West System 406 Colloidal Silica is a thickening additive used to control the viscosity of the epoxy and prevent epoxy runoff in vertical and overhead joints.
406 is a very strong filler that creates a smooth mixture ideal for general bonding and filleting. It is also our most versatile filler.
West System colloidal silica is often used in combination with other fillers to improve the strength, abrasion resistance, and consistency of fairing compounds, resulting in a tougher smoother surface. Color: off-white.
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can you use West 406, 405 and 410 with TotalBoat epoxy and hardener?
Yes they are all compatible. On the hardeners, measure by volume, do not mix Totalboat pumps with West Pumps the volume dispensed is not the same.
JD Tech Team
How is 406 on sanding i know 410 would be better for sanding but i am lookimg for a white color?
The 406 silica will sand OK, just a little harder than the 410.
JD Tech Team
CAN U SAND THE 406 SILICA AND IF YOU CAN HOW HARD IS IT TO SAND.
Yes you can sand epoxy with 406 silica in it. It sands a little easier than just straight epoxy.
JD Tech Team
Does this product work well to fair a keel joint ?
If you are looking for fairing only, I think a better product would be one of the two part cream fairing compounds for the joint. The colloidal silica is good for thickening and makes great bond joints, but it not really suitable as a fairing material and is tough to keep stable in a horizontal plane like a keel joint - in my opinion. Others may have been more successful.
By weight, 406 is really light. 404 is heavy. So when I want to do something that needs beefiness to it I'll use 404 rather than 406. Although not sure about keel work, I use a motor:)
Yes, works great.
I can't imagine wanting to use any epoxy product on a keel joint, especially if keel and hull tend to flex or if running aground is a possibility. But if you've never needed to tighten the keel bolts, then mixed properly with epoxy, System 406 Silica should work. I certainly would only consider using it if I never expected to need to access that joint again, and I have learned that expecting something to never happen on a sailboat is just asking for trouble.
Will this penetrate wet balsa core in a boat deck or coach roof or does all of the wet wood need to be removed first?
You should at least dry out the wood before putting any epoxy on it; thickened or not. West epoxy thickened with 406 will penetrate less well than un-thickened epoxy. BUT, you really need to a) find out why the core is wet, and b) dry it out or it will rot.
West Systems could likely provide a more technical answer, but if you want to get deep penetration into compromised wood, I apply CPES first to stabilize the wood...as much as the wood will soak up...let that cure.. then come back with neat epoxy, then thickened epoxy while the neat epoxy is still damp.
You should remove all the wet wood if possible
The wet wood should be removed
Are there health risks when using WEST System 406 Colloidal Silica filler?
There can be health risks when inhaling any fine particulate and you should wear a mask when using this Silica even if you are just mixing up a small batch as stirring can get this airborne pretty easily. Do your lungs a favor and keep the mast on while finishing the project too. This also assumes you have invested in a good quality, well fitting mask.
refer to the manufacturer material safety data sheet (MSDS)
YES! The colloidal silica is light weight and becomes airborne easily. I always wear a tight fitting VOC mask with pre-filter when working with it.
I assume you are wondering if the colloidal silica becomes airborne and inhaled, could it cause disease? I don't know the entire answer, but in my use of the material, it doesn't seem to become airborne. I use it in small "hobby amounts" in high power rocketry for fin fillets. Even though it is very fine and lightweight, it tends to stay in the cup while I'm stirring it into the epoxy. I haven't felt the need to put on my mask while using the material (and I'm pretty compulsive about using a high-quality filter-mask when cutting or sanding fiberglass, for example.) It's a great question, but at least in the small amounts I'm mixing and the way I'm using it, my opinion is it is safe.
WM DAVID HOLLOWAY
can these products be used for exterior wood?
Yes, West System can be used for exterior applications as long as it is painted or varnished. Bare West System is susceptible to UV damage and will peel and degrade quickly if not covered. I have fixed alot of wood boats with it... even my wife's china. It's amazing stuff! Good luck
I used it as a filler on a boat project and was happy with the results. I have also used the dust from a sander when I wanted the darker color. This also worked well. Both are easy to sand. Don't think there is any problem with exterior wood.
Does this specific product meet Mil Spec MIL-S-14760?
You need to ask West themselves. Sorry...
West System 406 is designed to thicken or gel liquid epoxy for boat repairs. It reduces the amount the epoxy flows before it hardens. I am some what familar with Mil Specs and I believe the one you refer to is for the use of Silica in ammunition. My guess is that they use the silica as a desiccant to remove moisture from the explosive. To my knowledge this is not the purpose that the west product was designed for and more importantly West Systems most likely cannot certify to that specification.
