Choosing Stone for Epoxy Stone

May 5, 2016

Epoxy_Stone_OverlaysBonding stone together with Product #17 – Epoxy Stone Adhesive is attractive and functional. It allows you to have the look of natural rock. This “natural rock” will let water pass through it just like its non-epoxied counterparts. It is however a good choice when you don’t want that stone to be moved, accidentally or on purpose.

This function is so nice that I am seeing projects where larger and larger stone is being utilized for the same reasons (above) as the small stone. There are a few shortcomings that should be avoided when bonding larger stones.

You want to make sure when selecting your stone that it is not too round. Round stone reduces the square inches of surfaces touching each other that are bonded together. That reduces the strength of the material, by reducing the square inches of bonding surface. If angular stone is used (as in the picture above) you increase the surface area touching each other and increase the strength.

If you want larger stones in the mix, I suggest you use a variety of smaller stone to fill in the large gaps between the bigger stone. If you combine a mixed gradation of stone that is also angular (not round) you can get an excellent compromise of strength and large stone beauty.


Monument Repairs with Epoxy

March 9, 2016

A technician who uses a non-Epoxy.com product to repair tombstones wrote me recently looking for help with problems that he was having. He goes on to say that the epoxy that he uses never fails, but rather the stone fails. When a secondary break occurs, the stone always re-breaks about 2 mm (about ¾ inch) above or below the epoxy joint. The epoxy attached to about 2 mm of the stone and holds well.

He asked me if the epoxy shrinks so much that it will ‘ pull away ‘ from the stone it’s attached to, and in his case, it pulls about 2mm of stone with it.

No I doubt it is epoxy shrinkage causing the problem. High quality epoxy has little or no shrinkage. It would have to be a very poor quality epoxy to be shrinking enough to do that.

The reason his epoxy is not working is that it is too rigid. His existing rigid material has a “high modulus of elasticity”. A material with “high modulus of elasticity” is a material that is stiff and/or rigid. A “low modulus of elasticity” material is semi-flexible, and is not rigid or brittle.

T pieces of the stone structure (in this case a tombstone) and pieces not in touch with the ground tend to get hotter and cooler faster than the larger pieces and pieces with ground contact. This is called “differential timing of the event”. For example the top of a tombstone can be heated and cooled on 5 sides, the top and the 4 sides. The base of the tombstone which is buried in the ground has earth or stone on all of its surfaces. This earth and stone tends to keep the temperature of the base more stable by insulating it and slowing the change in temperature. This works much like the insulation in your house slows temperature changes inside your house.

When an object like a piece of stone is heated it expands (gets bigger). When an object cools it contracts (gets smaller). For example 100 feet of concrete will be 1 inch longer once it is heated 100 degrees F. That is why expansion joints are cut into concrete.

In the case of tombstones all the pieces of the same type of stone have very similar if not identical “coefficient of expansion”. Since the pieces are positioned with potentially different timing of heating and cooling there is a “differential timing of the event” (see above). The result is stress areas you are seeing in the closest weakened plane in the stone near the bond line.

Product #2005 was specifically designed for tombstone (monuments) and/or stone bonding, or repair. Epoxy.com Product #2005 is very strong yet it is has a “low modulus of elasticity” (semi-flexible). The low-modulus of elasticity helps to absorb differential movement (two sections of stone heating and cooling at different times), making it much less likely to cause a stress area in adjacent weakened planes.

Camouflage the bond line rubbing stone dust(ground off the original stone or a similar colored stone) into any exposed epoxy material while the epoxy is still “wet”. That way the dust will stick in the wet epoxy making the epoxy difficult to impossible to see.

Please send your additional question and blog ideas to norm@epoxy.com


Epoxy Table Top Resin (Part 2) Installation

February 5, 2016
Pictures of an epoxy table top made from Product #214

Product #214 Epoxy Table Top Resin

This the second part of a 2 part article. In the first writing we dealt with some of the uses of Epoxy.com Product #214  Epoxy Table Top Resin. This article will deal with the installation of the material.

