FAQs

  • Mas Epoxies, How do I make neat fillets

    Clean the area, mark off with tape using an icing bag ,Fill bag with a mix of flag medium hardener thickened with cab or workshop mix . Squeeze mix into your cornor joint tool off with spoon or similar dipped in alcohol or mek remove tape as soon as jell is formed clean up with scrapper and hot air gun

  • Mas Epoxies, what do I use

    1.Bonding Porous Woods
    Any of our Resin and Hardener mixes may be used with Cab-O-Sil or Wood Flour to thicken. Try workshop mix

    2.Bonding Dense Woods
    Pre-coat pieces to be bonded with MAS Resin/Slow Mix, bond with Cab-O-Sil filled mixture

    3.Bonding Iron and Steel
    Pre-coat with MAS Resin/Slow mixture. Rub mix into clean surface with scotch brite pad.

    4.Bonding Aluminum
    Pre-clean and treat with DuPont 225-S cleaner. Convert with 226-S (Bond like dense wood).
    aluminum must be etched

    5.Bonding Foam and Core
    Pre-coat pieces to be bonded with MAS Resin/Slow Mix, bond with Cab-O-Sil filled mixture

    6.Laminating Wood Structures
    All products, depending on the size of the structure for dense wood. MAS Resin/Fast mixture or Medium mixtures are good for deck deck beams, stringers, etc.

    7.Filleting (structural)
    MAS Resin/Medium Speed Hardener thickened with Cab-O-Sil (1 part) and then filled with Wood Flour until looking just dry. In the workshop here we use workshop mix

    8.Filleting/Fairing (cosmetic)
    Same as structural, but substitute low density filler (i.e., Microballons for the Wood Flour) Here we use workshop Mix 10/20 it is a very fine light addertive that finishes well

    9.Laminating Fiberglass
    MAS Resin mixed with Fast or Slow Hardeners. Use Slow for “No Blush” and green stage next day – the surface will be ready for more work while requiring no prep. If using Fast or Medium, once cloth has been wetted out we use flag resin to fill up the weave on the final coat low vis resin for everything else

    10.Osmotic Barrier
    MAS Resin and Slow Hardener. 5-9 coats (optimal temperature while curing is 70 degrees F.)

    11. Vacuum Bagging
    MAS Resin and Slow Hardener

  • Mas Epoxies, Customizing Cure Times – the blending Hardeners

    The time it takes for an epoxy mixture to change from liquid to solid is the Cure time. There are three phases – 1. pot ife – time it will take the product in the container to gel 2) Thin Film Set – which is open (working) time or wet lay-up time. (liquid) ; Time to the Initial cure or gel 3. Full cure is when the epoxy is totally solid and reached its maxiumum strength

    The speed and the length of these phases a cure time varies relative to temperature and hardener was used – slow, medium, or combination of – and if additives have been incorporated into the mixture.

    Cure times can be sped tip or slowed depending on your need and application by the combining of the different speed hardeners. Cure times for the Fast hardener, combined with the low viscosity Epoxy resin can be lengthened by the addition of 35-40% by volume of the Slow hardener. This happens because the Slow generally has a peak exotherm temperature and the Slow hardener molecules are bulkier, which slows down the chemical reaction between the resin and hardener. The Slow hardener can be sped up by the addition of Fast hardener, however, it is important to note, the amount of Fast exceeds 30% by volume, compromise the “no-blush” characteristics of Slow Hardener. Remember — the mix ratio between the resin and hardener still continues to be 2:1 resin:hardener.

    NOTE — The cure times are not directly proportional to the amount of hardener used to customize the blend. For example, if 25% Fast is added to Slow, the cure time is speeded by 12-15%. Conversely, if 50% of Slow is added to Fast, the cure time is slowed down by 25%.

    The above ratios should get you in the curing ball park of a perfect shop/labs which warms and cools by increments of 18 F (see above). However, using both temperature variation and blending ratios which favor the “hot” side to manipulate a pot life, will probably get you close to your desired cure speed. Even if the pot life and thin film set of your first hybrid mix does not fall right on the money, the mix will cure as long as the resin to catalyst ratio is 2:1 and temperatures are not severely cold. We have been working with Hybrid blends of Slow Fast and the following ratios are the most popular for the listed common conditions: Coating and Encapsulate: If temperatures are slightly cool (50o-60o), we recommend our Medium Harderner. This can provide a blush free coating (but do check), and is normally sandable in the morning (remember, always mix resin and catalyst in a 2:1 ratio, mix thoroughly).

