As this issue of Epoxyworks well illustrates, a research mentality and ongoing testing permeate all levels of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. We are committed to rigorous, long-term research on WEST SYSTEM products and their uses with other materials in wide-ranging applications. Studies include the basic chemistry involved, safety for users and the environment, formulation changes, product modifications such as adding pigments or UV additives, panel strength and stiffness with varying composite lay-ups, and the strengths of epoxy bonds, including hardware bonding. GBI commits capital investments to improve its testing capability and supports active ASTM involvement.
GBI's testing is an important part of its customer support. Often it is prompted by specific questions or requests from customers. As discussed here, fatigue tests of various composite samples support Bram Dally's efforts to build a skiff with longer competitive performance. A simple question about installing a basketball goal led to tests of shear strength of bolts bonded with WEST SYSTEM epoxy into concrete.
The testing also comes from our own curiosity. How well will our epoxy bond to various exotic woods we've never heard of? Does the pull-out strength of screws in particleboard improve after using G/5? Can a new tool improve efficiency in preparing fiberglass laminates for bonding?
The studies may be formal or informal, but inquiry and testing have been an unbroken tradition at GBI for 35 years. We are constantly learning, open to customer queries, improving our products, and sharing the results with you. -Kay Harley
Epoxyworks 21 / Summer 2003