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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Up a creek....
    Posts
    215

    Default DIY Copper antifoul

    I am about to get my boat out for a spot of maintenance before the winter sets in. I coated the hull with Coppercoat 3 years ago and it has worked very well. Unfortunately there are some areas that need touching up from scraping the keel on the marina sill (we really wanted to get to the pub).

    At £90 for a litre I wondered about making up my own version. A quick search on the web revealed that I can buy a litre of epoxy for £20-£25 and 500g of copper powder for under £10.

    Has anyone tried making their own?

    Is there any practical reason that this wouldn't work??

    Thanks chaps!
    Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    525

    Default

    Whilst I understand what you are trying to do, if it doesnt work then you will end up using a proven method next year.

    The was a saying in the metal finishing industry "you havent got time to do the job once, but you have time to do it three times" in this case change time for time and money, as possibly in a years time you will be lifting the boat, preparing the surface again then painting with a proven copper-epoxy paint at the higher cost. Only you can decide.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    1,708

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorfish View Post
    I am about to get my boat out for a spot of maintenance before the winter sets in. I coated the hull with Coppercoat 3 years ago and it has worked very well. Unfortunately there are some areas that need touching up from scraping the keel on the marina sill (we really wanted to get to the pub).

    At £90 for a litre I wondered about making up my own version. A quick search on the web revealed that I can buy a litre of epoxy for £20-£25 and 500g of copper powder for under £10.

    Has anyone tried making their own?

    Is there any practical reason that this wouldn't work??

    Thanks chaps!

    Reaing their brochures yesterday, they point out that others have had too coarse a grain of copper and other technical flaws that folded their businesses, and they place a lot of emphasis on following their instructions.

    Their aqueous resin exposes the copper, not encapsulates it as your epoxy would.

    They also do a smaller 0.5kg pack for repairs that treats 2 sq. m.

    Your experiment would seem to have a high risk of failure & little to gain. You acknowledge the real thing works well, so spare yourself the cost and effort of scraping your failure off and replacing it. Spend the time in the pub instead.

    Alternatively go for a cheaper lookalike and see if it matches up, then tell us all about it.


    No connection, not even a customer, Just doing a risk assessment for you.
    good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    kefalonia ,greece
    Posts
    752

    Talking copper coating

    I have been doing this for many years , contact East Coast Fibreglass Supplies , they have the copper powder and mix with epoxy resin at a ratio of 1x kg :2x litres of resin .
    Then roller it on , mine lasted well for 8 years , after which I just scratch etched the existing copper and washed it well then re- applied my own mix 4x coats .
    I found that 1 x mix would do 1 hull side before it cured .
    Make sure you continuosly mix up the solution while being applied , as the powder being heavy , sinks to the bottom of the mixing pot . I use ice cream cartons so the short roller fits inside .
    Th great side effet in this is that you have just epoxied your hull so put a good barrier on to prevent osmosis !
    The worst job is removing the old a/f but it is very worthwhile . another point is to be very careful as you get down to the original hull gelcoat , dont damage it .
    then lightly abrade the gelcoat before applying the copper to key the surface .
    I recommend you get a team together for the a/ f stripping work , its slow going .
    grafozz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    River Itchen, Southampton
    Posts
    6,701

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorfish View Post
    Is there any practical reason that this wouldn't work??
    Ordinary epoxy will not erode so once the outer layer of copper is spent it will cease to work.
    Major epoxy manufacturers have tried to do it and failed.
    So there must be more to it than meets the eye.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Boston - gateway to the North Sea (and bugger all else).
    Posts
    2,414

    Default

    I'm beginning to suspect that some people on here may have a vested interest in dismissing the idea of DIY copper anti-fouling ...

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    From the CopperCoat website:

    Coppercoat is the combination of a specially developed two-pack epoxy resin and 99% pure copper. Each litre of Coppercoat contains 2kg of ultra fine copper powder, the maximum allowed by law. [?]
    On immersion, sea water attacks the exposed pure copper powder, causing the formation of cuprous oxide. This highly effective anti-fouling agent deters growth until the surface degrades further to become cupric hydrochloride. This final copper form is highly unstable, and is washed away [the copper oxide - not the epoxy resin] by the movement of the yacht, thereby removing any accumulating silt or slime. This automatically reveals a fresh copper-rich surface whereby the process recommences.

    With the resin carrier insulating each copper sphere, the final coating is inert and non-conductive. A current can not pass through Coppercoat [...]

    The inherent waterproofing qualities of the epoxy ensure that a treatment of Coppercoat will help prevent osmosis [...]

    [...] after several years, the surface may benefit from being lightly abraded with a fine grade of “wet and dry” paper or a burnishing pad to expose fresh copper.

    Classified as non-leaching, this highly effective coating is considerably kinder to the environment than conventional self-eroding anti-fouls.
    ---------------------------------------------------------


    So - you can't have it both ways - either the 'special' [? - you might want to check their MSDS data sheets ...] epoxy resin allows leaching or it doesn't. If it allows water to penetrate past the top layer, then it cannot be considered as 'inert and non-conductive'. Good marketing spiel, with just a touch of the Paul Daniels.

    And as for 'the others' producing an inferior product - remember the words of Mandy Rice-Davies ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    32,180

    Default

    Whatever the ins and outs of the formulation, you cannot ignore the past history of this type of product where a number of firms have tried to market their product, with variable outcomes - mostly failures with the possible exception of Copper Coat which is still in business and seeming to expand. If it was easy to produce an effective product there would be more than one brand on the market - I know there is a new entrant but they are likely to find it hard going against the background.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Up a creek....
    Posts
    215

    Default

    [QUOTE=And as for 'the others' producing an inferior product - remember the words of Mandy Rice-Davies ?[/QUOTE]

    Yes they would, wouldn't they?

    Well I think that given I have a hull treated with coppercoat and only a few patched that require attention, I will test a DIY approach and see what happens.

    I will report back with results!

    Thanks for all the comments.
    Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19,519

    Default

    Perhaps someone can explain to me how it is that epoxy is good at keeping water out of your gelcoat whilst allowing water to get at the copper.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    On the Clyde with a good view of where Kip chimney used to be
    Posts
    3,464

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by parsifal View Post
    Perhaps someone can explain to me how it is that epoxy is good at keeping water out of your gelcoat whilst allowing water to get at the copper.
    It's one of life's little mysteries isn't it? I think the point is that on the macro scale the thick layer of copper/epoxy is impermeable but the outside is burnished to expose the copper to the water.
    Grünkraft? - nein danke.

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