Hypalon Glue Question - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-10-2019   #1
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5
Hypalon Glue Question

I took my first stab at putting D Ring patches on my Hypalon boat today and it didn't go well. I watched the videos on NRS and read a few tutorials online. Didn't seem like it would be that hard. I'm using Clifton Hypalon glue with the Clifton accelerator as recommended. I'm also using Toluene to prep my surfaces. When I mixed the glue it was very thick and did not spread easily. In the videos the glue is nice and thin and clear. My glue is think, chunky, looks like boogers and hardly spreads. I put a little Toluene in the glue to try and remedy this, but it didn't seem to help. Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong? I followed the mixing instructions 4 oz glue and .75ml accelerator. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-10-2019   #2
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 601
I recently asked a hypalon glue question and someone mentioned that they don't like the accelerator because it makes the glue goopy. I did notice it being surprisingly goopy in my case but still workable.

My glue was brand new and didn't seem goopy until after I put the accelerator in.

The other possibility is old glue.
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Old 07-10-2019   #3
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5
My glue is brand new, so should be just fine. Maybe it's the accelerator. It's strange NRS strongly recommends the accelerator. Any one else out there use the accelerator?
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Old 07-10-2019   #4
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 365
I’ve had issues with accelerator as well, to thick, and cures to quick.
I always thin my glue down a little with tolulene. Thin coats are what you are after.
The reason NRS says to use accelerator, is because if used at the right amount, it will make the bond stronger. I have had success with it by thinning my glue with tululene first, and then adding the correct amount of accelerator.

It also sounds like you have bad glue, it should not be like that unless something is wrong with it like freezing, or sitting in the warehouse to long before you bought it. Get some fresh stuff, and thin it out a little bit first. Even if you skip the accelerator, you can do a decent job, just a little bit weaker.
The river probably thought, “ he is such an insignificant, pitiful, little creature, with such a short time to live, I will let him go this time, and try to teach him something” - Buzz Holmstrum
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Old 07-10-2019   #5
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 601
I wonder if mixing it more immediately after adding the accelerator would help?

In my case I added it, carefully put the lid on the accelerator and sat it down, set the syringe to drain, etc... The glue sat for a a little bit before I started mixing. Maybe that makes one area start to cure too fast before the accelerator is dispersed?

I don't think my entire can was goopy but it had goopy parts.

Just thinking out loud...
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Old 07-11-2019   #6
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,832
It sounds like you used too much accelerator and not enough toluene. Pour your glue into a cup. Thin the glue down with toluene until it runs off the brush like medium thick paint. Add about 10 drops of accelerator per ounce of glue in the cup.

I found that the little bottle of accelerator they sell you will last through a lot of cans of glue. Use it sparingly. If the glue is too thick to pour out of the can, you have a can of bad glue. Don't be afraid to thin it down so you aren't putting on thick coats of glue. After the first coat of glue on the boat and D ring, let the glue dry overnight.

Once it's stuck together, roll the hell out of it and heat it slightly with a heat gun as you are rolling it. If you stick it down wrong and need to remove it, use a brush and toluene to soften it up and to pull the D ring back off. Always brush the glue on in one direction and try to avoid making air bubbles in the coats of glue. Do not leave any brush hairs behind in the glue.

Good luck and hope this helps.
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Old 07-11-2019   #7
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,832
Let me add another thought or two.

Make sure you lightly sand both the back of the D ring and the area of the boat you plan to put it. Do not sand it till you see fabric. This is a tricky part as you must get rid of the shiny surface of the fabric and not damage it. Each boat fabric is different when it comes to sanding the shine off. If you don't sand it.....it will never be stuck permanent.

Once you mix your glue, it will last a day or two if you put the container you mixed it in, in a zip lock and squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can. I usually apply two coats that I let dry really good. At least 4 hour dry time on the second coat. Overnight on the first coat. The third coat I'll let dry about a half hour to an hour and stick the thing together. You can't roller it too much. Let the whole thing dry for at least 4 hours before you try cleaning the excess glue off from around the patch. I mark the location of the patch or D ring with a grease pencil so I can easily remove those marks with toluene. Pen or lead pencil won't come back off like a grease pencil will. Use wax paper so the glue on the D ring won't stick to your work surface when doing your initial coats.

