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Author Topic:   Plastic Repair With Epoxy
R T M posted 01-04-2010 05:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for R T M  
Thinking of using epoxy and mat and cloth to patch a few holes in a plastic kayak. Does anyone know if epoxy will stick to plastic? Will the elasticity of the plastic pop the epoxy patch off? the only thing Whaler related here is I would take the kayak aboard my 13 footer to some grass flats and do some kayak fishing.

rich/Binkie

sternorama posted 01-04-2010 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
hey Rich-can you find out what kind of plastic it is? I say that because if it is polypropylene you can get it welded-they use a stream of very hot air and plastic rod.

here is something I found on google

http://www.trails.com/how_41_repair-plastic-kayaks.html

http://www.plentypupule.com/weldkit.htm

good luck or maybe try a flexible epoxy! -g

dfmcintyre posted 01-04-2010 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Rich -

Log into:

[urlwestepoxy.com[url]

And drill down to Projects / Boat Repair / Plastic Boat Repair

and look for the article "Repairing a Royalex Canoe with G/flex Epoxy".

I don't know what material your kayak is, but this might be a start.

Regards - Don

fno posted 01-04-2010 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Rich, is it one of the newer rotomolded kayaks? If so it is polyethylene and repairs can be made by heating the area gently and adding some melted PE from a stick or piece of the same. The PE is too flexible and elastic for epoxy to stick very long. A patch using Gorilla glue is also possible if you are not looking for pretty. Good luck!!
chumboy posted 01-04-2010 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for chumboy  Send Email to chumboy     
Most plastic kayaks are crosslinked polyethylene. Epoxy will not adhere for very long if at all. The West article on the canoe is a different material (Vacuum formed ABS), and epoxy will work on that. The only way to fix the polyethylene material is with a heat gun and the proper welding stick material, and it takes a good deal of experience to achieve the proper bond without melting the kayak and making things worse. My company used to build chemical plating tanks using this method. You might try to find a fabricator in your area that has the equipment and expertise to repair the kayak. Good luck.
64nauset posted 01-04-2010 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for 64nauset    
There's some farm tanks around here, made out of that slippery stuff, that I have fixed using thermo-plastic material from the local plastic supply. I make a patch for both the outside and inside, sandwich it all together with screws, heat gun it to form the material to the repair surface, remove the patches, seal both sides with 5200 or something, re-install and let set for a few days before re-filling with water. Much stronger than before, water tight, and unattractive. If you have the old original royal-x, it is the best synthetic material ever made for canoes/kayaks. Later iterations removed an epa banned ingredient and water-craft were not as resilient after that. An early royal-x anything would be worth my time.
jimh posted 01-04-2010 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
"Plastic" is a vague term and is too broad in its scope to define a material.
number9 posted 01-04-2010 11:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
If it's polyethylene others are correct. My understanding is a "welded" repair may be the best. If a large area you might consider a scab patch, pop rivets and sealant that sticks to the patch material.
deepwater posted 01-05-2010 04:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
If the hole is 22 cal or a bit bigger,,A flat head bolt washer and nut will work,,If its bigger than 30 cal you need a better backstop ^@^
64nauset posted 01-05-2010 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for 64nauset    
Jimh. "Plastic" vague yes. Doesn't matter for the application described. Could be formed aluminum, flexible plywood, anything that might conform to the damaged surface area. Lots of boatmen/women carry a plywood carpeted sandwich with a bolt through the middle as an emergency repair against a holed hull. Whalers need no such hardware. Apologies if I wasn't clear about the repair method.

I have tried Plexus MA 310 High Strength Plastic Adhesive. Since it has solvents to chemically bond with the material, it holds better than regular epoxy, but I wouldn't trust it below waterline as a permanent repair.

Plotman posted 01-05-2010 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
West System G-Flex. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy/

Check out their video of a repair on a roto-molded poly kayak. Took a page from Dick Fischer.

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-torture-demo/

R T M posted 01-05-2010 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
Thanks plotman, I think you provided the answer I was looking for. I`ll try it.

rich/Binkie

swist posted 01-06-2010 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
You will notice the containers and cartridges used to hold many types of adhesives are in fact made of polyethylene because so little sticks to it.
R T M posted 01-06-2010 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
Swist, you make a good point. Even catalyzed epoxy is easily removed from a plastic container by just deforming the plastic, very little adhesion. This kayak is manufactured by OCEAN and they recommend the plastic welding rod method so and this kayak already has two repairs done in that method. It also has two small holes in the bottom, that are unrepaired. They will even send you some free plastic "welding rods", and I can get a piece of plastic bu cutting out the hatch piece and adding an actual deck hatch.

rich/Binkie

PeteB88 posted 01-06-2010 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Ya Rich, sounds like Poly E - epoxy won't stick to it. Like downhill ski bottoms you gotta use polyethylene sticks to fix gouges and scratches. I might be wrong but you seem to be on the right track. How'd the thing get a hole in it?
wstr75 posted 01-06-2010 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for wstr75  Send Email to wstr75     
Binkie, we make polyethylene tanks via roto-molding. When we want to make prototyping changes, we cut and weld parts together with a hot air welder. For patching a small hole you can use a polyethylene rod or possibly melt and smudge the material around the hole together. For patching a large hole, just cut out a matching part or plug from a piece of polyethylene stock and tack into the hole with the hot welder. If the piece closely fits the hole, you can just melt the edges together, otherwise use a polyethylene rod to fill the gap. As noted already, be careful not to melt a hole through the material. Thicker material welds better than thin material. After welding, we liberally coat both sides of the piece with silicone sealant as an extra sealant in case there are itty bitty holes in the weld seam.
Bill in NC
number9 posted 01-06-2010 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Are you trying to say West System is trying to sell snake oil in their video?
deepwater posted 01-07-2010 04:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
PeteB88,,I think your question should be "how did you get several holes in it"
R T M posted 01-07-2010 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
I don`t know how the holes got there, it came with holes and was cheap. Sounds like holes are pretty commen in these things.

rich/binkie

deepwater posted 01-07-2010 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
Than we must find a way to fix the holes,,Its not made by Boston Whaler so we know its not self bailing unless its on saw horses and its usless on saw horses as a kayak

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