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2 weeks ago I used some 5 min araldite epoxy on one of my projects that consists on pine and tolex / leatherette near one of the joints.

I've gone to bring it inside and in my small office there is still a very subtle epoxy smell that lingers. I'm not sure if this to do with the curing letting off small amounts of gas.

To clarify the smell is only there if the door is left closed overnight (no ventilation in a small room).

As it's winter here in Australia I know the lower temperature might be inhibiting a full cure (it feels hard). I have hit it with a fan heater to help the bond a few times.

Is there a way of testing if this smell is toxic or if it's just residual sitting in the wood? Cheers

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5 minute epoxy, thoroughly mixed in the right proportions and before the use-by date, and used within the prescribed temperature range, should be finished whatever curing is going to happen within about a day. Expired materials, an inaccurate mix, or incomplete mixing, will leave unreacted components within the cured material. If you're still smelling anything 2 weeks later, that's not likely to go away any time soon. It likely also means that the epoxy won't be as strong as you would expect.

You can speed the cure if you warm it, but once it's hard all the way through, the reaction is pretty much done; any unreacted material is isolated and has nothing to react with. Still, you've got nothing to lose giving it a little heat.

I'm not aware of any way to test it, at least at home (unless you have a well-equipped home chemistry lab). As far as safety, you should be able to find the MSDS for the product online (sometimes linked at the retailer's site or the manufacturer's site), or the manufacturer's customer service can provide it.

  • Thanks heaps. I forgot to mention that the epoxy was from a self mixing syringe type. I can only assume that due to the temperature it's not 100% cured all the way through. I. Might hit it with more heat and hope that does the trick. – Dylan Benton Jul 7 '18 at 2:36

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