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Hxtal NYL-1: How to use the world’s best glass and ceramic repair epoxy

Hxtal NYL-1 is one of the world's best glass and ceramic epoxy repair and restoration products

When it comes to the repair and restoration of glass and ceramic, there is one product that stands out above any other – Hxtal NYL-1.

The reason Hxtal NYL-1 is so good is because of its exceptional non-yellowing qualities. Over time, most adhesives will start to yellow when exposed to light, which is not much use if you are trying to carry out a long-lasting, permanent repair to a priceless artefact.

Take the Portland Vase for example. In 1845, a rather drunk Irishman by the name of William Lloyd wandered into the British Museum and smashed the 1,800 year old Vase into 189 different pieces.

It took over 144 years and three different repair attempts to completely restore the Portland Vase to its ancient Roman glory. The first of those repairs was completed by the British Museum’s restorer John Doubleday. Mr Doubleday could find no way to replace 37 of the smallest fragments as the adhesive technology to do so did not exist at the time, but otherwise the repair was a success.

By 1948 however, the adhesive used in the repair was starting to yellow. Conservator J.W.R Axtell dismantled and rebuilt the Vase, fitting three of the 37 missing pieces into his own restoration. Fast forward to the late 1980s and the second repair was yellowing and the Vase so fragile that it could not leave the museum.

Nigel Williams and Sandra Smith were put in charge of the third rebuilding of the Portland Vase and by using Hxtal NYL-1, they were able to complete a super-strength repair which fitted all of the missing pieces back in place and which meant that the Vase would not yellow when put back on public display.

Hxtal NYL-1 is so stable because it is so pure. During its manufacture, any traces of the metal ions found in adhesives which are responsible for yellowing are removed, ensuring that it remains crystal clear even after many years in the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Hxtal NYL-1 is the most sophisticated, high-tech adhesive in the world.

It is relatively straightforward to use too, whether you work as a professional curator in the British Museum or you dabble the odd bit of restoration in a shed at the end of the your garden.

Hxtal NYL-1 comes in two parts. You mix one part by weight of Part B to three parts by weight of Part A, transferring those parts from their containers into a clean mixing glass. Hxtal NYL-1 can then be mixed using a glass rod. What happens next is dependent on the type of glass or ceramic restoration you are intending to carry out.

Freshly mixed Hxtal NYL-1 is extremely thin, making it ideal for penetrating cracks before disappearing from view. For the best results when using this method, you should slightly warm the area requiring repair to around 50°C using a UV lamp or a hairdryer.

When you then drop a small amount of Hxtal NYL-1 into the crack, the crack will vanish before your eyes as the epoxy fills it. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a clean cloth or paper towel and then leave it to set.

For bonding glass and broken parts together, most people find it easier to work with Hxtal NYL-1 once it is has started to thicken. Leaving it to stand after mixing gives the epoxy time to gain thickness, making it more straightforward to apply to edges which are to be bonded.

There is also less chance of excess adhesive being squeezed out when two parts are pushed together. Hxtal NYL-1 has such a long cure time that you do not lose any bond strength by allowing it to settle for hours after the initial mixing.

When bonding pieces together, it is important that you are absolutely certain that the parts in question are in the correct position and that they cannot shift at all during the curing process.

Hxtal NYL-1’s super-strength makes parting joints an absolute nightmare once you pass a few days of curing; you are best off checking the position of the repair on a regular basis, rather than realising five or six days in that pieces have slipped out of place.

Yes, you did read that last paragraph correctly with regards to curing time. Many customers balk at the idea of a seven day set time, but you cannot rush perfection and when used correctly, that is what you get with Hxtal NYL-1. At 23°C, it takes one week to reach 90 percent bond strength.

The temptation might be to try and speed this cure time up, but to do so is a risky business. If you heat freshly mixed Hxtal NYL-1 to a high temperature, it will cure unevenly and possibly catch fire.

It is possible to accelerate the curing time later in the process by placing the item that has undergone repair in a warm area between 26°C and 37°C. Only do this 36 hours after the application of Hxtal NYL-1 was completed and do not expose the item to these warmer temperatures for more than a day or two.

36 hours is also the magic number when it comes to cleaning up. Any excess resin should be removed 24 to 36 hours after application with a single edge razor blade or razor knife. Never use solvents to clean up Hxtal NYL-1 as they can interfere with the bond, impacting on the strength and the non-yellowing qualities of the adhesive.

If you require any further guidance or information about the suitability of Hxtal NYL-1 in your application or how to use it, then please contact SylCreate and one of our technicians will be happy to help.

4 thoughts on “Hxtal NYL-1: How to use the world’s best glass and ceramic repair epoxy

  1. How would the removal of the product be done once dry.

  2. WOuld this be suitable for bonding metal fixing plates onto opaque hand blown glass sculptures?

    1. Hi Matthew. It should be fine for such an application, but we would recommend that you test it first just to be sure.

  3. Hi, what kind of pigment do you recommend to mix with hxtal? Are oil painting a good choice? Thanks

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