ABL (STEVENS) Resin & Glass

NOTES ON FISH PONDS & TANKS

 

SHEATHING IN GRP (Glassfibre Reinforced Plastic) of Concrete Fish Ponds. The advantages of a GRP Sheathing over coating the concrete with "G4" Polyurethane Varnish, for which four coats are used is that concrete can crack in the winter frosts but the GRP will not crack and has a glass smooth surface.

 

TOXICITY Under cured GRP will emanate Styrene (40% content of most resins). With drinking water tanks this would not be toxic to humans despite unpleasant taint but would be toxic to fish as they breathe water. Our final surface coating resin (top coat or flowcoat) is a quality Isophthalic Gel Coat to which wax has been added at time of manufacture so that the user does not have to add the tack free solution which has been added to all initial Gel Coats (which are wax-free) if they are to be used as Top Coat.

 

ERECTION OF TENT For Fish Ponds in the open it is essential to erect a tent: a tarpaulin sheet stretched over horizontal pole and pegged to the ground. Both ends of the tent must be left open so that the Styrene fumes can freely escape. If emanation were restricted hardening and cure would be inhibited. The tent must be longer than the pond to avoid driving rain entering the open ends at an angle. The tent should be erected 14 days before commencing work to allow the concrete to thoroughly dry.

 

PREPARATION OF THE CONCRETE All corners, vertical and horizontal, must be rounded with sand and cement as leaks are apt to occur when dovetailing glassfibre into internal 90 degree angles. The concrete should be reasonably smooth but not billiard ball smooth as the initial barrier coat of "G4" would not penetrate as well as it should. Do not use 'Unibond' as it contains ammonia. There must be no trace of bitumen as this attacks polyester resin and inhibits hardening. Allow 14 days for sand/cement to dry.

 

INITIAL BARRIER COAT OF "G4" POLYURETHANE VARNISH The purpose of this is to act as a barrier preventing alkali in the cement attacking the resin and the dampness striking through the concrete inhibiting hardening and cure of the resin. The "G4" is applied in one coat at 210g /sq.metre (10.76 sq.ft). The "G4" hardens upon contact with air, so tins should be promptly re-sealed each time "G4" is decanted. It goes tacky-hard in one hour and continues to cure for 12 hours, but when "G4" is used in this application the laminating resin must be applied with a maximum of two hours or sooner after the "G4" has gone tacky-hard. Delay will inhibit the degree of adhesion of resin to "G4". The "G4" must be brush applied: NOT with spray gun as inhalation of fumes must be avoided.

 

APPLICATION OF GRP SHEATHING The concrete must be strong, especially the bottom where the weight of water bears. For ponds up to 5' depth two laminations of medium thickness Chopped Strand Mat (CSM) described as density 1 1/2 oz per sq.ft. Two laminations is 3oz. sq.ft. The sheathing must be carried outwards horizontally over the top of the wall and 2" down the other side. If terminated on the horizontal the top edge would be searched by water and start to de-laminate. Both laminations can be applied without waiting for the underlying lamination to harden, as also the final surface tissue.

The preferred roller is the aluminium Paddle Roller 6" x 1 1/2" o.d. which has a plastic handle with a socket into which a broom handle will fit, which eases the work. Always overlap pieces of CSM by 2". Do not lay edge to edge. The final surface tissue cannot be rolled with metal roller which would 'pick it up'. It is applied with a brush stippling action. The CSM and tissue are applied with laminating resin. As soon as the tissue is hard then the final topcoat (flowcoat) is applied at spread rate of 2 oz. per sq.ft. This can be pigmented with polyester colour paste added to the gel in ratio not exceeding 10% by weight. Pigmented gels cure more positively than non-pigmented as UV light inhibits cure of non-pigmented resins. The usual colour in fish-ponds is Super Black.

 

FINAL CURE Allow a minimum 14 days after work is completed with tent still erected. Introduction of heat will expedite cure. After this flush out with hot water, steam or several changes of water. Under cure is visible if a white sheen appears on the surface of the laminate after water is introduced.

 

WORKING TEMPERATURE This should be not less than 16C = 60F throughout the work. If work has to be interrupted it may be found that the finished edge of laminate has curled up away from concrete due to 6% shrinkage of resins as they harden and cure. Cut this out and overlap 3" onto extant laminate with the subsequent laminate.

 

These notes are given in good faith for general guidance purposes only and since actual operating conditions, methods and application techniques are beyond our control, we cannot accept liability for any losses however they may occur.

 

Unit 4, Millbuck Way, Springvale Industrial estate, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 3HT

www.resin-supplies.co.uk