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Author Topic:   Shelf life on fiberglass resin?
Duckin Whalers posted 07-06-2003 06:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for Duckin Whalers   Send Email to Duckin Whalers  
I was channel surfing this afternoon and saw a show about import tuners.(Honda,Nissan,Toyota hotrods) and I stopped when I saw a guy working with fiberglass. He was making custom door panels.

He said fiberglass resin has a shelf life of about 90 days and reputable brands will have a date stamped on the container. I have never seen this, nor heard this.

Is it true that there is a shelf life on resin? The last can I bought from a local boat shop looked old but, I bought it and used it. Any imput?

JoeH posted 07-06-2003 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoeH  Send Email to JoeH     
As a footnote to a fiberglass question, there was an excellent series on fiberglass in Street Rodder magazine starting with the October 2002 issue. October was mat, cloth, resin, and catalysts. November was tools and other supplies like gelcoat, PVA, and fillers. Unfortunatly I lost track of the series after that as these were break-table shop magazines. I haven't looked into back issues but I should, it was the most well written, easy, to read and understand set of articles I have seen on glass, including military training. Joe
Duckin Whalers posted 07-07-2003 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
I'd bet that the show was produced by Hot Rod magazine. The Hot Rod Magazine TV series was immediately following the Import Tuner show. I didn't catch the entire episode but, the little I did catch was well rehearsed and informative.
where2 posted 07-07-2003 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
That's the first I'd heard of the resins being short lived. I've used stuff that was "years" old, with no adverse reactions. Of course, we don't store it in sunlight, and don't leave the lid off for hours on end.

The life didn't seem to be dependent on whether it was Epoxy resin, or Polyester resin, either. My Polyester resin hardner never lasts for years, but the resin seems to last.

Duckin Whalers posted 07-07-2003 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
Maybe, I was mistaken on the statement that the fiberglass tech made. It did seem as if the camera panned in on the tin can of resin and showed the date. I don't ever recall seeing harder in a one gallon tin can. Maybe at the BW factory.
Duckin Whalers posted 07-07-2003 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
sorry,,,,,I meant hardener
where2 posted 07-08-2003 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I've never been able to blame any of my poor result episodes of epoxy work on "old" product. Usually, I blundered on the ratio of part A to part B. I've really learned to appreciate the metering pumps that they sell for epoxy these days... If only Marine Tex had a metering method...
jimh posted 07-08-2003 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The curing of polyester resin is accellerated by a catalyst, so one could say that a quart can sitting on a shelf is in the process of curing already. It just cures faster after you add the catalyst.

I don't know what the reaction rates might be. It seems like a can will last a while, but I would not be surprised to pop the lid of the quart on my shelf (which I opened several years ago) and find it was getting a bit thick.

Epoxy adhesives are made by chemical reaction of the two ingredients, so in the shelf state there is no reaction taking place. When you mix them together they react. It is very important to mix them in precise volume ratios because if either ingredient is supplied in excess, that portion in excess is not able to react and just serves to dilute the new compound that forms from the two parts that mixed.

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