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How to Use an Epoxy Adhesive

  • Update:09-01-2017
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    An Epoxy Adhesive is a copolymer formed by mixing toget […]

    An Epoxy Adhesive is a copolymer formed by mixing together a resin and a hardener. Depending on the thickness of the application and the temperature of the work area, the epoxy will take anywhere from one minute to several days to dry completely into a hard clear coating. The curing process is highly sensitive to temperature so always follow the manufacturer's directions when working with epoxy adhesives. Some professional epoxies are activated by heat rather than a hardener. The strength of hardened epoxy may degrade in high heat or under exposure to ultraviolet light. Epoxy adhesives have many different uses. Epoxies are preferred anytime a strong bond is necessary. They are used extensively in construction and manufacturing. Epoxy adhesives are used to join construction elements together or protect the underlying surfaces from dirt and moisture. When you know the basic steps and safety guidelines, you will find it easy to use epoxy adhesive.

    Prevent Inhalation

    Inhalation of fumes from an epoxy adhesive can cause irritation in the bronchial passage. It can also cause problems in breathing, cough, headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. To prevent inhalation and excessive buildup of fumes, work in a well ventilated room. If you feel unwell during application, move outdoors immediately and seek help.

    Wear Protective Gloves

    It is important for you to wear gloves which will protect you from landing adhesive on your hands. Make sure you wear gloves made of a material that is resistant to the epoxy adhesive.

    Wear Clothing that Covers Your Skin

    Wear long sleeved clothing and cover your skin when working with epoxy adhesive. Contact with epoxy adhesive can cause burning, irritation, flaking and itchiness, so it is best to take precautionary steps beforehand.

    The Basic Steps

    Step 1 – Safety First

    You should wear the appropriate safety equipment when you applying the epoxy adhesive. Wear the latex gloves before you mix the epoxy adhesive. Any residue on your hand can be very difficult to remove.

    Step 2 – Mixing the Epoxy Adhesive

    You need to mix the ingredients in an epoxy adhesive before you can use it. For the most part, equal parts of the liquid and paste are used but the proportions will depend on what you need. Carefully read the instructions of the epoxy adhesive to get the right amount of mix. A wooden application stick should be used to mix the ingredients together. Never use your hands because it can cause skin damage.

    Epoxy takes a lot longer to cure in cold temperature. If you will be working during cold weather and will be using an epoxy adhesive in a tube, it is best to heat the epoxy in a microwave oven for 10 seconds. Make sure that the caps are off when you heat the epoxy adhesive.

    Step 3 – Applying the Epoxy Adhesive

    You should apply the epoxy adhesive immediately after mixing because it dries up fast. Apply a small amount of epoxy on each side of the item you want to glue. Spread the mixture carefully on the surface of the material. Use the applicator to spread the mixture on the surface of the item you want to bond.

    When you are done, allow the epoxy to set for a short time before you join the pieces together. The waiting period will depend largely on the type of material you are joining. Most of the epoxy adhesives will provide specific instructions on the length of time you need to wait for the mixture to cure.

    Step 4 – Pressing the Materials Together

    After curing, you can now press the pieces together. Epoxy adhesives begin to bond almost immediately after you have joined the pieces so make sure that you have correctly aligned the pieces properly. You can use a clamp to press the pieces together for a help when you bond larger objects. When you press the pieces together, some epoxy might squeeze out. Immediately wipe it off with a rag or cloth.

    Step 5 – Setting the Bonded Materials

    Set aside the bonded pieces together. It generally takes about 24 hours for the epoxy adhesive to completely harden but the length of time will vary depending on the adhesive and materials you use.