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West System - Dispensing & Mixing


Careful measuring of epoxy resin and hardener and thorough mixing are essential for a proper cure. Whether the resin/hardener mixture is applied as a coating or modified with fillers or additives, observing the following procedures will assure a controlled and thorough chemical transition to a high-strength epoxy solid.

Dispensing

Dispense the proper proportions of resin and hardener into a clean plastic, metal or wax-free paper container (Figure 2). Don't use glass or foam containers because of the potential danger from exothermic heat build-up.

DO NOT attempt to adjust the epoxy cure time by altering the mix ratio. An accurate ratio is essential for a proper cure and full development of physical properties.

  • Dispensing with Mini pumps - Most problems related to curing of the epoxy can be traced to the wrong ratio of resin and hardener. To simplify metering, we recommend using calibrated West System Mini Pumps to dispense the resin and hardener. Mini Pumps are calibrated to deliver the proper working ratio of resin to hardener.

    Pump one full pump stroke of resin for each one full pump stroke of hardener. Depress each pump head fully and allow the head to come completely back to the top before beginning the next stroke. Partial strokes will give the wrong ratio. Read the pump instructions before using pumps.

    Before you use the first mixture on a project, verify the proper ratio according to the instructions that come with the pumps. Re-check the ratio anytime you experience problems with curing.

  • Dispensing without Mini Pumps (Weight/volume measure) - To measure 105 Resin and 205 or 206 Hardener by weight or volume, combine five parts resin with one part hardener. To measure 105 Resin and 207 or 209 Hardener by volume, combine three parts resin with one part hardener (by weight, 3.5 parts resin-1 part hardener).

First time users

If this is the first time you have used WEST SYSTEM epoxy, begin with a small test batch to get the feel for the mixing and curing process, before applying the mixture to your project. This will demonstrate the hardener's open time for the temperature you are working in and assure you that the resin/hardener ratio is metered properly. Mix small batches until you are confident of the mixture's handling characteristics.

Mixing

Stir the two ingredients together thoroughly-at least 1 minute-longer in cooler temperatures (Figure 3). To assure thorough mixing, scrape the sides and bottom of the pot as you mix. Use the flat end of the mixing stick to reach the inside corner of the pot. If you are using a power mixer, occasionally scrape the sides and corners of the mixing pot while mixing.

If you are going to be using the mixture for coating, quickly pour it into a roller pan to extend the open time.

WARNING! Curing epoxy generates heat. When contained, a large mass of curing epoxy has a very short pot life, and can generate enough heat to melt plastic and foam, burn your skin and ignite combustible materials. For this reason do not use foam or glass mixing containers. If a pot of mixed epoxy begins to exotherm (heat up), quickly move it outdoors. Avoid breathing the fumes. Do not dispose of the mixture until the reaction is complete and has cooled. Do not fill or cast layers of epoxy thicker than 1/2"-thinner if enclosed by foam or other insulating material. Do not pour into confined spaces.



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