Epoxy Resin Guide (4)
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Epoxy Resin Guide (4)

The Properties of Epoxy Resin at a Glance

In recent years, the production and sales volumes of epoxy resins have increased in leaps and bounds. This is not least due to the fact that more and more people know about the incomparable properties of this special material.

The Extraordinary Advantages of Epoxy Resin

Many people who hear or read about it for the first time ask themselves the question: What is resin? This question can best be answered by listing its special properties. The properties listed below refer to the firmly cured state after mixing and curing. Depending on the manufacturer and product, this state may not be reached until after about a week. You will generally find more detailed information on this in the manufacturer’s instructions directly on the packaging of your components. Sometimes it appears much earlier as if the casting resin has already completely cured. In many cases, however, the chemical transformation takes much longer than expected. However, once the curing process is complete, the following positive properties apply to almost all products:

  • Very high abrasion resistance
  • Generally high material strength
  • Insensitive to impact (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 centimeter)
  • Good UV-resistance with correspondingly high-quality products
  • Adheres well to almost all materials (for example also to wood)
  • High heat resistance
  • Acts as an electrical insulator
  • High acid resistance
  • With careful substrate preparation: hardly any cracking of the epoxy resin
  • Good weathering resistance in outdoor areas

Tip: High-quality epoxy resin is also hardly or not at all flammable in liquid state.

Almost Absolute Durability

A fully cured surface of high-quality epoxy resin is extremely durable and abrasion-resistant. The material is mechanically very strong without deformation. It is also acid-resistant and not susceptible to corrosion. Therefore, high-quality resin is also used as a cut-resistant coating for kitchen worktops.

Possible Disadvantages of using Resin Epoxy

Although the positive properties of epoxy resins outweigh their disadvantages, there are of course also certain negative aspects of this material:

  • With highly concentrated acid resin is not completely acid resistant
  • The liquid raw material may cause allergies and/or rashes in some people after skin contact
  • Some products are not absolutely lightfast under UV light and may yellow
  • Already cured resin is not easy to remove

Are Epoxy Resins Toxic or Dangerous?

The liquid resin and the corresponding hardener contain substances that should not be applied directly to the skin. Direct skin contact through the components in their raw state could (as with many other substances in everyday life) to a certain extent cause irritations of the skin or even allergic reactions. In general, we recommend that you always approach projects with epoxy resin in very well ventilated rooms only. In addition, you should always protect your eyes with suitable protective goggles and ideally also wear a breathing mask with filter. Relevant safety instructions of the manufacturer on the packaging should be observed.

The following protective steps must be taken every time you work with epoxy resin:

  • Wear protective goggles (which completely enclose the eyes)
  • wear old clothes with long sleeves and legs (or a protective suit)
  • only work in a well-ventilated room
  • use undamaged nitrile gloves
  • wear a respiratory mask with integrated filter
  • do not fill the vessel completely to the brim when mixing the components, otherwise the mixture can easily spill over the brim when mixing

As long as you follow these basic rules, there should be no major problems when working with epoxy resin. You can find further information in our separate blog post on the subject of epoxy resin processing.

 

To be continue ...

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