    Filleting and Bonding: Normally since users are looking for maximum strength and minimum clamp time, we recommend 100% Fast. However, if the weather gets hot (over 80 F), this mix can he controlled by adding approximately 25% Slow, or switching to Medium hardener (Remember always mix Resin and Catalyst in a 2:1 ratio, mix thoroughly). For large fillets Medium hardener is recommended.

  • Mas Epoxies, Checking for Hardness – Using the Rule of “Thumb”

    To quickly check for full hardness, press thumb nail into solid or coating firmly (no indentation should occur). This test is also very helpful when determining if a piece is ready for sanding or machining.

    use this to decide if you can go stright ontop with another coat , if you can make a mark you can go stright on top (big time saving) you will get a chemical bond, if you can not mark the epoxy with your thumb nail then you need to abrade the area scratch it well to give your next coat a Key

  • Mas Epoxies, How does temperature variation effect epoxy

    For every 18 F, the temperature falls below 77 F, the pot life will double for the mix. The thin film set will come close to a 1.3 increase in time. The exact opposite will occur as temperatures increase above 77 F. Applications which are allowed to cool below the freezing point must be warmed to achieve a full through Cure. In the case of freezing the solid or film must be checked for hardness to insure full, strength has been achieved.

  • Mas Epoxies, What surface preparation is needed

    All surfaces should be cleaned of any contaminates, such as oil, grease and pooled water. Light sanding is recommended. A clean cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol or plain water may be used to clean surfaces and to remove dust. DO NOT USE ACETONE or a TACK CLOTH to clean the surface.

    MEK can be used but use very little

  • Mas Epoxies, What protection is needed when using epoxy?

    Disposable gloves should always be used (we use a minimum of 2 pairs at a time ,as you will always need a tool and it will have epoxy on it and you will try to push that last little bit back with your finger so please TWO PAIRS OF GLOVES and eye protection is important if any splashing were to occur. A respiratory mask (like 3-M Easy Air) should be used, we use the canister type ones available from B&Q wicks etc , remember dust is your bigest problem .. The epoxy may cause irritation of the skin, especially, fair skin.

    A. Avoid all direct skin contact with resin, hardeners and mixed epoxy by wearing gloves and other clothing. Clean any uncured epoxy off the skin with waterless soap immediately after contact. NEVER use solvents to remove epoxy from the skin. Always wash thoroughly with soap and water immediately after contact.

    B. Protect your eyes by wearing protective eye wear. If contact should occur, flush eyes immediately with running water for 15 minutes. If discomfort continues, seek medical attention.

    C. Avoid breathing vapors. Use epoxy only in areas with good ventilation. In small areas, be careful have a supply of fresh air and to exhaust any fumes. Wear a respirator with an organic vapor cartridge. Wear a dust mask when you sand the epoxy. If it has cured for less than a week, use a respirator with the organic vapor in combination with a dust pre-filter.

    D. Avoid ingestion. Wash thoroughly after each use and especially before eating or drinking.

    E. Clean up spills with a squeegee and paper towels. Scrape up as much material as possible with the squeegee before using the paper towels. Sand, clay or other materials may be used to contain or soak up a spill. Clean residue with white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. Always wear protective gloves when cleaning up spills or at the end of a job.

    F. Dispose of resin, hardener and empty containers safely. Do not dispose of resin or hardener in a liquid state. Before disposing of resin and hardener containers, puncture the corners of can and drain residue into clean containers for re-use. Small quantities of resin and hardener can be mixed and cured completely to a non-hazardous solid. Place pots of curing resin and hardeners outside on the ground to avoid the danger of excessive heat and vapors. Dispose of after the reaction is complete and the mass has cooled. Then follow your local state and federal regulations for proper disposal.

  • Mas Epoxies, Can a stain be used on the project?

    To use a stain on an epoxy project, use a waterbased stain under the epoxy clear coat. Be sure stain is fully dry before coating work with epoxy. Always test first using the cross hatch test: Apply the stain n a scrap piece of wood. Let it dry. Apply the epoxy over the stain and let it sit overnight. Next day cut a tic-tac-toe image into the epoxy with a shop knife. Place a piece of Duct tape on each of the nine squares. Try to remove the epoxy. If it come off easily without any wood chards then there is an adhesion problem and will not work, but if it comes off with bits of wood attacheded the epoxy is penetrating the stain and will adhere well.

