• How to decipher the batch number or code.

    The batch number is a 6-digit code that is associated with the product's manufacture date and is typically located on the bottom of the container. 

    Batch code: X(YEAR) XX(MONTH) XX(DAY) X (INTERNAL CODE)

    Example: A product with the batch code #806141 was manufactured on June 14th, 2018.

  • How to fix orange peel in an epoxy coating.

    To help fix the appearance of orange peeling, please allow the existing epoxy to cure for about 48 hours or until hard enough for sanding. Block sand flat using 120-150 grit, vacuum sanding dust and wipe clean with denatured alcohol. You may then re-coat.

  • Are System Three products suitable for the fabrication or repair of a fuel or gas tank?

    Our coating resins and adhesives are resistant to diesel and aircraft fuel, but have limited resistance to gasoline. 

  • Get rid of bubbles in an epoxy coating.

    Two methods can be used to rid of bubbles in an epoxy coating:

    1. Roll and Tip Method: Bubbles that persist in the coating can be broken with a disposable bristle brush by lightly dragging it across the surface after rolling the product out. 

    2. Propane Torch: Quickly and lightly fan 6-8 inches above the uncured surface with a propane torch to accomplish bubble popping with greater speed. Avoid overheating an area as this could cause the epoxy film to pull away from the surface creating craters.

    NOTE: When coating a porous surface like concrete or wood, overheating to pop bubbles with a torch can cause the expansion of any air in the pores of the substrate and can make the bubble situation worse.

  • Which product, the Marine Spar Varnish or WR-LPU, offers better long lasting UV protection?

    WR-LPU offers better UV protection for epoxy resins and the surface underneath better than Marine Spar Varnish.  How much better depends on the length and severity of the exposure.  WR-LPU is a little more expensive, but being waterborne, is available anywhere in North America.  Spar Varnish contains VOC content, and its use is restricted in some areas, but if available, offers more ease-of-application and a cost savings over WR-LPU.

  • Why didn't the epoxy cure?

    There are two common reasons why the epoxy didn't cure:  incorrect measuring and incomplete mixing.  Measuring and mixing is really easy with most System Three® epoxy systems because they mix at a 2:1 or 1:1 volume ratio, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to what you’re doing. First , read the label or Technical Data Sheet to see what the correct ratio is for the product you are using. Customers will call our Technical Support line suggesting that something is wrong with the epoxy because it didn’t cure properly. We know of no situation where properly-mixed resin/hardener has gone bad or has been contaminated and wouldn’t cure. In the majority of cases, it turns out that the batch was either incorrectly measured or insufficiently mixed. Epoxy chemistry just will not allow it to work any other way.

    If you’re working on a project that requires you mix many small resin batches, develop a measuring technique that is sufficiently accurate and stay with it. Doing it the same way each time will minimize the chance for error. 

  • The Part A resin has hardened and turned white. Can I still use it?

    Yes. The white solid or haziness is a mass of resin crystals. Crystallized resin will not cure properly. To bring the resin back to a usable state, heat the bottle up in a water bath above 125 degrees F until the resin clears up. It will then be ready for use.

  • What is the shelf life of your epoxy resin products?

    We will guarantee the performance of our epoxy products for three years from the date of manufacture, printed on the bottom of the containers, provided they are stored properly. They will probably last much longer, but they should be tested first after the three-year period. The resin may crystallize or the hardener may darken but this does not affect its performance. Crystallized resins should be reheated in a water bath that is 125 F until the resin clears up prior to use in your application.

     

  • Can I tint or color System Three epoxies?

    Yes, we offer a pourable Epoxy Pigment Dispersion specifically formulated to be dispersed in System Three epoxy resins. They are available in 7 standard colors and can be blended with each other to create additional colors. Please check our our blog and product page for more information on these color pigments here.

    All other dyes and colorants should be tested by the user to ensure it cures to their satisfaction.

  • Should the contents of Silvertip Yacht Primer be stirred?

