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What is epoxy putty, how does it work and what is it used for?
Epoxy putty is one of those materials that every household should have a supply of. Why? Because it is so versatile that you can use it in almost any repair job you can think of.
Need to fix a leaking pipe? Use epoxy putty to plug the hole. Have a cracked concrete paving slab that requires repair? Use it to fill the gap. Bathroom tiles or ceramics that are chipped? Epoxy putty. Wood that could do with filling in? Epoxy putty. Hole in metalwork caused by rust? Epoxy putty.
It is a powerful adhesive. It bonds to virtually any surface. It is waterproof. It can be shaped, moulded, sculpted, drilled, sawed, cut and painted. And perhaps best of all – it one of the easiest repair compounds to use.
What is epoxy putty?
Epoxy putties are made up of two parts. When these two parts are mixed, a chemical reaction takes place. This causes the putty to harden, transforming it from a material that is soft enough to knead by hand into a substance that can be as hard as steel when measured using the Shore rating.
How does epoxy putty work?
The key component in an epoxy putty is the hardener. The chemistry of the hardener determines how quickly the putty will cure. Some users may want a rapid working putty while others carrying out larger projects or more detailed work might need longer to work with the material.
Take Sylmasta One Minute Steel. It will permanently repair anything made from steel or other metals within a timeframe of one to two minutes. The perfect epoxy putty for quick-fire repairs.
When epoxy putty is used by model makers and sculptors, they require time to be able to shape the putty and carve intricate details. The Sylmasta Creative division at SylCreate.com therefore supply putties with working times of up to two hours, including Green Stuff, Magic Sculp and Geomfix Original A+B.
Types of epoxy putties
Different epoxy putties are formulated for different tasks and use on certain materials. Specialist wood putty for example is brown in colour and will often be wood filled, allowing it to bond more effectively.
Concrete putty cures to grey to match concrete. Milliput, a Welsh epoxy putty manufacturer, produce a terracotta putty which can be used to repair terracotta and clay ornaments.
Epoxy putties are not just formulated for colour. Specialist formulations are produced for high temperature applications, such as Titanium Epoxy Putty which is resistant up to 280°C for use with steam pipes and other pipework in industry.
When it comes to epoxy for domestic plumbing, then finding a putty which is WRAS approved is vital to guarantee the safety of the repair. WRAS approval means that the material in question has been certified for use with drinking water.
Using putties that are not WRAS approved and which encounter water designated for human consumption could lead to contamination.
Epoxy putty formats
Epoxy putty can come in several formats. The two most common formats are the putty stick and the two-part putty.
The Putty Stick is the easiest to use. It combines the two parts in one handy stick with the hardener running through the middle.
You simply cut off the required amount of putty and knead it by hand until it feels ready to apply. Because the Putty Stick is pre-formatted, there is no need to worry about the mixing ratios of the two parts.
Some epoxy putties will come with the two parts kept separate. When this is the case, you take the required amount of each part and mix them together. This allows for greater control over the mixing ratio; including more hardener for example will quicken the working time and can lead to a less sticky putty.
Having such command over the properties of the putty is desirable when it comes to model making, sculpture and other creative tasks. It is much less important in the majority of general repair tasks however, which is why putty sticks are suitable for most maintenance jobs.
One alternative format is the epoxy putty tape or reel. The two parts are combined in one easy-to-store reel and just like with the stick, you cut off the required amount of putty and knead it by hand.
How to use epoxy putty
The biggest selling point of epoxy putty is how easy it is to use. Once you have mixed it by hand, you simply apply it to the material or area requiring repair.
It is soft enough to push into holes and cracks, fixing leaking pipes and creating watertight seals around faucets, drains, and other plumbing parts.
Repairing cracked and chipped masonry and concrete is equally straightforward; just mould the kneaded putty into place. As an adhesive, it can be used to stick one material to another in the same manner that you would apply blue tac.
Once the putty has cured, you can do practically anything to it. Paint it, drill it, saw it. It won’t shrink or pull away.
When you have finished carrying out the repair job or task at hand, then you can keep the remaining putty. All epoxy putties will stay fresh when kept tightly sealed in their original packaging, ready and waiting to serve you again in the future.
You can shop the full range of Sylmasta Epoxy Putties on the Epoxy Putty section of our website. If you have any question about which product is most suitable for your repair, then please contact Sylmasta via email or on +44 (0)1444 831459 and a technician will be happy to advise you.