Resin or epoxy resin is a synthetic resin which can be used for many different purposes. The epoxy is created by mixing two components that are matched to each other. When the liquid resin is mixed with a suitable hardener, a chemical reaction is set in motion, which usually lasts several hours.
After mixing the components with each other, not only heat is radiated, but the material also changes from the liquid to the solid state. In order for the material to cure perfectly, the mixing ratio of resin to hardener is usually 1 to 1 or even 1 to 2.
Different epoxy or synthetic resins have different properties and can be used for many different applications according to the manufacturer’s specifications. There is a large number of different resins, which differ significantly in the duration of the curing process, hardness and insensitivity of the finished surfaces. Further properties for the selection of the appropriate epoxy resin can be factors such as heat resistance and the maximum layer thickness that can be applied to the material.
The different properties of epoxy resin in different product variants:
Maximum thickness of the layer that can be applied per casting
Duration of the curing process
Adhesion properties on surfaces of different materials
Degree of hardness after complete completion of the transformation
What is Epoxy Resin or Synthetic Resin used for?
Epoxy resin is basically very versatile and can be used for various types of art and craft projects. Epoxy resin can be used for such things as the following:
Soil sealing in living spaces
Fixing of stone carpets indoors and outdoors
Cut-resistant sealing of resin countertops in the kitchen
Epoxy bar tops
Stabilizing Wood with Resin
Useful things made of epoxy resin and wood such as cutting boards
Modern renovation ideas for old buildings
Production of resin jewelry
Quick repairs with special UV resin
Epoxy resin art objects such as resin art paintings
Casting of Epoxy molds and figures of all kinds
Decoration objects such as Resin Geodes and Resin Petri Dishes
Timeless furniture such as river tables made of epoxy resin
Resin shelves for shower trays
Waterproof Epoxy sealants for garage floors
Resin casting of artifacts and materials in synthetic resin
Self-construction of aquariums and terrariums
Repairing and gluing small parts together
Synthetic resin as topcoat or gelcoat for boat building
Do-it-yourself construction of kiteboards
Model building projects
What you should pay attention to when buying Epoxy Resin
You can now buy epoxy resin from many specialist dealers and in most DIY stores. If you order via the internet, the choice is even greater and you can often get the materials at a lower price. You will probably find by far the largest selection of high-quality products for all imaginable applications at many dealers online.
If you are just beginning to work with synthetic resins, you may be put off by the somewhat high prices of many synthetic resin components. Nevertheless, you should not look for the cheapest offers. There is a possibility that particularly cheap products are of inferior quality, which can also be seen in the result of your work and may demotivate you. In addition, some products may also contain solvents that are harmful to health or evaporate during the curing process. This can lead to the material not curing completely or being difficult to mix before. Some of the cheap epoxies also do not have a crystal clear transparency, but appear slightly yellowish during processing. This yellowish tinge can be intensified later by a little sunlight.
The right Epoxy Resin for your Project
In order to find the best epoxy resin for your project, it depends on the material properties that characterize a particular epoxy resin mixture. Based on the manufacturer’s specifications, you should be able to estimate how the resin can be processed and worked in both liquid and cured state.
Low Viscosity Epoxy Resins / Casting Resins
The term viscosity describes the flowability of liquids. However, caution should be exercised in this area: We speak of low viscosity when a liquid is particularly thin and free-flowing. So if you want to buy a low-viscosity casting resin, you should choose a low-viscosity epoxy resin. For some applications, an almost watery consistency can be very important: For example, if you want to cast molds or make river tables.
These low viscosity and very low viscosity epoxy resins cure very slowly. Therefore, you should plan longer intervals for the next steps of the processing. But you also have much more time for the processing and therefore no stress. Low-viscosity synthetic resin usually needs about 12 to 24 hours to cure. Because the exothermic chemical process of transformation is so slow, relatively little heat is released. Thus, in contrast to high or medium viscosity epoxy resins, you can easily process thicker layers and larger amounts of the resin in one step.
Possible applications for casting resin:
Casting of all kinds of molds
Manufacture of epoxy resin jewelry
Creation of molded parts in the field of model making
Production of furniture such as epoxy resin tables and resin river tables
Filling cracks and holes in wood with epoxy
Production of epoxy resin floors in the living area or garage floors
Viscous (highly viscous) Epoxy Resins / Laminating Resins / Countertop Resins
The consistency of many more viscous and thus highly viscous or medium viscous synthetic resins is reminiscent of the tough consistency of honey. The various products in this category are often referred to in the trade as laminating resin or resin. They are particularly suitable for coating surfaces. However, they can also be used to realize projects in the field of resin art and resin geodes. For highly viscous epoxies you should definitely follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the maximum layer thickness of each step. In many cases a maximum layer thickness of one to two centimetres is required for trouble-free processing.
Properties of Epoxy Resin at a glance
The production and sales volumes of synthetic resins have increased rapidly in recent years. One of the reasons for this significant increase is that more and more people are becoming aware of the incomparable properties of this extraordinary material.
Advantages of Resin
Many people who come into contact with epoxy resin for the first time ask themselves what it actually is. The best way to answer this question is to list the special properties of the resin. The properties presented below refer to the solid state after mixing and curing. It can take up to a week to reach this state, depending on the product and manufacturer. You can usually find exact details about the curing time on the packaging instructions of your components. Sometimes it looks as if the resin is already completely cured, but in many cases the chemical transformation takes much longer than expected.
The following positive properties apply to almost every product once the epoxy is fully cured:
Very high abrasion resistance
High material strength
Impact resistant (does not shatter or splinter)
Usually a low shrinkage during the conversion from liquid to solid
density values of around 1.2 grams (per cubic centimetre)
Good UV resistance with correspondingly high-quality products
Good adhesion on almost all materials (for example also on wood)
High heat deflection temperature
Acts as an electrical insulator
High resistance to acids
With careful substrate preparation: hardly any cracking of the epoxy resin
Good weathering resistance in outdoor areas
Almost absolute Durability
A surface made of high-quality synthetic resin, which is fully cured, is extremely durable and abrasion-resistant. The material can be subjected to very high mechanical loads without deforming. Furthermore, it is acid-resistant and is not susceptible to corrosion. Therefore, high-quality epoxy resin is also used as a cut-resistant coating for kitchen worktops.
Possible Disadvantages of using Epoxy Resin
Although the positive properties of epoxy resins outweigh their disadvantages, there are also certain negative aspects of this material:
Epoxy resins are not completely resistant to acids in high concentrations
In some people, the liquid raw material can cause allergies or skin rashes after skin contact
Some products are not absolutely lightfast under UV light and may yellow
Already cured epoxy is difficult over here to remove
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