The Temperature Component
by: Erik Steinbring

Winter time is in full force and with that when dealing with Industrial epoxy systems there are things every professional should know. Every year we get calls from confused and irate folks wondering why their epoxy has not cured.

All Epoxy systems including our Epo-Grip line, are no different than most epoxy products available on the market. As a industry standard all cure times are predicated at 77 degrees F. This is important to take note as there are only two things that drive the cure time of the epoxy catalytic reaction. We neglect relative humidity as these industrial systems can be cured under water. The two basic driving factors are temperature and mass.  Today, lets discuss temperature, it is usually the snake in the grass during winter months. in the next BLOG posting we will discuss mass.

For a simple realistic scenario, let us take and mix a small batch of Epo-Grip #30 paste and laminate two pieces of wood, with clamps at a ambient temp of 95 degrees F . Based on that scenario, one can expect adhesion and the ability to remove the clamps in 3-4 hours. However, if we flip the ambient temperature and do the same clamp up at 55 degrees F , we can expect a cure to occur in days if not weeks.  The question why, comes to mind. The reason is that the mixing of an epoxy system creates a chemical reaction namely a catalytic one. So the more heat we have the faster the reaction will occur.

A big snake in the grass is found in the workshop. Most are located in a either a basement, garage, or shed, if you turn off the heat at night, or when you are not there, expect your adhesive to be cold, the viscosity thicker and the mixed reaction to slow down due to the drop in temperature. If one chooses to turn off the heat, leaving a heat lamp on, close to project will ensure a cure will occur within a predictable range of time. Warming or storing your epoxy adhesives in a warm environment will also aid in more consistent results and cure times.

In the next BLOG we will discuss the Mass component to the cure rate of Epo Grip adhesives.