# West Systems Epoxy

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

#### AKPilot

##### Well-Known Member
I used West Systems for the first time today. Nice . . .

Especially easy to use, a bit thinner, and no strong odor. The two draw backs are, relative, price and it measures out quite a bit at a time. Better for use on larger projects.

Now if I could just get Bob Smith or Zap to use the theory in spouts.

#### H_Rocket

##### Death by Powerpoint
Transfer the West to smaller squeeze bottles and mix by weight.

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Especially easy to use, a bit thinner, and no strong odor. The two draw backs are, relative, price and it measures out quite a bit at a time. Better for use on larger projects.
Use syringes or a small scale to weigh it out, and you can mix very small batches -- West Systems is the same whether mixed by weight or by ratio.

I bought a bunch of 50cc syringes just for that purpose.

In my experience, it's cheaper than Bob Smith or any other hobby shop epoxy.

-Kevin

##### Well-Known Member
I have been using West Systems for a really long time (early nineties). Make sure to check out their web site for their user guides and other great information. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/

I would recommend getting at least the 406 filler to thicken the epoxy.

Watch out though, you might start looking for projects to build just to use the epoxy.

#### sandman

##### Well-Known Member
West System main factory is about 60 mile from here and their boat shop is where my TARC then SLI team worked on their rockets. Cool place.

I'm also a boatbuilder and I've probably used well over 75 gallons of the stuff since I first started using it.

Cannot complain.

You do have to clean your pumps if you're not going to use it for a while.

#### quickburst

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Most anything done with West Systems can be done with US Composites. If someone handed you two tubes, one glassed with WS and the other glassed with USC. I doubt if you could tell which tube was glassed with what.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

#### stantonjtroy

##### Well-Known Member
the 410 Micro Lite is a great filler. Makes a liller paste that weighs nearly nothing.
FWIW
Troy

#### AKPilot

##### Well-Known Member
Good idea about mixing by weight, versus pump action. I'll have to look it up and find out what the combination of resin to hardener is.

#### Pantherjon

##### Well-Known Member
I believe(though I could be wrong) that the ratio of resin to hardener is the same whether it is by weight or volume - 5 parts resin to 1 part hardener..

I have the seasoning out if I have put my foor in my mouth!:roll:

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
I believe(though I could be wrong) that the ratio of resin to hardener is the same whether it is by weight or volume - 5 parts resin to 1 part hardener..
Depends on the hardener you're using -- some of theirs are 5:1 and some are 3:1.

-Kevin

#### cls

##### Well-Known Member
I'm with Sandman & mkadams - been using WEST for over 25 years, first on boats & various things, lately for rockets. no real complaints. only got the "amine blush" once and it cleaned right up.

#### AKPilot

##### Well-Known Member
For the 205 & 206 hardeners the ratio is 5:1. I've got my postal scale, so I'm set.

I saw the 4oz bottles today for the 5 minute stuff (1:1 ratio) and it was nearly $20. I figured that I've already got the 105 resin, so it's be more cost effective to get the other hardener. So now I've got both 205 and 206. I've had the 405 silica for a while now, so next time I'll use that to thicken it up a bit. But, I enormously like the fact that with West Systems you can build light and tight. #### sandman ##### Well-Known Member For the 205 & 206 hardeners the ratio is 5:1. I've got my postal scale, so I'm set. I saw the 4oz bottles today for the 5 minute stuff (1:1 ratio) and it was nearly$20. I figured that I've already got the 105 resin, so it's be more cost effective to get the other hardener. So now I've got both 205 and 206.

I've had the 405 silica for a while now, so next time I'll use that to thicken it up a bit.

But, I enormously like the fact that with West Systems you can build light and tight.

BTW, the shelf life of West Epoxy is a really long time!

So if you think you bought too much you have a long time to use it up.

Just don't let it freeze with the pumps in place. It kinda crystalizes and makes a mess of the pumps. When it does crystalize just warm it up and the crystals go away...except in the pumps...they'll still be a mess.

#### jackman

##### Well-Known Member
Can anybody say what the high temperature characteristics are? I've been using JB weld since it's rated to 500 deg F. Has anybody had an epoxy failure due to heating when using the WS epoxy?

#### cls

##### Well-Known Member
... heat range of epoxy - now there's an interesting subject!

personally I've never had any issues in epoxy joints or laminations, caused by overheating. people worry about motor mounts but really it's not much heat for very long.

that said, if it makes you feel better, use Aeropoxy and a post-cure regimen in an autoclave. lots of trouble and cost for no real benefit, unless you are flying at Mach 3 for more than 10 minutes.

#### mjennings

##### Well-Known Member
west is good stuff we used it at school for fiberglass and Carbon layups. Seen the results of a couple of off ratio mixes not good. My impression was the 5:1 had to be pretty precise to get a good cure.

#### Pat_B

##### Well-Known Member
I use tiny amounts of it at one time for my FAI rockets and I still throw most of it away because it's difficult to dispense the hardener in such small amounts.

I generally use a scale and will initially put a small amount of hardener in my container. I'll then multiply the weight x5 to determine the amount of resin needed. I'll hit the tare button on my scale to reset it then pour the needed amount of resin in. This method of doing the hardener first allows you to not have to be as careful with the pouring/pumping/whatever, but then make up for the accuracy when dispensing the resin.

The pump kit is well worth the price. Even then, the smallest amount that can be dispensed from the hardener can is too much for me. Hence, I still waste quite a bit.