    We have had some good results by adding stain to the varnish and not to the epoxy also acrylic paint has been added before with quiet pleasing results As ever i would recomend testing in small patches first

  • Mas Epoxies, How to protect the epoxy?

    Epoxy surfaces should be protected from sun exposure. Clear coats may be protected by a good quality varnish or urethane with UVA protection additives. Paint is always considered a 100% filter. Indoor pieces do not need varnish over epoxy.

  • Mas Epoxies, What tools are used to apply the epoxy?

    For coating and fiberglass, a short nap 1/8″ nylon bristle roller, plastic squeegee, or disposable brushes. For bonding, a glue brush or a squeegee with notches cut into the edge.

  • Mas Epoxies, How to clean up?

    Gloves and other personal protection should always be used. If you should get any epoxy on your skin, it should be cleaned off with a waterless soap immediately, then thoroughly washed with soap and water. Tools can be washed with Bio Solv, white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. Semi-gelled epoxy can be removed with acetone. (do not allow acetone near your work )

  • Mas Epoxies, Temperature requirements?

    For clear coating, we like to see the resin remain over 55 to 60 F. For bonding, anything over 45 F is adequate.

    The above is information from the factory , we have had good results at tempretures alot lower than this but we have warmed the resin first and used a medium or fast hardener in realy cold conditions a heat gun can also be used

    99% of the time the epoxy will go off and cure however the colder it is the longer it takes, mid winter epoxy work gets done with warm epoxy then we wrape everything up and put a small heater on the project as long as there is some heat to start the cure you will be fine

  • Mas Epoxies, What is the recoat time?

    Since epoxies from MAS are 100% solid (no solvents), recoat time can be as short as it takes to achieve surface tack. If more than 12 hours passes between coats, do a light scuff sand. Use a cotton ball to test if a light scuff sand is needed. If the epoxy holds the hair of the cotton ball, you can recoat without sanding. If it doesn’t, a light scuff sand will help adhesion between coats. Remember the “Rule of Thumb” test (if you can press your thumbprint in the epoxy, but there’s no tack, then you should do a scuff sand, but will be getting a chemical as well as a mechanical bond.) Remember, warmer conditions makes for a faster

  • Mas Epoxies, What is BLUSH/WAX, how do I remove it?

    Blush or Wax is noticeable as a slippery film formed over the cured surfaces. It can be removed with warm water and a sponge (rinse and wipe). All the current MAS Hardeners used in a 2-2-1 mix ratio are Non-Blushing, No wax formula.

    If you use other products that do produce wax or blush you must remove the wax blush with warm water (some say with soap, and some diluted acid. Do yourself a big favour move away from these they are pure aggrevation , Join the Mas Family remember simple perfection why make life hard

  • Mas Epoxies, How much mixing is required?

    Mixing is the key to a thorough cure, good films and strong bonds. One and a half to two minutes of aggressive mixing, swiping the sides and bottom is recommended. Be sure mix ratio is two parts resin to one part hardener. (2: 1). Use clean plastic or uncoated paper cups or buckets and a clean mix stick.
    We also recommend taking the mixed batch and putting it into a clean container, scraping the sides and bottom and then mix again. this assures a complete mix.

  • Mas Epoxies, will extra hardener help

    Can I speed up the mix my adding more Hardener – ABSOLUTELY NOT! Adding more hardener throws off the ratio and you will end up with a gooey mess that never cures.

  • Mas Epoxies, What is the Mix Ratio?

    Generaly the mix ratio is 2:1 Resin to Hardener. That ratio stays the same when the hardeners are custom blended (See item 19). When blending hardeners, blend In separate containers from the resin then mix with the Resin. Be sure to maintain the 2:1 ratio, resin: hardener.

    However this changes to 5 parts resin to 1 part hardener if you use our traditional Boat building epoxy if you have any concerns contact us on 07904446306

  • Mas Epoxies, Cure Schedules

    grid cure schedual

  • Mas Epoxies, blister repair and barrier coating

    To understand the repair of blisters, you should learn what causes them, and before you apply a barrier coat on a new surface,

    What is a Blistering
    To understand the repairing of blisters, we should first understand the cause, Polyester Resin is used in the production of most boats now afloat and it’s not waterproof. Polyester Resin has a very high osmotic absorption rate (how much water the solid absorbs). Usually, water penetrates the gel coat below the water line; however we’ve seen instances where blisters appear above the water line as well.
    Blisters are caused when the water passes through the outer skin of the laminate, i.e. Gel coat .When migrating water finds an osmotic home and begins to collect, pop, you have a blister. A blister is an area within the glass that expands to hold more water and causes the laminate to swell. Blisters may show as a bulge on the surface. This can look like a pea or a grapefruit under the skin. When this happens, the laminate begins to soften and the boat can gain substantial weight by absorbing water. Blistering can be prevented by barrier coating a hull with carefully chosen osmotic barriers, like epoxies.

