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What Are the Different Types of Fiberglass Adhesive?

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  • Written By: Jean Marie Asta
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2016
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There are many different types of fiberglass adhesives available for use in bonding fiberglass to a work piece. The types of adhesive vary depending on the work piece and the needs of the worker. These adhesives, mostly solvents, are available for purchase at most hardware stores and also on the Internet.

When a worker is using a fiberglass adhesive, he or she is most often attaching a sheet of fiberglass to an object that is required to be waterproof. Common applications include on the hulls of boats, on surfboards and on other wooden objects that may be subject to and damaged by moist conditions. The sheets of fiberglass are laid flat on a wooden surface and then the adhesive is painted over it. Fiberglass adhesives are designed to seep through the pores of the fiberglass sheets and bond it to the work piece.

Resins are a common and popular form of fiberglass adhesive. The most frequently used of these are epoxy resins. A versatile and durable adhesive, epoxy resin is useful for both adhering and fixing fiberglass on a work piece. It is available in a number of colors to suit the needs of the user, but is most often clear or wood colored.

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Another popular form of resin is called a gelcoat. This fiberglass adhesive is similar to epoxy but offers the worker the added advantage of being able to spray the gelcoat on rather than having to paint it. Gelcoat also tends to be clear in color but colored versions are available if that is needed. Most people who work with gelcoats find them to be more difficult to get the desired results so they are used primarily by professionals.

If a very strong fiberglass adhesive is needed, vinyl resin is a popular choice. This kind of resin can protect wood against acids and other corrosive chemicals as well as water. Vinyl resin is also effective for protecting against heat to a certain degree. Its other properties are similar to those of epoxy resins.

Certain applications require only a thin coating of fiberglass adhesive for protection. For these situations, polyester epoxy is used. Polyester epoxy also includes wax for a smooth and shiny finish. If the worker needs to apply a second coat of polyester epoxy, it is necessary to sand the outer coating of wax off of the dried epoxy before it can be applied.

When a person purchases one of these epoxies, it is important to note that they are sold in two separate containers. The contents of these containers are combined when they are ready to be used, and the amount of each is clearly indicated on most bottles. While some fiberglass adhesives do not require this process, it is necessary for all of the previously mentioned products.

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