Using epoxy resin is easy as long as you follow the instructions, but a common problem people run into is when the epoxy will not set.
If this happens to you there are two common culprits that are usually behind this problem: the first is an incorrect ratio of resin to hardener and the second is humidity in your environment.
In this article, we’ll explain why these two factors affect how fast your resin sets and how you can fix it.
Why is my resin not getting hard?
If you’re using a non-epoxy resin and adding a hardener to it, the chances are high that your resin is not getting hard because you shouldn’t be using a hardener.
If you have tried to work with epoxy resin, there are several reasons why your resin may not have been set. These include:* Using the wrong type of resin – Polyester, polyurethane, and other resins should never be used with a catalyst or hardener.
Adding too much or too little hardener.
Not mixing it correctly – Too much or too little mixing can reflux the epoxy polymer chain into an unusable state.
Not using a properly calibrated scale when measuring out the two parts of your epoxy system.
Not mixing it for long enough – Mixing for less than two minutes could result in non-cured areas.
Does epoxy resin dry hard?
Epoxy resin is a hardener. It will set to the surface it is put on, and it will become hard within 24 hours.
This means that the epoxy resin will be a solid, unmoving material by the same time tomorrow. Epoxy resin is used as a coating in many different industries because of its ability to set hard.
Epoxy resin can be used as a coating for floors and has many uses in boats and planes because of this property.
Is epoxy resin hard or soft?
Epoxy resin is hard and strong, but very brittle. Epoxy resin has high tensile strength and low Young’s modulus. It is hard, but not as flexible as polyester resin or urethane.
Why is my resin bendy after a week?
The short answer is yes, epoxy resin does set hard. The long answer is that your resin will feel hard after a certain number of hours but won’t be fully cured until 21 days after it’s been poured.
Cured resin has a hardness rating of around 80-90 shore D which is about the same as skateboard wheels. Many resins also have a glossy finish which can help jewelry pieces to look more professional and higher quality.
If you want to increase the durability and hardness of your finished piece, you could coat it with an additional layer of resin or try using a clear coat spray such as Triple Thick High Gloss Spray.
You might find this helpful if you need to make something super hard or durable like a tabletop or if you work with wood and want to give it additional protection against warping or cracking.
A quick search on YouTube for “resin finishes” should provide plenty of inspiration!
How do I make resin harden faster?
Epoxy resin takes a long time to dry on its own. You can purchase a catalyst or hardener to speed up the process—but there’s more that you can do to ensure that your resin reaches its maximum hardness. Here are six ways to make resin dry faster:
- Heat the resin
- Purchase a catalyst
- Mix with a hardener
- Use a UV light
- Use a pressure pot
- Use a vacuum chamber
How long before epoxy is not sticky?
Yes and no. Epoxy resin is sticky while it’s curing. This is a normal part of the process. But with time, it will harden into its final form, and any stickiness will be gone.
How long the epoxy resin takes to cure depends on several factors: the type of epoxy you’re using, what you’re using it on, and your local weather conditions (humidity is a big one here—dry air allows for faster curing). If you want to speed up the process or remove stickiness during curing, try acetone.
You can also warm up your work space—epoxy cures faster when exposed to higher temperatures.
If your resin still feels tacky after a week, something may have gone wrong with how you’ve mixed or applied your epoxy. If that happens, check out our blog on troubleshooting cured but soft epoxy resin!
How hard is hardened epoxy?
Epoxy resins are not brittle, but they are not flexible or elastic either. They are hard, waterproof and very strong.
When you think of epoxy resin, think of it as being like plastic, but much harder and stronger than any plastic you have ever seen or touched before. If you drop a solid lump of cured epoxy resin on a hard floor it will bounce!
How stiff is epoxy?
Although epoxy resin is generally thought of as a hard, rigid and brittle material, that’s not strictly true. Epoxy resin is actually a thermoset plastic; it’s essentially a polymer compound consisting of two parts: the resin and the hardener.
When mixed together, these components undergo a curing process which transforms them into an extremely strong adhesive or coating.
They can also be used as laminating resins to produce composite materials with outstanding mechanical properties.
So does epoxy resin set hard? In this article, we have looked at the different types of epoxy resin and how to measure them.
We also discussed what happens during the curing process, and how that affects the final properties of the cured finish.
From this discussion, you should now have a good idea of what type of epoxy resin is best suited to your particular needs. To recap:
- Epoxies with low viscosities are ideal for casting into molds as they are less likely to trap air bubbles during mixing.
- Epoxies with high viscosities can be used for coatings as they don’t flow out so much and retain their thickness when applied.
- Epoxies that set hard can be used for applications where a rigid material is needed, such as making jewelry. However, if you need an epoxy that remains flexible after curing then you will need to use a flexible epoxy resin such as PolyFlex (link).