    Osmosis treatment and protection
    take off the gel coat grind back to a solid substrate wash the area down get rid of all dirt and salt take off all underwater fittings (osmosis will have gone under these) now dry the boat out cover the whole boat with a cover leave both ends open and let the air dry the hull (if you have a shed this time will be greatly reduced) spot repair any holes etc build up with cloth any areas that have shown signs of stress around fittings feels rudder supports etc then two sealing coats of low vis resin and slow or medium hardener followed by 5 coats of flag and slow or medium hardener allow to cure. cut back when sand-able apply desired anti fouling when cured (Mas has one of the highest stretch factors in marine epoxy 8% which will still let the ship work)

    CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCT.

    Barrier coating will prevent blistering when you use the right product. Check with the manufacturer of the barrier coat product you intend to use. The two question you want answered before using any product are
    1.What is the osmotic absorption rate of the product?(How much water it will allow in)
    2.What is the bond(secondary) strength?(Will it stick to the surface you’re coating?
    Don’t be surprised, when you call. If barrier coat manufacturers may not have this information available. Also be cautious of claims which state Vinyl ester products out-perform epoxies. Since Vinyl ester is a esterified epoxy hybrid it’s unlikely it will out perform a 100% solid epoxy.
    Mas Epoxy is comprised of 100% solids and its water absorption is less than 0.5%- the lowest osmotic absorption we’re aware of, and its secondary bond strength is 1850 p.s.i.- the highest available.

    REMOVING BLISTERS

    To begin, you’ll need to remove all paint on the surface and have a clear view of where the blisters are. Once you’ve located the bubbles or blister on the surface, on the larger blisters, you’ll need to drill a hole in the lower portion of the blister to allow the trapped water, etc. To escape. After this is completed, you’ll need to grind away the complete blister – like an upside down volcano into the laminate is ground away when you hit hard, clean material again.
    We should mention the water behind the outer skin will smell and the material will be spongy in texture and discoloured.

    FILLING THE VOID

    Feather out the edges of the divot you’ve created. A feathering ration of at least 8:1 will allow permanent secondary bonding of the repaired area. When you’ve completed the removal of all blisters, allow the boat to dry by storing in doors or tenting the hull from the whether. You may also consider applying heat to help dry out the composite before you begin to repair. Get hold of a moisture meter and check the moisture content of the hull. If you can’t get hold of a moisture meter, please call us for recommended dry schedules.
    Now you can begin rebuilding the surface. Our recommendation for filling back divots making your own filler by blending Phenolic Micro Balloons (Purple in colour) and Colloidal Silica 75/25 respectively. (See Fairing recipe on page 21.)
    Now fill back the holes using a putty knife or large squeegee. If substantial structural glass has been removed in the grinding process, new glass can be applied prior to applying filled epoxy or Fairing Compound. Let the epoxy filler mix harden for 12-24 hours at 77 degree f before attempting to sand or work the surface. Depending on the temperatures, you’ll have to check the surface for hardness before you continue working. To re-coat, use the ” Rule of Thumb”- If you can leave a thumbnail dent in the surface, and there’s no amine blush, then you can repeat without the 12-24 hour window. In cooler temps., 35-65 degree f, if it’s still soft, throw some heat at it or be patient, it will cure.

  • Mas Epoxies, Tips and techniques for filler use (filleting and fairing)

    No longer is it necessary to have many different resin systems around for laminating, filling, filleting, fairing and adhesive bonding. One simple MAS Resin and two hardeners, MAS Slow and MAS Fast, will provide you all the flexibility required to make different thickened putties for standard build and repair operation

  • Mas Epoxies, Glassing with Knitted Reinforcements?

    Knitted reinforcements (as opposed to woven rovings and cloth) come in a variety of weights (usually described in ounces per square yard or gram’s per meter), fiber orientations, and with various backings stitched onto the reinforcing fibers with bias yarn

  • Mas Epoxies, differences between Epoxies, Vinylesters and Polyesters?

