Gelcoat needs careful processing

When processing gelcoat, certain specific features should be observed in order to guarantee optimal curing. In addition to following the dosage and mixing ratio very precisely, the amount applied must also be appropriate. There are also some chemical and physical properties that need to be taken into account.

Gelcoat and Topcoat

The processing of gelcoat places high demands on thoroughness, timing and working conditions. The work steps and techniques must be carried out very carefully when applying a new gelcoat as well as when touching up and repairing.

  • Also read - Sanding tack-free gelcoat
  • Also Read - The Definition Of Gelcoat
  • Also read - Topcoat is available for painting gelcoats

If an existing gelcoat has to be sanded off, a fiber and grease-free, clean supporting surface is a prerequisite for an optimal result. Depending on the individually desired result, you can work with an exclusive gelcoat layer. As an alternative, the so-called topcoat is used when painting gelcoat.

Thickness and types of order

Even if the manufacturer's specifications vary a little, the amount applied per spatula or line amount is estimated at 500 to 700 grams of gelcoat per square meter. This thickness balances the drying out time with the hardening time. If the application is too thin, the gelcoat dries out faster than it reaches the maximum degree of curing.

Rolling, brushing and spraying can be used as application forms, although not every gelcoat can be used in every application form. It is often necessary to achieve a viscosity that prevents it from running. If the gel coat runs too much, the thickness of the gelcoat falls below the ideal value, which in turn leads to the drying effect being too quick.

Physical conditions

Gelcoat is very sensitive to temperature influences. This applies to the outside temperatures as well as to materials and tools. The temperature range between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius is ideal for processing gelcoat.

Drafts can be another disruptive factor in processing. Too fast evaporation of the liquefying agent styrene leads to underhardening of the gelcoat. A windless working environment is most beneficial. The optimal rate of evaporation of styrene is achieved with downward-facing work surfaces, as styrene is heavier than air. The relative humidity should be between fifty and 75 percent.

Tips & Tricks Before applying the gelcoat and, if necessary, the topcoat, create a time schedule that takes into account the processing and drying times. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the nearest gram and minute.