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What is epoxy resin?

Understanding what epoxy resin is, and a little of the chemistry is important for using epoxy systems safely and effectively. Ready for a basic science lesson?

Resins are used in all sorts of industries from jewellery-making, artwork and sculpture to boat-building, construction and engineering. Epoxy resins are essentially plastic adhesives made from thermosetting polymers, with unique mechanical and resistance properties. Thermosetting refers to a substance that sets permanently when heated; Polymer means a substance made up of loads of molecules all strung together to form a really long chain. 

Once cast/poured, a thermosetting polymer does not soften when heated and it cannot be reshaped - ideal for jewellery, artwork and castings. Where does the heat come from to set an epoxy resin? Well, that's the clever bit - when you mix an epoxy resin with the relevant epoxy hardener a chemical reaction takes place called "curing".

Curing is an exothermic reaction (it gives off heat), which is why it's important to only mix the recommended quantity of resin in one go, to avoid it overheating in the mixing cup! Read the Technical Data Sheet for the specific resin you're using to find out what quantity this is.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The epoxy resins we sell at Resin8 are safe for using at home provided proper and adequate personal protective equipment is used.

However, no matter what you read on the inter-web... ALL epoxy resins and hardeners are liquid chemicals!

9 times out of 10, it is the hardener that contains more chemicals than the resin. So while the resin may claim to be eco, the hardener won't be - and you can't set resin without hardener. On some resin bottles you might see "the safest resin" or "no need to wear a mask". At Resin8, we are not in the business of providing misinformation so this is our advice:

It goes without saying that you should keep food and drink AWAY from your work area, you should wear an appropriate barrier cream or nitrile gloves, have adequate ventilation in your work room, and if sanding resin you should do so with wet wet and dry paper, making sure you wear a respirator and safety goggles. Keep your hands away from your face and other parts of your body when working with epoxy resin and always wear an apron and long sleeves.

It is ESSENTIAL to wear nitrile gloves or a suitable barrier cream when working with epoxy resins.  It is ESSENTIAL to wear a respirator and recommended to wear safety goggles when sanding epoxy resin.  

Health problems

The following are the most common health problems that can occur from using epoxy resins. Nearly all of these problems can be prevented by using appropriate PPE (see above). If you do develop a health problem from working with epoxy resin you should be able to continue using it with adequate precautions.

Should you develop any health issues that you believe may be linked to the use of epoxy resin, visit your doctor.
 

Epoxy Resin and Hardener Data Sheets

A technical data sheet (TDS) is an essential guide containing mixing, application and curing instructions as well as health & safety information, chemical properties and key benefits.

A material safety data sheet (MSDS, or SDS in America) is a must-read document containing information on potential hazards (health, fire, environment and reactivity) and how to work safely with the product.

Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin
Technical Data Sheet | Material Safety Data Sheet RESINMaterial Safety Data Sheet HARDENER

Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin
Technical Data Sheet | Material Safety Data Sheet RESINMaterial Safety Data Sheet HARDENER

Resin8 Doming Epoxy Resin
Technical Data Sheet | Material Safety Data Sheet RESINMaterial Safety Data Sheet HARDENER

Resin8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Resin
Technical Data Sheet | Material Safety Data Sheet RESINMaterial Safety Data Sheet HARDENER

totalCAST Resin
Technical Data Sheet | Material Safety Data Sheet RESINMaterial Safety Data Sheet HARDENER

Sculpt & Cast Resin
Technical Data Sheet 

resi-CRETE
Technical Data Sheet | Material Safety Data Sheet

Mould-Maker
Material Safety Data Sheet BASE | Material Safety Data Sheet CATALYST

Mould-Maker Pro
Material Safety Data Sheet BASE | Material Safety Data Sheet CATALYST
 
Jacquard Pinata Alcohol Inks
Metallics Material Safety Data Sheet | Standard Colours Material Safety Data Sheet

Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments 
Citrine | Scarlet | Magenta | Shimmer Violet | Sapphire Blue | Apple Green | Carbon Black | Pink Gold | Reflex Violet | Pearl White | Super Copper | Aztec Gold | Silver | Super Bronze | Interference Blue | Interference Gold | Bright Yellow | Flamingo Pink | Spring Green | Turquoise | True Blue | Misty Lavender | Blue Russet | Solar Gold | Rose Gold | Duo Red/Blue | Duo Blue/Green | Duo Violet/Brass