you might be right wilddog !


i buy mine at a comes in lg.bags marked air-o-cell.

but someone,actually several people over time, has called it several things,including qcell.

the qcell i see at the surfboard building suppliers looks the same???????

but you're right it could be completely different.

i guess i have never taken it that far to confirm it.

i have about 6 different fillers for ..........whatever.........and they all have there place.

any filler over 1/8" is never recommended,but is done quite frequently by everyone.


in my experiences i have gotten two different types of cab-0-sil

one was just called cab-o-sil and the other was called air-o-lit, both look identical,but when i used them the air-o-lit was alot more difficult to use and it drove me crazy, it would take a couple of hours of just soaking in a cup before it would be fully absorbed

the cab-o-sil that i normally get get fully absorbed in a couple of minutes

i like to use cab when every im doing future or lock boxes

for just about anything else i will use q cell or microballons which look identical

ive never heard of air-o-cell so i dont know about that stuff

just my experience though


It's probably just a ,"name game" thing sd,

but i can tell you this.

if i mix up my air-o-cell in poly resin and let it sit for a few minutes.................(w/o cat. that is)..........

...........the air-o separates from the resin,and floats to the top.

sounds like the same stuff ???????


geeeezzzzzz,back to the shop ,,,,,,,,,,,needs organization.



For what it’s worth, I did some searching on Cabosil as a result of this discussion and came across a few references to Cabosil and Aerosil being the same thing. 

For example, the description from one marine supply site:

Cabosil, aka Aerosil, colloidal silica, fumed silica - Packaged in one gallon plastic bags. The best thickening agent - great for osmotic blister repair on boat hulls. A bit difficult to sand - You can add talc or microspheres to make the mix more easily sanded.

Cabosil, aerosil, fumed silica are colloÏdal tixotrop agent. It increase quickly viscosity of fluid without change notably volume. Cabosil don’t move in the mix.

Microsphères like Qcell and others are cristalloïde thickener agent. It increase slowly viscosity and quickly volume. Much Lighter than resin, microsphères lowers density of mix, it’s called sometimes syntactic foam. Because of lightness microsphères float above the mix.

Cabosil don’t affect mechanical strengh of resin, it increase lightly Young module and initial tack.

Microsphère lighter mix and decrease overall mechanical strengh.

Sorry for my frenglish

…if you read this thread well, you ll find that this is just wrote couple pages before

Yeah well this is Swaylocks where we digress ad infinite item.  Is that my belly button there?  Is that lint?  Or maybe the face of the man on the moon?  "" nuff said.

“…do the Reds already have a space station?..”

You are a good sport Reverb and I appreciate that.  Pokin' a little fun is just that ,  "a little fun".    Lowel

I’ve found that all of this stuff is called different things depending on where you buy it.  Here in SoCal over-the-counter sales, it’s sold in bags and containers by the pound.  Stuff marked “Q-Cell” or “Micro-Balloons” is usually white micro-balloons, which you can tell by tipping the container and watching the spheres roll.  “Sil-Cell” looks like Q-Cell but doesn’t roll when you tip it.  “Cabo-Sil” looks like feathery foam dust.  Doesn’t matter what you call each of them if you remember those characteristics in texture.   Q-Cell will produce a white filler, Sil-Cell kinda white-gray, and Cabo-Sil is clear.   All of these fillers take a degree of time and stirring to wet out, and depending on that pits/holes/voids will result from non-wetted filler when sanded.  In the repair biz, holes in filler always happens.  Even with epoxy, you get holes from air coming from the foam through the filler.  If time is a factor to fix the holes, use UV catalyst for poly and 90 sec. epoxy for EPS.  If it’s an import that’s getting painted, the marine type glazing putty used for prep will fill them.   Here’s a tip:  After you’ve filled the ding, add it bit more resin to your filler to thin it (only with poly).  Then put a piece of 4 oz cloth over the filled area and put the cloth down with your thinned filler. The cloth also helps to conform the filler to a shape like on a rail.    Most of the cloth is sanded away, but it really helps keeping the holes down especially on epoxy fills. You still of course have to lam and hotcoat over it.

      Howzit Herb, One thing I know is I have seen a lb of Q-sel and aLb of air_osel an the Air-osel bag is almost twice as big as Lb of Q-sel. They both expand and get lighter the more you add to the resin where cabosel doesn't expand but gets heavier and the last time I used it ,it turned a dark color on me and is some tough stuff to sand unlike Q-sel. In the 60's I used whatever I could get my hands on like coffee,oatmeal,etc and I have never seen Q-sel seperate and float to the top and also never seen it roll but maybe the roll thing is just in the wording. Aloha,Kokua 

By rolling I mean the way it pours and moves in a partially filled container.  Micro-balloons/Q-Cell pours like sugar, whereas Cabo-Sil pours like flour. 


we all use some kind of filler


i still use alot of my own invention though.........the diaper filler........exofiller........,tough,light,and sands easily.


look this up,here on sways


i tried to bring it up ,but it just stays in archive-land.


do we realy need to see your diapers,,,, herb?

Sorry I couldnt resist, HaHa!

      Howzit pete,I get it now. One time I ordered a Lb of Q-sel from F.H. and they sent it in the mail and so I go to open the box and a friend comes up to the van window and I pull the bag out and it had a slit in it and it was all over my face and that is not good since it if it gets in your lungs it stays there. Aloha,Kokua

Howzit Kokua,  those who mail order this stuff should take note and not cut the box open.   I double bag my fillers and use a plastic tie to keep it shut for bulk storage.  I keep a 1 lb plastic tub with lid on the bench with a plastic spoon inside as a working container.  When it’s empty, I put the container and lid into the bulk bag, fill it and snap the lid on inside the bag.  Then I take it out and just blow off the outside of the container outdoors.  Most fillers are statically charged and stick to anything.  I always use a respirator (not dust mask) when mixing any of the filler materials.  

     Howzit pete,I didn't cut the box open and F.H. didn't dbl bag it and the slit was in the side so I think they may have tore it when they put the bag in the box. As for after I get it I do the same thing and put it in a plastic Gallon mayo jar or the plastic tub and both have lids. I just use a dust mask but they are OSHA approved ones and not the crummy cheap ones. Aloha,Kokua