Quick Review

In my last writing I discussed that Product #214 Water Clear Epoxy Casting – Tabletop Resin – Bar Top Resin is an all-purpose, low viscosity epoxy resin system for coating wood and concrete counter tops, tabletops, bar tops and similar applications. It has excellent clarity and color retention. Our clear casting resin and tabletop resin / bar top Epoxy has zero (0) VOC making it essentially odorless and can therefore be used in occupied areas. It de-bubbles and flattens a lot easier than similar materials.

Considerations

The Product #214 epoxy resin is low viscosity. It is typically applied thicker than 1/16 inch thick. Because the Product #214 Table Top epoxy has such a low viscosity (thin) it needs some kind of boarder around the outside edge to create a dam for your main pour. The picture above shows you one way to make that trim decorative. It is easiest and most effective when the piece that will act as the dam will remain in place after the installation. If your application is less than 1/16 inch thick contact our Technical Support Department at 352-533-2167.

Before You Start

Be sure that you have the proper job supplies.

  • Paint stir sticks
  • 3 (5 G) plastic pails
  • Roll of Duct Tape
  • 4 Window Squeegees in various widths
  • Paper 6oz Dixie cups
  • 2 (2 blade) mixing paddles – should be at least 5 inches in diameter and capable of being used in a heavy duty drill
  • Heavy Duty Drill for mixing paddles above
  • 6 (2 inch) paint brushes *check bristles to be certain they CAN NOT be pulled out*
  • Latex (or non latex) rubber gloves
  • Vacuum (Shop Vacuum Quality)
  • Roller Pans (for trim)
  • Roller Pan Liners (for trim)
  • Roller Frame (for trim)
  • Roller Covers (shed resistant – for trim)
  • Roll of plastic to keep buckets on to avoid drips onto floor
  • *Note – Epoxy does NOT come out of fabrics*
  • Go Jo Hand cleaner or fast orange for hands and skin
  • Xylene, MEK, or Acetone for cleaning up hard tools and hard surfaces
  • Electric Hair Dryer or Heat Gun
  • Spray bottle
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol as high a content as possible (90% or higher)

Preparation

Be sure that your tabletop is level. The epoxy table top resin is going to go water flat. If your table is not flat when you pour it, then the surface of the epoxy will be level to gravity and not with your table.

Put plastic under the table that you are about to coat. This plastic is to catch the resin that drips off the table during installation. I like putting some cardboard on top of the plastic to absorb the resin that drips off so it doesn’t get tracked around the room.

Vacuum the surface to receive the tabletop epoxy to remove any dust, or dirt. Mask all surfaces that need protecting.

Be sure that the trim that you have around the table to hold your resin is tight fitting and securely fastened. Mix a small batch of Epoxy Table Top Resin or Epoxy.com Product #15. Coat the trim piece on the outside of the table and use the resin to seal the joint between the table and the trim piece.

The first coat should be installed thin. The first coat is acting as a primer. Additional coats can be applied thicker but be sure not to apply it so thick that you get puddles or runs. Be sure to wipe any resin that gets on the bottom of the table off. This will save a lot of sanding later. Apply as many coats as you feel you need to get the look that you want on the trim pieces. Be sure each coat of epoxy is applied within 24 hours of the previous coat.

Pouring the Epoxy Table Top

Mix your epoxy in batches small enough so you can pour them quickly and all at once. If you leave a large mass of epoxy in the bucket it produces heat quickly. That dramatically reduces the published potlife. Follow all good mixing practices when mixing the material, at a minimum proper measuring of A and B, mix for 3 minutes, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom as you go.

Individual pours should not be less than about 1/16 or more than 3/8 to ½ deep. If the pours are too thin you may experience fisheyes. If the pour is too thick it might produce too much heat. Two much heat can hurt the aesthetics of your table.

If you need the epoxy to be more than 3/8 to ½ inch deep it should be done in multiple pours. Simply wait for the previous pour to harden and cool and then make your next pour. Be sure to make the next pour not longer than 24 hours in between the coats. If you wait much longer than that you may experience inter-coat adhesion issues

 

Many table top resin manufacturers recommend the use of torches to make their materials lay flat. You do not need to do that with Product #214 table top and casting resin. Our material is thinner than those other materials and will lay flat when applied at the right thicknesses all by themselves.

