Originally Posted by FMLNM
We don't know what the setup time might have been. The previous owners had brought it to eti for routine maintenance and then decided to buy a new one. We bought it sight unseen from NM. We asked Reace to add a few things..including solar...and we picked it up a month or so later...
Difficult to tell from the photos exactly what failed. Epoxy sticks well on gel coat as long as you follow some general rules:
The ratio of resin to hardener must be correct. Like spot on correct.
The resin must be properly mixed.
The curing time and temperature need to be right. If its cooler, it can take DAYS to cure certain epoxies. I would NOT tow a vehicle that had a solar panel epoxied on in the last day. Let it cure completely.
As epoxy cures, it can develop amine blush on the top layer of epoxy that can inhibit curing and reduce the bond too. Warm water and a scuff pad or scotch-brite will remove the amine if it develops.
The gel coat should be sanded/scuffed thoroughly to help the bond. Not shiny where the joint is.
The area where the epoxy is to be applied needs to be SUPER clean and free of any waxes, polymers or coatings. Wipe down with acetone works.
I have also encountered a "bad batch" of epoxy a couple times. Either the hardener would not cure the resin, or the resin cured improperly.
I am not saying these steps were not followed. I have no idea how Escape epoxies the rails. But I am saying that when I have done it this way, the joint always holds up, and I've bonded several dissimilar materials to each other this way. Then again, if the gelcoat let go from the fiberglass, a well prepped surface and a good cure may not have prevented it.