Epoxy Resin Guide for Beginners.
All CHILL EPOXY systems have been formulated and tested to give professional results.
When you are a beginner, it is important to take your time when handling epoxy resin. Here are some tips to avoid some common mistakes often made by new resin users. It is essential that your mixing containers and tools are clean. Make sure your instrument and measuring tool are accurate. Some of our products have a mixing ratio of 1:1 and others 2:1. Epoxy measurement can also be by volume or weight, which can cause the ratio to differ. Epoxy resin is a versatile and durable material that can be used for a variety of projects, including jewelry making, woodworking, and encapsulation. It is a two-part system consisting of a resin and a hardener that when mixed together, undergo a chemical reaction that causes the mixture to cure and harden into a solid material.
Here are a few tips for working with epoxy resin as a beginner:
- Safety first: Epoxy resin can be irritant, so be sure to work wearing gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin.
- Measure accurately: Epoxy resin is a two-part system, and the ratio of resin to hardener must be accurate for the mixture to cure properly. Most epoxy resin systems have a ratio of 2:1 by volume, so be sure to measure and mix the resin and hardener carefully.
- Mix thoroughly: Mix the resin and hardener together for at least 10 minutes to ensure that they are well-combined. Use a mixing stick to scrape the sides and bottom of the container to ensure that all the components are fully mixed.
- Debubble: When you pour the epoxy resin, bubbles may form. To remove bubbles, you can use a air dryer to carefully and slowly heat the surface of the resin. This will cause the bubbles to rise to the surface and pop. You can also use a toothpick or a bubble popper tool to pop any remaining bubbles on the surface of the resin.
- Work in a dust-free environment: Any dust or debris on your work surface or in the epoxy can be visible when the epoxy cures, so be sure to work in a clean, dust-free area.
- Allow enough curing time: Epoxy resin requires time to cure, usually at least 7 days for slow setting epoxy for deep pours, depending on the thickness of the layer and the environmental conditions. Don’t rush to move or use your project, allow it enough time to fully cure.
- Clean up: Epoxy resin can be difficult to remove once it hardens, so be sure to clean any tools or equipment that you used while working with it before the resin has a chance to cure.
Refer to the indication on the product labels as well as to the technical data sheets. A simple small variation is sufficient to prevent the resin from completely catalyzing and reaching full hardness.
- Epoxy resin in order to deliver the best of its ability requires an extremely rigorous mixing process. For CHILL EPOXY products, we recommend a mixing process of 8-10 min for our casting epoxy (Slow-Setting) epoxy), and around 3-5 min for (Fast-Setting) as smaller amounts will be mixed at a time. It is important to mix the resin slowly but surely so as not to incorporate too many bubbles. Beginners should always start with smaller amounts of resin (a few liters), before moving on to bigger projects. Starting with smaller amounts of epoxy is a great way to learn and gain confidence and avoid costly mistakes.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of your container thoroughly to remove any traces of unmixed material that may stick to the plastic of your container. This material must absolutely be present in the mixture in order for the resin to harden completely.
- If you mix clear resin, there is a good chance that you will see translucent traces in it. These will eventually disappear during the mixing process of the resin. These will appear when the resin and the hardener meet during the mixing of the resin. If the resin looks cloudy, it will turn clear as soon as the mixing process is complete. This is also a good indicator that the resin is not completely homogeneous.
- When pouring the resin, it is important to pour it gently with a fine stream, which greatly helps not to incorporate air and therefore create bubbles. It is important to understand that our epoxies are all very low in viscosity, which greatly helps debubbling, but it is important to take certain precautions.
- When finalizing the pour, NEVER scrape the edges and bottom of your container to remove the last drops of resin. Those small amounts of unmixed resin will fall into your mix. Those last few drops can leave sticky or soft spots on the surface of your project.
By following these tips, you should be able to successfully work with epoxy resin on your projects. However, please keep in mind that there are different types of epoxy resin systems with different properties and working conditions, so be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific epoxy resin system you’re using.
Epoxy Resin Guide for Beginners: For more information or for helpful tips on epoxy resins, contact us at [email protected]