    Yes. The pigments in Silvertip Yacht Primer Hardener Part B are prone to settling and should be thoroughly mixed prior to using with the Part A. Please see the Paint Application Guide and Technical Data Sheet for more details on application. 

     

  • What fillers can I use with System Three epoxies?

    Please check out Section VII C - Modifying Epoxy with Fillers in the Epoxy Book for guidance on fillers.  

  • Heat Resistance of System Three® Epoxies

    Cured epoxies will soften when exposed to heat, but never melt.  The terms "softening point,""heat deflection temperature," and "glass transition temperature(Tg)", are often used interchangeably.  Our room-temperature curing epoxies will soften in a temperature range from 120-140°F.  Please refer to the specific product Technical Data Sheet for details on these, and other, physical properties.

    When cooled back down, the cured epoxy will return to its original hardness.  Depending on the intended use and service, exposing the product to heat or heated objects,  might or might not make a difference.

     

  • Are there any fire retardant additives that can be added to System Three epoxies?

    Unfortunately not at this time.  Epoxy products can only be made fire-retardant at the manufacturing level.  There are currently no materials that can be post-added to any of our epoxy products by end users to make them fire-retardant.

  • Where is Appendix A?

    Appendix A is a section from the System Three Epoxy Book and can be found as a separate file on our website here: Appendix A - Estimating Usage

     

  • Can I use a stain under or over System Three epoxies?

    System Three epoxies do not accept stains well and should be applied before the epoxy. In general, oil-based wiping stains can be used so long as they are completely cured before applying mixed epoxy resin. However, it is prudent to do a test by staining some scrap and then applying epoxy. Check for appearance and bonding.

  • Can polyester or gel coats be applied over epoxy?

    The general rule is that epoxies will bond over cured polyester but polyesters do not bond over System Three epoxies. To get around this problem, we developed a resin system that can be used as a "tie-coat" barrier and is unique in allowing polyester resins and gel coats to be bonded directly over it. This epoxy is called the SB-112 and is available on our website here.

  • Will epoxy be damaged if stored in freezing or cold temperatures?

    Crystallization occurs when the product is exposed to low temperatures for prolonged periods of time; the presence of any impurities will then initiate the crystallization process. 
    System Three products are formulated to resist Crystallization, but it can still occur. 
    Heat will bring the resin back to a usable state, and the best way to heat the resin is to place the container in a water bath with water heated to 125°F. 

  • Do you still supply "The Epoxy Book?"

    Yes.  The original System Three® "how to" manual is alive and well on the website.  It is available in downloadable sections, or all at once here.

     Epoxy_Book_Cover.jpg

  • Will epoxy resin adhesives bond any material together?

    Epoxy resin adhesives will bond all woods, aluminum and glass well. It does not bond to Teflon, polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, or Mylar. It bonds poorly to polyvinyl chloride, acrylic and polycarbonate plastics. The only way to tell if an epoxy will bond to a material is to try it. Generally, epoxy adhesives are the best choice for bonding dissimilar materials together. If epoxy bonds to Material A and to Material B it will bond the two materials to each other. The best thing to do is to try it and see for yourself.

  • Can I thin down or lower the viscosity of epoxy with solvents?

    Yes, epoxy may be thinned with up to ten percent lacquer thinner to lower the viscosity and improve brushing. The use of solvents will retard the cure time somewhat so don’t use any more than needed. Add just enough thinner to allow the epoxy to brush easily. Never add
    solvents to epoxy for gluing or fiberglassing.

  • Can System Three epoxies be used in direct contact with food?

    Our products are marine or industrial, and not intended for use in applications involving food contact. To claim that a product is food-safe, it must be tested by an independent lab, which we do not do. On the other hand, when some of our two-part epoxy products are properly measured and mixed, then properly cured, they are theoretically inert and would be no more of a problem than many other plastics. But since the accuracy of those processes is beyond our control, we can’t make those claims.