    Epoxies, Vinylesters and Polyesters represent two resin familes. Epoxies can be cured with amine agents at room temperature to form excellent adhesive and composite resins. Vinylesters and Polyesters contain an unsaturated ployester or hybridized vinylester backbone which is catalyzed with a peroxide to condense into cross-linked solid resin. Read more about Epoxies, Vinylesters and Polyesters…

  • Natures Head, How do we remove buildup in the liquids bottle.

    Rinse the bottle, add vinegar and some pea gravel. Shake well and the buildup will break loose.

  • Natures Head, What kind of toilet paper must be used?

    Any kind of toilet paper will work, however single ply paper breaks down quicker. Many single ply papers are approved for septic tanks.

  • Natures Head, The agitator handle turns with difficulty.

    If the compost gets dry, the handle may not turn easily. Adding used coffee grounds results in added moisture and keeps the compost loose so that it mixes better.

  • Natures Head, Preventing fruit flies and gnats.

    Add 4 cups of Diatomaceous Earth to the compost section. This can be purchased from a swimming pool supply store, or from big box hardware such as Home Depot or Lowes, internet ,ebay and pharmacy.
    contact us if your having a problem.

  • Natures Head, Can the toilet be used in a basement?

    Yes it will work fine in a basement and any room or closet where a toilet is required.
    they are portable so if you have one for a relative that has come to stay because they find stairs etc difficult the unit can be taken with them when they stay somewhere else just remember it needs to be vented outside some of our customers have pipes placed so that when there father/mother etc come to stay the unit plugs in then goes in the back of the car and back home with them so they can take it to the next place they will stay

  • Natures Head, Does composting work in cold conditions?

    Composting works from 55 degrees and warmer. The warmer it is the faster it compost. When there is freezing temps the compost will be dormant until heat is introduced into the area.
    About 13 degree C which as this will normally be in the living area of a boat or caravan most people will have a living tempreture between 16 and 20 so this is not seen as a problem

  • Natures Head, Will freezing temperatures damage the toilet?

    Other than emptying the urine bottle nothing needs to be done and it will not affect the toilet.

  • Natures Head, What are the dimensions of the unit?

    The dimensions are: 20 inches tall, 17 3/4 inches front to rear, and 13 inches wide at the base. The toilet is 16 1/4 inches wide at the seat.

    Metric 51cm tall, 45cm front to rear, 33cm wide at the base, the toilet is 41.3cm wide at the seat

  • Natures Head, Do I need to run the fan all of the time?

    While the unit can be operated without the fan it is best if it runs all of the time. This will prevent any musty odors and the fan helps with the composting process. If battery drain is a concern then you might consider attaching the unit to a solar vent instead of using the built in fan, or using a small solar panel to offset the battery drain.

  • Natures Head, Can I use it standing up?

    Yes, although the recommended use is sitting down. Especially when underway in a moving vehicle or vessel.

  • Natures Head, Why is the toilet seat molded into the unit?

    Because we designed this toilet for the “mobile” market, this became a safety issue. I have spoken with boaters who have had a toilet seat break off in rough conditions. I have heard of other boaters lifting the seat and sitting on the base of the toilet to avoid this problem. (That can’t be comfortable). While this isn’t as likely with an RV or caravan, it would not be out of the question. It is also much easier to keep clean.

  • Natures Head, How does it separate the liquids and the solids?

    The toilet has a gate or door that when closed directs the liquid waste into the front tank. When the door is open the solids pass through to the lower main tank. When seated on the toilet (male or female) the liquids naturally are aimed towards the front collection area and the solids are directed straight down into the main tank.

  • Natures Head, When should I empty it?

    It is best to allow the solids to decompose before emptying your toilet. The longer you wait before emptying your toilet, the nicer the job will be. Many boaters will leave the solid wastes in the toilet over the winter and empty it in the spring. That may not be possible for some applications, but you will find that even in as little as one week much of the solid wastes have begun to decompose, and just the paper products are visible. It is best if you do not leave the liquid wastes in the tank for extended periods. While everyone is different, some urine will smell bad if allowed to sit for extended periods.

  • Natures Head, When should I empty it?

    The proper place to empty the solids tank is in a composting bin where it can be used to fertilize ornamental plants. Boaters may empty theirs overboard if they are the proper distance offshore. Many campgrounds now have composting bins as composting is becoming more popular. The liquid tank can be emptied into a toilet or overboard if offshore.

  • Natures head, Does it smell bad?

    No. Because you never mix the liquid wastes with the solid wastes it does not have the odors associated with sewage or holding tank systems. When working properly it will have a slight earthy smell.

  • Can I use coconut fibre?

    coconut fibre can be used

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