order source for resins/cloth of all types - I'm sure they can answer your question. I use them to get carbon/kevlar as well as fiberglass for patching racing canoes. They have a bunch of different mats also and I'm pretty sure everything they sell works with polyester/vinylester/epoxy.

I don't have any affiliation with them other than buying materials from them.

Chris J posted 08-12-2002 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chris J  Send Email to Chris J     
You might want to go over to the forum at www.bateau.com and ask there. It is a boatbuilding site that belongs to a System Three dealer, and questions like this turn up regularly there.

My understanding is that mat requires polyester resin, because the mat contains a binder that does not dissolve properly in epoxy.

For most of my whaler repairs I've used polyester resin and cloth (or mat in a few cases). My reasoning is that when repairing existing structure it is best to use materials that are as close as possible to the original material.

For new construction I always use epoxy and cloth.

I prefer System Three epoxy to West System. It seems more tolerant of mixing errors and the mix ratio (2:1 vs. 5:1) is a little easier to manage when mixing by hand. Unfortunately, System Three is not generally handled over the counter.

AC posted 08-12-2002 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for AC  Send Email to AC     
I spoke to Jim Watson @ West Systems (interviewed on Continuous Wave Radio) and he assured me that their epoxy would work with a biaxial fabric w/ mat (other than their own proprietary fabric). I like the biaxial mat because it is supposed to lay nicely and be strong in corners and angles.

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