Adhesive Manufacturer Recommendations for Epoxy Use
Because of their strength and ability to withstand weather, solvents, chemicals and extreme hot and cold temperatures, epoxies are some of the most commonly used industrial bonding agents. Adhesive manufacturers recommend the following tips when using epoxy on materials such as concrete, metal, wood, brick, block, stone, and almost any other substrate.
Before applying any epoxy bonding agent, it is very important to clean both surfaces to be bonded. The best way to do this is to use a chemical such as acetone, isopropyl alcohol or MEK to completely clean the surfaces of any substance that might interfere with bonding. Some surfaces, metal especially, might require physical abrading. Check with your adhesives manufacturer if you are unsure of the proper cleaning method.
General Use and Safety Guidelines
Although many epoxies have low VOC content these days, adequate ventilation is still recommended, as is wearing protective gear such as safety glasses and rubber gloves. Always read all instructions carefully before you begin and if you have any questions, be sure to contact the manufacturer for help.
While it is true that epoxies are able to withstand extreme temperatures once cured, avoid applying them in temperatures below 50 degrees. Doing so could affect adhesion.
For smaller jobs and those requiring a more precise application, cartridges that fit in a caulking gun make epoxies easy to use. Cartridges require no mixing and are easy to apply by shooting a bead of adhesive along the edge of the surface. There is no messy cleanup – simply dispose of the cartridge when the job is complete. When using epoxy cartridges, follow the tips below.
Verify the two compounds in the cartridge are flowing freely by dispensing a small bit of product before attaching the nozzle.
Tightly attach the mixing nozzle. Dispense a small amount to ensure both compounds are mixing properly and flowing freely.
Apply small beads of adhesive along one or both surfaces. Join surfaces together and allow to set. Applying bonding material to both surfaces creates a stronger bond.
Larger jobs require more adhesive, so mixing the separate components (Resin and hardener) is more cost effective. When mixing epoxy components be sure to:
Use clean mixing equipment. Dirty buckets and mixing utensils can contaminate the epoxy and affect adhesion.
Only mix a small amount of the bonding agent at a time. When the resin and hardener components are combined, a chemical reaction occurs creating heat. Larger amounts of epoxy generate more heat which causes the adhesive to cure faster.
Mix both components thoroughly. The number one reason epoxy adhesion fails is because users fail to mix it well.
Apply the epoxy quickly – before it gets hot. Once the mixture gets hot, it has passed its worklife and cannot be used.
The best adhesive manufacturers online recommend storing both the epoxy resin and hardener components in separate containers at all times. Keep the containers in a cool, dry place out of the sun. Keep in mind that warm temperatures may reduce epoxy shelf life.