How to Repair Your PVC Tubes

26/04/2013 14:01
No matter how careful you are when boating, tears, rips, and holes to your RIB will be hard to avoid. So here are some tips on how to do the more minor repairs that you can handle yourself. In this example we have a 2" long cut, which requires a patch on the outside. A tear in the fabric 8" or more will require both an inside and outside patch, also known as the "sandwich" patch. The sandwich patch will need to be treated like two separate repairs, allowing the first, the inside patch job, to cure before beginning the outer patch.
hypalon repair step 0

Step 1:
Cut the PVC fabric into a patch that extends at least 2" from all sides of the damaged area. This patch is approximately 4" x 6", for a 2" long cut. Don't forget to round the corners of the patch. Square cornered patches are more likely to catch and peel than rounded ones.
hypalon repair step 1

Step 2:
Trace along the outside of the patch with a pencil.
hypalon repair step 2

Step 3:
Solvent Cleaning (3 times - to prepare the fabric for a chemical bond with the glue)

Scrub both sides (boat and patch or accessory) with MEK on a rag to clean surface.Wait 5 minutes after the first MEK wash. (time it)
Apply two more solvent wipes with 5 minute waiting time (timed) between them.
You are preparing the fabric for glue adhesion. Abrading these PVC fabrics is not recommended or necessary.

Step 4: 
After the surfaces (damaged area on the tube and the underside of the patch) have dried from the cleaning step, apply a very thin layer of PVC Adhesive to both surfaces.

Step 5:
After the first layer of glue is just beyond tacky apply a very thin second layer of adhesive to both surfaces. Test for "just beyond tacky" with a gloved finger or by touching knuckles to the glued area. The glue should feel gummy, but should not stick to the gloved finger or knuckle. Do not use your bare finger tip to test for tackiness. Fingers contain oils that will be left behind and effect the bonding quality of a repair job.

Step 6:
Adhere the surfaces after the second layer of glue is just beyond the tacky phase. Be careful with this step. Make sure to place the patch in the correct area. PVC Adhesive is a contact cement, so once the surfaces have contacted they cannot be moved.
hypalon repair step 7

Step 7: 
Once the two surfaces are pressed together, apply pressure with the Roller Hand Tool. Focus on the center of the patch and work outward. Roll every millimeter of patch in multiple directions. This step is important because it forces air bubbles out and helps the two pieces of fabric bond.
hypalon repair step 8

Step 8: 
Use a lint free towel and either MEK or Acetone to wipe up any excess glue that was expelled from the patch edges while rolling.

Step 9: 
Allow the patch to cure. Curing times vary due to the different temperatures, humidity, and the use of accelerator. The optimal repair environment of above 16°c and below 50% humidity, allows for a semi cured time of 8 - 12 hours and a fully curedtime of 48 - 72 Hours.


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