Looks like I exceeded a thought or two .
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Old 07-11-2019   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 377
If your glue is "goopy" there's something wrong... NRS instructions may be geared to on-river patching, where you need the patch to stick and get you home. If it's below 50 degrees, humid or raining, accelerator is a good idea. If you're patching in a controlled environment, temp is between 60 and 80, low humidity, and don't need to float the boat in the next 24/48 hours, I see no reason to use accelerator. What's the evidence for accelerator producing a stronger bond? It's the underlying glue that creates the bond, it's called "accelerator" because the stuff makes the glue cure faster - not necessarily stronger...
Glue: should be free of lumps and "clear" when it runs off your brush (by "clear" I mean you can see through it, or when you apply the underlying fabric color shows through). Thicker than water, thinner than pancake batter. If you're going to err, err on the side of thin - particularly if temperatures are in the 80+/90 degree range. I have never used glue straight from the can without thinning, either PVC or hypalon.
10-15% minimum thinning, often need to go to 25-33%, sometimes even almost 50-50.
Several - many - thin coats are better than one or two thicker ones. And yes, if you don't mix immediately when adding accelerator - stir as you add for best results - then the stuff will react with the top layer of glue and you're going goopey...
Prep is 90% of the job. Abraded surface but not fabric, wiped with appropriate solvent (MEK for PVC, toluene for hypalon/Pennel), CLEAN and ready for patch to lay flat (or as flat as possible if doing V-tape, valve replacement, etc.) will yield best results.
Cure time and time between coats: dry is dry. If you let first coat dry so it doesn't stick to your finger, (i.e., "tack-free") you can then apply second coat. That might be 5-10 minutes @ 90 degrees, or half an hour at cooler temps/more humidity. If your first coat isn't dry in 30 minutes, likely your glue is too thick or you're trying under "inclement conditions" (cold, rain, etc.).
l like 3 coats, 4 if really going for something tricky, but seen some good patches laid down with just two. Advice above about laying patch and rolling out bubbles (you don't need a fancy roller, either, although NRS happy to sell you one - full beer can or any solid cylinder, even the handle end of your brush if nothing else available will work) is good. Think of your patch/D-ring and glue job as contact cement - where you lay it is where you end up. If you have to "do over" you have a mess on your hands and will spend twice the time cleaning instead of doing it right the first time...
Cure time: it helps to inflate the tube where your patch/D-ring is going after it's applied, just enough pressure to maintain shape. After a few hours, check it and change air if a big repair (once did a 30" tear in J-rig overnight... changed air twice and it held air remainder of trip). Don't inflate to full pressure for at least 12 hours, longer if you can avoid it, and by "full" I mean Udisco soft (1-1.5 psi). After 48 hours and a couple of air changes, if you did it correctly your repair should be good to go up to full pressure (2-2.5 psi).
There's lots more - that's why the pro glue-sniffers are in business - but above has worked for me for 40+ years and dozens of repairs and D-rings, pontoon builds, etc.
Laid my first patches with Barge, if that's any barometer... glues are WAY better today.
P.S. - heat gun is your friend, but easier to manage lifting old patches/glue (seam tape) than to reactivate new glue. Slow and far away (I use 750 watt setting, my $10 Harbor Freight gun has two just two settings, 750 and 1500...) and use a spatula or putty knife - carefully! - and you can lift just about any factory glued fabric. Welded is another story... also Dremel with 150 grit roller is great tool for roughing fabric asap. Obviously not available on river - unless you carry a generator (motor heads!) - but you're only as good as your tool...
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Old 07-11-2019   #9
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 601
I don't have evidence but I trust what NRS says. Maybe they should link a study on the website? But if they say it makes a stronger bond then I believe them.

They also say they use the accelerator on their boat construction, and that it increases the bonds resistance to heat. Where I boat it doesn't get that hot but if you're boating in the desert a lot it's probably worthwhile.

And I went with it because of the stronger bond point.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that using a wider brush (that doesn't come with the can), and taping off the area so I don't have to be as careful or slow when I put the glue on went a long way towards keeping my coats going on thinner than when I didn't used to do those two things.
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Old 07-11-2019   #10
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 318
I was taught to sand past the shine. Get down a ways, way further than is comfortable to where you can see white mesh, but just barely. Been shown that way at a DRE clinic and have watched professionals sand down with a dremel. It's more than just the shine that needs to come off.
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