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Report #6a: Applying epoxy underwater on volcanic rocks collected by Alvin and brought to our laboratory

This report prepared by UCCRTS technicians:

  • Bodio
  • Lafleur
  • Walsh

On October 10th we had to identify two expoxies that would stick to the (volcanic) rock when applied underwater. The two expoxies included "Smart Glue" and the water proof (Ace Hardware Store) epoxy putty. Smart Glue is also known as PSI-326 in bulk. My cadet decided to test glass and plastic in the ambient temp water. We first got our (safety) equipment and then we proceeded. We mixed (together) a half teaspoon of both epoxies, making sure they were mixed very thoroughly. We tried a smooth + an etched glass slide, which both bonded to the rock. The plastic tab bonded to rock. We also tried to get the head of (a galvanized roofing) nail to bond to the volcanic rock. I can say that all my tests worked. As a marker to distingush the rocks from other volcanic rocks, we were asked to try to write the letters "MMA" in glitter (mixed with epoxy) on the rock either with a q-tip or a popsicle stick. It was hard to apply with the q-tip and the stick. If we had a bigger applicator it would apply (epoxy) better. The gitter (in the epoxy) worked better in room temperature water (than it did in) the chilled water.

Ace water proof epoxy putty (made) a strong bond with the glass slide to the rock but failed (to bond) the aluminum slab to the rock. These (tests) were performed in the ambient temp. seawater. In the ice water, one group of (galvanized roofing) nails epoxied to a rock succeeded (in sticking). Plastic tabs bonded to the rock in ice water (NOT SURE).

The temeratures of the seawater: 14 degrees Celsius

Ambient air temp: 20 degrees Celsius

Ice seawater started off at 10 degrees Celsius and decreased to 5 degrees Celsius before our test was completed.

We went back to the classroom and discussed what we observed and what we should try (next). (Then) we went (back to) the lab to try our (new ideas). Our (applicator) was a rubber glove. My cadet cut a hole in the glove, (put epoxy and glitter in the glove finger) and squeezed it onto the volcanic rock. (The epoxy) stuck and (the glove applicator) worked efficiently.

Ambient Air Temp. 20 degrees C

Ambient Sea Water 14 degrees C

Chilled Sea Water 10 degrees C droped to 5 degrees C


what stuck to the rock      		what didn't stick
    			Under Ambient Sea Water  
glass slide both etched       		Alumminum Slide
and smooth              
   				Under Chilled Sea Water   
                             		Plastic tab
                             		Nail (nail head down)
Notes: the putty was difficult to apply to the rock itself.

PSI 326, aka SMART GLUE with glitter

what stuck to rock           		What didn't stick
    		Under Ambient Sea Water
glass slide both etched
and smooth
Nail (nail head down)
   		Under Chilled Sea Water
Nail (nail head down)
glass slide both etched
and smooth
plastic tab

Notes: It (was more difficult to make epoxy bonds) in chilled seawater than in ambient (temperatures). (The addition of) glitter made it harder to apply (epoxy) to rock. It was hard to apply with a Q-Tip or a stick. It worked well when applied with glove and no glitter added. (The epoxy was extruded through a hole in the glove finger.) We were able to sprinkle glitter over the glue once (it was applied to the) rock. when Smart Glue was mixed, we used 1/2 teaspoon (resin) and 1/2 teaspoon (hardener). (It) did give off (heat), an exothermic reaction. I was able to mix it quickly and very well.

Last week two adhesives worked (on rocks). They were Smart Glue and ACE hardware epoxy putty. The Smart Glue is exothermic and mixed very well.It wasn't in an applicator so it was hard to apply or make a letter by (drawing with it like a pen). We used a popsicle stick and a q-tip to apply it. We put glitter in the epoxy because it turns clear and the glitter keeps it visable. we didn't use dye because of the chemical compounds in dye could disturb the way (the epoxy) applies.

In the cold water, it was very hard to stick (epoxy) to the rock. The putty was realy easy to mix and applied very easily as well. It (putty) would be a lot more efficient to use under water because the Smart Glue can only be used in 1/2 teaspoon (quantities). That would cause a problem.

With both epoxies we put nails head down in the epoxy to see if it would adhere to that type of metal. All worked well. We (tried) plastic glove as an applicator. We poked a hole in the tip of the finger. It worked great!

Report #6b: Ideas for an epoxy adhesive applicator/marker

Three brains are better than one!


Report prepared by MMA engineers:
                                        3/C Holcroft
                                        3/C McQueen

Editor's note:  See also two ideas reported in Report #5 last week by
2/C Maguire and 3/C Sunde.

This week we were asked to come up with new ideas for some sort of
applicator.  I had an idea that was shared with a few of my
classmates.  The idea was to use a modified syringe to be able to 
inject the epoxy onto a rock or other sample.  An idea is to inject 
part "A" and part "B" into two separate thin plastic bags while 
inside the syringe tube and making the tube airtight.  By depressing 
the plunger up and down a few times, breaking the bags and mixing 
both parts.  We could eject the now mixed epoxy by having a break-off 
tip and apply where needed.

I found a company (advertisement) in a construction magazine.
They have an epoxy applicator that I think will work. The idea of an
applicator for a two part adhesive is difficult because of the
limits. The idea that I had would be to take a single tube with 
two chambers and use an offset mesh plunger that will mix and apply 
the epoxy. 

First set of design ideas for applicator are shown below. They are the result of the first brainstorming session on October 11, 2001.