Whether you are bonding, fairing or applying fabrics, the success of the application depends not only on the strength of the epoxy but also on how well the epoxy adheres to the surface to which it is being applied. Three critical steps for surface preparation of any secondary bonding operation.
Surface Preparation: Clean – Dry – Sand
1. Clean – Bonding surfaces must be free of grease, oil, wax, mold release or any contaminants. Use lacquer thinner, acetone or other appropriate solvents to clean surface. Then wipe the surface with paper towels before the solvent dries. Follow all safety precautions when working with solvents.
2. Dry – All bonding surfaces must be as dry as possible for good adhesion. To accelerate drying use a hot air gun, hair dryer or heat lamp. Use fans to move the air if working in confined or enclosed spaces. Watch out for condensation when working outdoors or whenever the temperature of the work environment changes.
3. Sanded – Sand smooth non-porous surfaces with 80-grit aluminum oxide paper will provide a good texture for the epoxy to “key” into. Remember to remove any flaking, chalking, blistering, or old coating before sanding. Remove all dust after sanding.