When the cold weather descends upon us, things start to move a little slower. This is true for epoxies, as well. In fact, most epoxies won't cure at temps below 50 degrees F. We have a few suggestions that might help prevent delays in your installation schedule.
This frigid winter air has us all shivering (something we aren’t too keen on here in Texas), but this shouldn’t stop you from installing your wear pads! Most epoxies, including our own, will not cure at temperatures below 50 degrees. The curing chemical reaction cannot initiate at colder temperatures. That being said, we have a few suggestions on how to keep this colder weather from slowing down your installation schedule.
If wear pads are being installed in a fabrication shop, heaters can be placed near the wear pads to keep the local temperature above 50°F. We advise that the wear pads are secured with zip ties, ratchet straps, or duct tape for as long as possible during the curing process.
If the wear pads are being installed in the field however, a more mobile solution is necessary. Heat guns or heating blankets have proven to work well. Also, if the wear pads are being installed on a line that is currently in operation above 50°F, epoxies will cure without a problem.
Not only does the colder weather make it more challenging for epoxies to cure, but it often becomes harder to squeeze out of the tubes in lower temperatures. To solve this problem, we recommend placing the epoxy tubes in a cooler with warm water to reduce the viscosity of the epoxy in the tube. This will ease the installation process.
The aforementioned are the most common solutions to curing epoxy in colder weather, but we’ve seen plenty of other innovative ideas work, such as using the hood of a car to heat the epoxy.