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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.

Data Sheets

RESIN8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin - TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
A general guide for users of Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin & Hardener


RESIN8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin


RESIN8 Slowcure Epoxy Hardener - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Hardener


RESIN8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin - TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
A general guide for users of Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin & Hardener


RESIN8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin


RESIN8 1 to 1 Epoxy Hardener - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Hardener


RESIN8 Doming Epoxy Resin - TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
A general guide for users of Resin8 Doming Epoxy Resin & Hardener


RESIN8 Doming Epoxy Resin - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Doming Epoxy Resin


RESIN8 Doming Epoxy Hardener - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Doming Epoxy Hardener


RESIN8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Resin - TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
A general guide for users of Resin8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Resin & Hardener


RESIN8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Resin - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Resin


RESIN8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Hardener - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Heat-Resistant Epoxy Hardener


RESIN8 Mould-Maker BASE - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Mould-Maker


RESIN8 Mould-Maker CATALYST - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Mould-Maker


RESIN8 Mould-Maker Pro BASE - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Mould-Maker PRO



RESIN8 Mould-Maker Pro CATALYST - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Resin8 Mould-Maker PROl



JESMONITE Health & Safety Information
A general safety guide for users of Resin8 Jesmonite products



Eli-Chem totalCAST Artwork Resin - TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
A general guide for users of totalCAST resin



Eli-Chem resi-CRETE - TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
A general guide for users of Eli-Chem's resi-CRETE


Eli-Chem resi-CRETE - FULL MSDS
A material safety data sheet for users of Eli-Chem's resi-CRETE