1. Make sure damaged areas are clean and free of dirt, grease and wax, etc.
2. Enough Gel Coat should be added to a plastic mixing cup to make all repairs. One of the six basic colors may match the gel coat. If so, mix approximately 1 part pigment to 20 parts gel coat. The pigments can be intermixed to achieve various shades.
• NOTE: Exact color match will be difficult, but feathering the new gel coat into the old gel coat will blend in slight color differences.
TIP: Use the thickening powder to make a gel paste. The gel paste will help fill large areas without sagging. Apply a coat of NON Thickened gel coat after for best results.
3. After the color has been matched, take enough of the pigmented gel coat to fix a damaged area. Place it on a clean piece of cardboard and mix with several drops of liquid hardener.
NOTE: adding timid hardener will darken the color slightly Four drops of hardener in 1 teaspoon of gel paste will give approximately 15 minutes of working time before the material begins to "gel." Mix the liquid hardener thoroughly into the gel coat.
4. Apply catalyzed gel coat to the damaged area, working in the area with a spatula or plastic spreader. Remove any excess material.
5. This Gel Coat contains wax. Make sure that you sand each coat prior to adding any additional coats of gel coat. Deep damaged areas may require several applications.
6. The repaired area should be sanded with 600 grit wet sandpaper. Then, the area should be buffed with a fine rubbing compound and waxed.
A well-applied gel coat can give a professionally fabricated part a more astonishing look and neat finishing. Applying a gel coat requires you to be very precise and conscious to get the job done. Gel coating can be challenging when you are working with different composites.
Now the biggest question is how to avoid potential issues that may pop up during Gel Coat application?
Always follow the instructions:
First and foremost, always follow the right process. On the majority of gel coats, you'll find instructions about optimum catalyzation and mixing ratios. So, before mixing, properly follow those recommendations. Strictly following the instructions is important because improper catalyzation can cause slow gel coat curing, craters, or blisters in the coated surface.
Keep an eye on the temperature and humidity:
Temperature and humidity are the most frequent major factors in an incorrect gel coating. Keep your work area free of moisture and humidity, and keep the temperature above 20 degrees Celsius. A temperature below 20 degrees Celsius can produce pinholes, blisters, and other defects in the gel layer, while moisture can induce pinholes, blisters, and other imperfections.
Common Gel Coat Complications
Below are some of the most prevalent gel coat difficulties encountered by fabricators, as well as the reasons for them and how to avoid them throughout your gel coat applications.
Wrinkles are the most typical sort of complication when applying a gel coat. When wrinkles appear, there are two main causes.
Reason 1 : They are more common when the coating thickness is less than five mils and brush markings are visible.
How to Avoid Wrinkles in Gel Coats?
Maintaining a thickness of 0.010 to 0.020 inches will help you avoid wrinkles. And the Gel Coat Thickness Gauge can be used to determine thickness.
Reason 2 : Another explanation is that the gel coat hasn't been properly cured before being laid up. Before you begin the gel coating application process, the surface of the gel coat should be sticky.
Pinholes look like tiny dots or holes in your gel coat coating. Air pockets or dirt particles entering your gel coat layer before or during coating are the most typical causes of pinholes. So, before spraying, inspect your equipment for moisture in the air pipelines and dirt in the traps. These are the areas where moisture and dirt particles are primarily trapped.
Slow Gel Coat Cure
Slow gel coat cure can cause wrinkles, and there are several different reasons for a slow cure time. It includes Temperature, Under-Catalyzation, and Moisture & Humidity.
In order to avoid a slow gel coat cure, keep the gel coating area above 20 degrees Celsius. Moreover, allow it for proper catalyzation, and keep the surface area free from moisture while the gel coat cures.
Moisture is the most common causes of porosity or air bubbles in the gel coat layer. Be sure that your work area is clean, dry, and offers low humidity.
Discoloration on Finished Parts
Moisture on the mold surface can cause discoloration, so make sure the surface is dry before applying gel coat.
Small spots covering the surface of your gel coat are known as fisheyes, and they are frequently an indicator of contaminates on the mold. Dirt, dampness, or oils could all be to blame. Make sure your mold has a clean, dry surface to work on before starting your gel coat project.
Vesicles or blisters on the gel coat could indicate a number of various issues. Blisters in gel coatings are most commonly caused by an insufficient cure period, under-catalyzed gel coats, and a high amount of humidity. Try to keep your gel coat away from moisture and give it enough time to cure to avoid blisters or vesicles.
The proper gel coat method varies depending on the project. It all relies on the project, the surrounding environment, and the desired outcome. However, the above mentioned issues are the most common, and they can occur at any time during the gel coating process. As a result, you can avoid them by following the correct instructions and taking the necessary measures.
Carbon Fiber Kit FAQ's
CARBON FIBER INSTRUCTIONS
Epoxy is mixed at 1 to 1 (By Volume). Mix both Epoxy and Hardener in a container for 5 mins before applying the mixed epoxy to the work area.
Use a paintbrush, roller, or spreader to apply mixed epoxy.
Sand area with 220 grit sandpaper to get a good mechanical bond for the epoxy to stick to, then add a coat of epoxy to the surface and apply the carbon fiber.
Add a coat of epoxy to the top of the carbon fiber with a brush or roller. Make sure epoxy stays tacky for multiple layers so the new layer will stick to the previous layer. Use a heat gun or torch to get the air bubbles out.
Hold torch about 4 inches away and move back and forth at a fast rate as not to burn the epoxy, this helps your project look professional in the end.
25 Minute Working Time - Epoxy Is tack-free in 3 hours Cures in 24 hr.