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Safety Precautions When Working with Epoxies & Urethanes

When working with any epoxies and urethanes follow good epoxy adhesive handling practices. The guidelines below are general precautions that will allow for safe handling, application and storage of ChemMasters epoxies and urethanes:

  • Epoxy and polyurethane products are generally composed of two separately packaged components. Part A is frequently called the resin and Part B the hardener or curing agent. Part A is mixed with Part B just prior to application and once mixed will only remain usable for a specified period of time, designated the “Pot Life” of the adhesive or coating.
  • Only mix “one unit” at a time, which is commonly 2 or 3 gallons or Part A – resin and one gallon of Part B – hardener depending on the specific product (consult technical data sheet). Epoxies and polyurethanes are exothermic, which means they give off heat once Part A and Part B are mixed together. Never leave mixed epoxy or polyurethane unattended as 3 or 4 gallons of mixed product can generate significant amounts of heat if left in the container for 30 minutes or more.
  • Work in well ventilated areas even if the product contains little or no solvent. ChemMasters doesn't suggest the use of any solvent containing products in occupied residential homes.
  • Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment during the application. This includes, goggles, solvent-resistant gloves and if applying products in enclosed areas, a half-face respirator fitted with organic vapor cartridges. Generally respirators will not be required when handling solvent-free epoxy products outdoors on driveways, walkways and patios; however, when working in a garage the doors should be completely open to the air for good ventilation.
  • Avoid direct contact with epoxy resins and hardeners as they can cause contact skin dermatitis in some people who are more susceptible to skin allergies. Skin dermatitis resembles eczema and requires immediate treatment from a Physician.
  • Always read the material safety data sheet in its entirety, paying close attention to sections 2 and 4 for hazards and first aid measures, respectively. Should material splash onto skin and clothing, remove affected clothing immediately and wash skin with mild soap or dish detergent and water.
  • Never work around ignition sources including pilot lights, open flames, lighters of any sort or excessively hot surfaces around welding equipment, etc. Solvent-free epoxy products are not flammable, but should not be exposed to excessive heat as they will react more rapidly at high temperatures. Polyurethanes contain combustible solvents so all solvent handling warnings apply.
  • Once the application is completed, any unused material should be tightly sealed and stored in a dry, safe location such as a garage or storage shed. Avoid storing solvent containing materials in your home.
  • Any rags that become saturated with solvent must first be allowed to dry thoroughly by allowing the solvent to evaporate completely. In lieu of this, solvent saturated rags can be placed in a tightly sealed metal container (gallon can) and brought to a disposal center in your city or municipality for proper disposal.