Make your final pour so that it is full up to the top of your trim pieces and carry it over the edge. That way it appears like all the resin on the top and edges of your trim were from a single pour.

Much of the time Product #214 Table Top Resin tends to de-bubble on its own without a lot of effort to remove the bubbles. The bubbles that you do have can typically be easily removed with a high concentration Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and/or your hair dryer or heat gun.

Any bubbles you see should be broken as soon as possible. That means that you will need to watch your tabletop as it sets up and break the bubbles as soon as you see them. You should continue to watch until the resin gets stiff enough that no more bubbles can be formed.

The electric heat gun or hair dryer can be used to blow at the areas to make the bubbles break. The heat helps to thin the resin and the force of the air helps to break them.

The isopropyl alcohol can be misted over the surface. Never spay it directly the isopropyl alcohol directly at the surface but rather mist above the surface at about a 90 degree angle allowing the droplets to hit the surface. Never spay enough to wet the surface. The droplets of isopropyl alcohol help to mechanically break the bubbles while the isopropyl acts as a solvent that evaporates almost immediately after the bubble breaking action.

Summary

Epoxy.com Product #214 Table Top Epoxy Resin is a versatile product that is easy to use. It is designed to be poured where a thicker casting of epoxy resin is required. This epoxy table top resin pours to a water flat shinny surface. It easily releases its bubbles with a little assistance, and cures water clear.

Please keep your questions coming to me.

Norm Lambert
352-533-2167 (Voice)
norm@epoxy.com

http://www.epoxy.com

Additional Resources


Can I Install Epoxy over Ceramic Tile?

September 21, 2015

I have seen tiles that have been prepared in the lab environment that have epoxy well bonded to it. Doing it in under laboratory conditions and doing it in the field is two different things. In all the over 35 years I have been in the business I cannot point you at a single success story where epoxy was installed over tile.

My company started off as an installation company about 35 years ago.  When we were a young installation company we made build a sizable business by going around behind all of our competitors that were installing epoxy over tile, and redoing their failed work. That is why I typically I recommend against going over ceramic tile with epoxy.

Surface Preparation Requirements

Bonding to tile requires either intense physical abrasion like sandblasting or etching with phosphoric acid to remove the glaze.  If you etch with acid it usually eats up the grout.  Acid may, and more likely than not will, get under the tile and loosen it.

The heat and vibration of the sandblasting tends to loosen tile. Sandblasting will damage the grout. Best case situation the tile will require regrouting.

After all that, a single tile comes loose, or a single piece of old grout comes loose, and you have failed your objective.

Alternatives

Many people like the looks of tile. They don’t like the way tile grout leaks and is hard to maintain. For them I recommend that you remove the grout and regrout it with Epoxy.com Product #225 – www.epoxy.com/225.aspx. Product #225 is a 100% solids water cleanable epoxy that is waterproof grout. This eliminates most leaks and grout maintenance issues.

Thos of you that don’t like the looks of the tile, I recommend removing the tile.  Get down to a sound substrate.  And then proceed. – www.epoxy.com/surfaceprep.htm.

Apply Epoxy.com Product #1W – www.epoxy.com/1W.aspx to the walls. Product #1W is a 100% solids waterproof coating that leaves a ceramic like finish. Product #1W applies much easier than most 100% solids epoxy. It has superior durability and abrasion resistance.

For floors (after the tile is removed) I would level with Epoxy.com Product #12 mortar – www.epoxy.com/12.aspx and then install Epoxy.com Chip Flooring – www.epoxy.com/chips.aspx. Heavy traffic on floors often makes the use of decorative flooring products impossible. Product #315 Seamless Polymeric Multi-Colored Flake Chip Floor Resurfacing System makes this possible. The #315 Chip System creates a beautiful, durable, and affordable floor that is easy to apply by both professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

For more information on this subject please visit our website at www.epoxy.com or contact Epoxy.com Technical Support at 352-533-2167 or email me – norm@epoxy.com


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