At Fibre Glast we field dozens of call a day asking how our epoxies compare to the WEST System. This paper was prepared originally for our customer contact team but the information is clearly supported and may be helpful to you.

Epoxy Resins

WEST System overview:

Gougeon Brothers manufacturers two of the most widely used epoxy resin systems in the marketplace. Those are the WEST System and the professional option, the PRO-SET System.

The WEST 105 System is probably the most well-known marine-grade epoxy in the industry. WEST is an acronym for Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique, and that is the specific use for which it was originally formulated. WEST 105 offers an excellent ability to penetrate into wood.

Because of this, WEST 105 is a solid choice to use when laminating 1-2 layers of fiberglass fabric to the exterior of a strip canoe, kayak, or other boat for waterproofing. It is also a reasonable selection for other fiberglass-over-wood applications due to its ability to deeply penetrate wood while saturating the fiberglass fabric.

However, the WEST 105 System was not developed for the production of composite laminates. As the following Property Comparison Chart shows, properties of the WEST 105 System are not ideal for use in the production of laminates.

Heat tolerance is one of the primary properties that the WEST 105 system lacks. Gougeon lists the Heat Deflection Temperature of WEST 105 as 118°F -123°F. This means that at about 120°F WEST 105 will begin softening and lose structural integrity. This isn't a problem for waterproofing applications since the wooden structure carries the load, but for a composite laminate this can result in part failure.

If used in a composite lamination, this is a very big problem for anything that will be exposed to sun. Even a boat sitting in the sun can easily achieve a surface temperature of 120°F -130°F. WEST 105 certainly should not be used under hood where temps easily get to 300°F. Even a hood itself can get up to 200°F!

Epoxy Resins

A composite part made with WEST 105 is going to lose strength just sitting in the sun and will probably sag. A part made with Fibre Glast System 1000 is not going to have that problem. Parts made with System 1000 also have higher elongation than WEST 105. This means that the System 1000 part is stronger and stiffer but will still flex more before failing. These are generally critical issues in composite part construction!

Additionally Fibre Glast System 2000 can be used for the hood itself and System 3000 can be used under the hood!




PRO-SET System overview:

Understanding the limitations of WEST 105, Gougeon created a product line of epoxy products for use in the production of composite laminates. That is the PRO-SET group of products. PRO-SET offers significantly improved strength when compared to WEST 105.

However, Fibre Glast's System 2000 is an aerospace-grade epoxy resin system that was formulated to offer the highest strength properties for a room-temperature epoxy laminating resin. System 2000 offers significantly higher temperature resistance than PRO-SET (180-200°F vs. 135-150°F) which allows it to be used in significantly more demanding applications. Dimensional stability, tensile and flexural strength are also significantly higher for System 2000 than PRO-SET. Below is a property comparison of the two systems.

Comparison of Fibre Glast System 1000 vs. WEST 105

Brand Name

System 1000 Epoxy

West 105 Epoxy

Test Method

Product

1000/1010

1000/1025

WEST 105/205

WEST 105/206

 

Mix Ratio by weight

100 : 18

100 : 18

100 : 19.3

100 : 18.7

Literature

Mix Ratio by volume

5 : 1

5 : 1

5 : 1

5 : 1

Mixed Viscosity, centipoise

800

575

975

725

ASTM D2293

Pot-Life @ 25°C, 100gm

11 min

23 min

9-12 min

20-25 min

ASTM D2471

Cured Hardness, Shore D

87 D

87 D

83 D

83 D

ASTM D2240

Specific Gravity

1.12

1.11

1.18

1.18

ASTM D1475

Compression Yield, psi

14,220

14,435

11,418

11,500

 

Tensile Strength, psi

9,944

9,563

7,846

7,320

ASTM D638

Elongation @ Break, %

5.20%

5.88%

3.40%

4.50%

ASTM D638

Tensile Modulus, psi

479,482

458,060

408,000

460,000

ASTM D638

Flexural Strength, psi

17,703

17,744

14,100

11,800

ASTM D790

Flexural Modulus, psi

531,493

526,580

461,000

450,000

ASTM D790

Heat Deflection Temperature, F

158°F

135°F

118°F

123°F

 

Glass Transition Temp. (Tg) Ultimate

184°F

193°F

142°F

139°F

DMA

Comparison of Fibre Glast System 2000 vs. WEST Systems PRO-SET

Brand Name

System 2000 Epoxy

ProSet

Test Method

Product

2000

2000

2000

125R

 

w/2020

w/2060

w/2120

w/229H

Mix Ratio by weight

100:23:00

100:27:00

100:27:00

100:30:00

Literature

Mix Ratio by volume

4.3:1

3:01

3:01

2.86:1

Mixed Viscosity, centipoise

950-975

900

925

325

ASTM D2293

Pot-Life @ 77°F,
4 fl. Oz.

20 min

1 hr.

2 hr.

1.5 hr.

ASTM D2471

Cured Hardness,
Shore D

88 D

88 D

87 D

89 D

ASTM D2240

Specific Gravity

1.12-1.13

1.11

1.12

1.15

ASTM D1475

Density lb./cu. in.

0.041

0.0401

0.041

0.0415

ASTM D792

lb./gallon

9.47

9.26

9.34

9.6

Tensile Strength, psi

45,326

45,170

45,870

42,810

ASTM D638

Elongation @ Break, %

1.93%

1.96%

1.98%

2.04%

ASTM D638

Tensile Modulus, psi

2,530,000

2,620,000

2,520,000

2,430,000

ASTM D638

Flexural Strength, psi

65,308

62,285

66,667

55,561

ASTM D790

Flexural Modulus, psi

2,830,000

2,560,000

3,050,000

2,840,000

ASTM D790

Glass Transition Temp. (Tg)

180°F

196°F

194°F

146°F

TMA

Conclusion

Epoxy Resins

Fibre Glast's System 1000 is a low viscosity epoxy resin system that was specifically designed to be used in the production of composite laminates. It offers reasonable heat stability, strength and elongation properties to permit parts constructed from System 1000 to provide years of service. Although it does not penetrate wood quite as deeply as WEST 105, it is still suitable for use when laminating 1-2 layers of fiberglass fabric to the exterior of a wood canoe, kayak, boat or deck.

For composite laminates, System 1000 offers measurably improved hardness, compressive strength, tensile strength, elongation, tensile modulus, flexural strength, flexural modulus, and heat deflection temperature. Put simply, System 1000 is simultaneously harder, stronger, able to flex more before breaking, and suitable for use in a wider variety of temperatures than the West System.

Epoxy Resins

Fibre Glast's System 2000 is an aerospace-grade epoxy resin system that was formulated to offer the highest strength properties available in a room-temperature epoxy laminating resin. System 2000 offers significantly higher temperature resistance than PRO-SET (180-200F vs. 135-150F) which allows it to be used in significantly more demanding applications. Dimensional stability, tensile and flexural strength are also significantly higher for System 2000 than PRO-SET.

Fibre Glast's System 3000 is an intermediate/high temperature epoxy resin system for making parts that can handle service temperatures up to 309°F. Fibre Glast's System 3300 is a high temp epoxy tooling system ideal for making high temp molds that can be used for the production of high temperature parts including parts made using Prepregs. There is no West System alternative to these systems.

At Fibre Glast, we want to help you build a better composite. We want make sure you're selecting the right resin for your application. If you still have questions about which product is suitable for your specific need, feel free to call us at 800-838-8984.

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