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Fast Fixes from the Wonders of Chemistry

Back in high school, chemistry was never exactly my strong suit. I was interested in volatile chemical reactions, such as frothing desktop volcanoes and the excitement of a possible classroom explosion. But once all the letters and numbers got involved, the lengthy equations caused my eyes to glaze over. I lost all interest. It’s a good thing that’s not true of everyone, because the wonderful world of chemistry has given rise to a trio of the most innovative home-improvement technologies that I came across at this year’s National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

For example, a new product called Fast2K comes in a small book-sized pouch but replaces 50 lbs. of concrete for setting deck and fence posts. Having built both the deck and fence around my house, I know too well the sweaty, hard work involved with mixing concrete and setting a post, and it doesn’t get any more fun when you have dozens more to go. With the new Fast2K product, just break the seal on the two-part pouch, mix for thirty seconds, position the post and then pour the product around the bottom. I watched a demonstration and was amazed at how the product expanded within two minutes to completely fill the space around the post, setting it securely. Check out www.Fast2K.com.

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Another innovative product is Bondic, which is a liquid synthetic material that hardens in seconds using an ultraviolet LED. Unlike conventional glues that require the application of pressure or a lot of time for them to harden, Bondic offers an impressively simple alternative. Although the liquid adhesive appears and applies similarly to super-glue, it cures in a completely different way. The Bondic set includes a mini UV LED that emits precisely calibrated wavelengths of light. You can decide when and how soon you want the Bondic to harden using the LED. This type of repair enables users to fill in gaps left by missing fragments before hardening, in order to restore an object’s function or appearance. Visit www.bondic.de.

 

Also, I discovered FiberFix, which is marketed as “100X stronger than duct tape”. This patent-pending product looks much like fiberglass tape (the kind doctors use to cast broken bones) but is designed to provide the strength of epoxy. Just get the tape wet to activate the product, wrap the object to be repaired, and after 10-15 minutes of cure time the FiberFix tape “hardens like steel”. The repair is waterproof, sandable, paintable and resistant to heat and cold. Go to fiberfix.com.

My hat’s off to the worlds’ chemists. They stole the show at this year’s convention. I’m always impressed by the real world solutions those savvy scientists devise using all those crazy equations. — M. Weber

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