Sorry, I don't know anything about that spec.Ernie Witham
It does not. This product is used to adjust the viscosity of the West System epoxy products and I would not use it in the manufacture of munitions.Reade Products offers a detailed explanation of the different types of Silicon Dioxide, including the obsolete Mil Spec MIL-S-14760.Best Regards,Ken LeonardArroyo Grande, CA
can you use it with a color agent ?
As far as I know you can, but I have never added a color myself.good luckdglash
You can use the West coloring agents with any of the West additives.
WILLIAM ROBERTSON IV
never tried it - but I would call/email WEST tech support and ask them.
Colloidal silica is simply an additive. You can add coloring to the resin along with the additive if this is what you mean. Just make sure you use the coloring agents designed for resin and gelcoat.
I am interested in using this or a simular product on the bottom of my fiberglass drift boat. I want a product to protect the bottom against rock gouges and scratches in very shallow water situations. Please help? Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Mark Lennox
If you mix this with resin and hardener, and put on multiple thick coats, it will be a pretty good protection. It will scratch if you hit it hard, but if you have a 1/4 in coat it probably will not penetrate the hull. Make sure you follow the proper steps for apply epoxy over the old coat, because if you don't clean it well it will not adhere.
This is not the product you want to use. 406 is used to thicken the epoxy for filling holes, making fillets, etc. You should call Gougeon Brothers / West System directly for their guidance. Call 866-937-8797 bet 9:00 - 5:00. Or check their website. Mike
Hi Mark, I'm not certain that epoxy and it's fillers will protect against a rocky grounding. However, it is excellent in strength and working flexibility to repair those scratches and gouges. Good luck, Alex.
Hi Mark;I'm not sure what you are trying to do. I use colloidal silica as an epoxy thickener for bonding joints and making fillets. If you want to protect the bottom of your drift boat I would cover it in a skin of fiberglass cloth and epoxy.Dave Frase
hi Mark,I used this product with great success injecting & laminating a very old flats boat back together. It had rode out Katrina 1 mile inland on the MS gulf coast.A large tree crushed the hull into the trailer after the hull flipped over driving the top deck and console to the floor. I also used it to fill the gouges in the hull below the water line. I inspect the boat repairs every time I see the boat and all is very well. Flats boats are scraped by oyster shells constantly, the 406 provided a filler material better wearing than the hull itself.
JOHN C GUILLOT III
Hi Mark, As I know it, this product is a structural filler designed to keep the epoxy from running out of the joint as it cures. It (as well as some of the other fillers available) has structural properties that strengthen the bond. That said, the stuff is as tough as nails when mixed into the epoxy...a fact that anyone who has tried to sand it can attest to. Personally, I think that the abrasion resistance that you seek is a property of the fiberglass that's in your boat to begin with. I would get in touch with the manufacturer...they have a great tech team - and describe your situation. There are probably many things that you can do to your boat's bottom to increase it's durability.
Mark,I use 406 to thicken West to create sag resistant glues and fillers for verical and overhead applications. I would not use it to create an impact resistant coating. Have you though about kevlar cloth applied with polyester resin? You could use West thickened w/ 406 to fix those scrapes and gouges after they happen, but I would use polyester resin based products.Charlie
Colloidal silica is a good anti-sag additive, to avoid drips and runs when applying epoxy. What you want for surfacing the bottom of a dink or a drift boat is graphite powder. Mix it into epoxy until it is thick but still paintable, pour it onto the bottom of the boat and smooth it out with a chip brush, going slowly to make an even finish. Graphite/epoxy is amazingly abrasion-resistant. I surfaced the bottom of my dink this way, and I have dragged it over gravel or concrete with no damage. To freshen up the finish, just sand it with 100-grit and re-coat.
Great product and inexpensive
Great flexibility moving from adhesive to filler.
Easy to use, did the job well. Hopefully will last for years and years!
Very useful for bonding wood parts
Makes a great filler for bonding wood parts together if used very sparingly in the epoxy. Do not advise opening the tube in a windy place. It is so light that it will blow in the wind like wheat chaff.
I used this mixed with epoxy resin to repair blisters on my boat. Even though it is extremely fine like talcum powder, it still mixed with the resin well and was easy to work out the clumps to form a consistent paste.
Just what the label says
I use it as an adhesive filler in West System epoxy for joining wood parts.
Great filler. I used it to smooth out the fillet transition in a paddle I built.