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MAX CLR working time

Question:  Gerald, MAX CLR is taking 6 to 9 hrs for it to get hard enough to sand. Any way to speed things up? Room temp is maintained at about 78 to 85
degrees. It’s taking me way too long to finish my parts having to wait between coats to cure, sand, coat again. I have to wait a total of 18hrs for 3 coats.

Answer: The long set-time of the MAX CLR TC resin system is what gives the resin system its color stability, impact resistance, and durability. The faster a resin system cures, the faster it will turn yellow and often yield very brittle performance, thus yielding poor impact resistance.

Also the faster the reaction, the higher the shrinkage factor will be as the resin converts from a liquid resin to a solid plastic. High shrinkage of the coating will cause the substrate to warp and be dimensionally unstable. Six to nine hours is about right for sanding time of the MAX CLR TC; our recommendation is 12 hours at 75 deg
Fahrenheit.

Yes, warming the room will help with a shorter sanding time; to further accelerate the cure, you can also prewarm the resin and curing agent to 80 to 85 deg Fahrenheit before mixing. Pre-warming the resin and curing agent will shorten your pot life considerably so be careful not to overheat the components and observe the shortened working time. If you apply subsequent coats within 18 to 20 hours, you really do not need to sand the previous application as the MAX CLR TC will bond to itself.

Here is a typical multi-coat application:

I suggest doing some small experiments with temperature and time variations.

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Adding Oil Stains to Epoxy

Questions:  Can I add oil stains to epoxy?

Answer: Thank you for your inquiry. A better resin system to use for your
application of filling or potting knot holes for your maple flooring is the
MAX CLEAR GRADE, also sold as MAX CLR resin system. This resin is a
low viscosity resin system (thin in consistency) and it is optically clear
that will receive the tint you wish to add. The low viscosity allows for
the mixed resin to penetrate the wood porosity and allows for air
bubble release during filling of the wood voids. Here is the link for your
review:
MAX CLR:
theepoxyexperts.com/shop/adhesives/max-clr-96-oz-epoxy-resin-food-safe-fda-compliant-clear-high-impact-coating-copy/

I am not too familiar with the W.D. Lockwood Dyes, however, after
visiting their website, I noted that there is an alcohol/acetone and oil-
based dye systems they sell. These are compatible with epoxy resins;
do not use water-based as it will not properly disperse. You can also
try the wood stains from Cabot that our lab has tested, see
attached pictures. Cabot Stains can be purchased at Lowe’s or Home
Depot in varying color shades.

To prepare the epoxy/stain compound, dispense the
appropriate amount of resin component or PART A and to it slowly add
the stain additive until the desired saturation is achieved. Make sure
the stain and the resin are well mixed and then set aside for several
hours to allow any entrapped air bubbles to degas from the blend.
Prepare the wood knot to be potted ensuring it is dry and free from
dirt. Try to remove any old coating if the wood has been
coated before. Use a vacuum to clean out any debris from the void
cavity.

Mix a small amount of the tinted PART A and to it, mix 50 parts curing
agent or PART B and mix gently to avoid air bubble entrapment. Apply
the mixture using a brush and allow the resin to penetrate the wood
porosity and allow it to set for 2 to 3 hours. This will seal the wood and
prevent further absorption and bubble outgassing. Once set, mix
another batch or the tinted MAX CLEAR epoxy and then fill the void
flush and allow to cure for 24 to 36 hours. It will cure to a hard, glossy
finish that can be sanded flush and effectively fill the knothole.
Here is a video demonstration of how pigments are incorporated
with an epoxy resin, which you can use the same addition technique
for stains as well.

Here is a link to our YouTube channel where you will find more epoxy
related instructional videos:

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Poor curing – Resin Crystallization

The most common cause of poor cure, especially during the
cold season is caused by ‘resin crystallization’. Please inspect the PART
A or Resin bottle and most likely there will be crystallization, which will
appear as a cloudy mass on the bottom of the bottle. When the resin
crystallizes due to cold temperature, the solid crystals will not mix well
with the liquid curing agent which will cause poor cure result.
MAX CLEAR resin is a high-purity grade resin, which makes it prone to
crystallization, however, it can be easily reverted back to a liquid.
Place the bottle in a hot water bath (150 deg Fahrenheit) and allow it
to acclimate to 145 deg Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes- the
temperature of hot coffee. This will melt the crystallized resin back to
a liquid. Allow the resin to cool back to 75 deg Fahrenheit before
adding the curing agent at a 2:1 mix ratio. Similar to honey or other
high purity and supersaturated compounds, it will crystallize when it is
exposed to cold temperature. This typically occurs during the colder
season or after the resin has been stored for a prolonged period

Here is a link to our website discussing the heating process and the
guidelines for the proper use of the MAX CLEAR resin system:

RESIN CRYSTALLIZATION HEAT PROCESSING
theepoxyexperts.com/coldweathernotice/

NOTICE REGARDING FOOD SAFE RESIN SYSTEMS
theepoxyexperts.com/epoxy-resin- food-safe- fda-compliant/

When you received the package, there was an index card attached to
the PART A bottle providing notice and instructions on how to process
if crystallization occurs. Please review the links noted above for the
proper use of the MAX CLEAR GRADE (also sold as MAX CLR),
especially for food contact applications.

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MICROSPHERES GLASS BUBBLES

Question: We are in the process of manufacturing an AUV prototype and need to know more details about the ability to manufacture syntactic foam parts.
few weeks ago, I made an order for: “MAX 1618” , “MAX Bond” and “MICROSPHERES GLASS BUBBLES LOW DENSITY EPOXY SYNTACTIC FOAM FILLER 1.5 POUNDS”.

So, Would you provide me with their data sheet and support me with technical details, precautions and procedures for manufacturing syntactic foam?

Answer: Thanks for the inquiry. The glass microspheres can be directly added to the pre-mixed MAX 1618 A/B resin system in small increments until the proper density and consistency is achieved. The more microsphere is added the lighter the density will be. However, the higher the amount added to the mixed resin, the thicker the consistency will be, which will make it more prone to air bubble entrapment. When mixing epoxy resins, the amount of air bubble entrapment will directly affect the cured mechanical performance, so do not mix aggressively.

A 10% addition by weight of the microsphere will yield a low density-pourable consistency, and 30% addition will yield a thick compound; gradually add to the mixed resin based on your requirement. Wear a dust mask and avoid inhalation of dust particulates, during mixing and if you plan to machine or grind the cured compound.