Epoxy is a type of plastic, technically known as a thermosetting polymer. Epoxy is made up of resins and hardeners. There are many types of epoxy out there, but they all have one thing in common: they are all based on the same chemical structure.
This chemical structure gives epoxy its unique properties, making it one of the most versatile types of plastic in existence today.
Table of Contents
What kind of plastic is epoxy?
If you’ve heard the two terms used interchangeably, that’s understandable. They’re often confused because of their similarities—both are versatile, highly customizable, and routinely used in industry.
However, they have significant differences as well. Let’s take a look at what those are so you can understand more about which one might be right for your next project.
Which is better plastic or resin?
When choosing between plastic and resin you need to consider their properties, the most important being their strength, heat resistance, chemical resistance, and water resistance.
- Epoxy resin is stronger, harder, and more durable than plastic.
- Epoxy resin is more heat resistant than plastic.
- Epoxy resin is more chemically resistant than plastic.
- Epoxy resin is more water resistant than plastic.
Is resin material like plastic?
It may surprise you to learn that epoxy resin is a type of plastic! Epoxy is just one type of plastic, and resin is another type.
Both are made from synthetic materials, typically in the form of a liquid polymer or other liquid substance that hardens over time.
In fact, most modern furniture is made from plastic resins.
Is epoxy hard as plastic?
Epoxy is a key component in the adhesive process of plastic manufacturing, and it’s been around for a long time.
Many plastics that are commonly found in our day-to-day lives are produced using this type of bonding technology.
It takes a long time to dry out and cure, so it’s often used to patch holes or fix broken things up when they’re on sale. When epoxy is mixed with resin, an adhesive is created that can be used over and over again and won’t break down when exposed to water.
Is epoxy waterproof?
Yes, epoxy is indeed waterproof! No, epoxy doesn’t need to be sealed. And yes again — you can make it waterproof yourself! In order for a product to be considered “waterproof”, it has to meet certain standards and pass certain tests. This also applies to marine materials that have been used in the past such as wood, plastic, or glass.
So what are these tests?
Well the ASTM D570-98 test is probably one of the most common ones out there today. It’s been around for quite some time now (since 1975) and many companies still use this test to measure how well their products hold up against water damage like peeling or flaking off after being soaked with water overnight.
Interestingly enough though if we look back at history this wasn’t always true because before then they would just say something like “it doesn’t matter if you leave your epoxy resin outside overnight because the sun will dry it out” which really isn’t true either since one could argue that leaving any material outside long enough could potentially cause problems due to weathering effects such as UV rays breaking down some types of plastics over time without any help from sunlight itself (but let’s not get into all those details here).
So now we have an answer! If you are wondering about whether or not Epoxy Resin needs sealing when being used outdoors then rest assured that it does not.
What is the difference between resin and epoxy?
Epoxy is a type of plastic. In fact, epoxy is often referred to as “plastic.” This is because epoxy is made from the same type of chemical reaction as thermoset plastics.
However, this doesn’t mean that all plastics are epoxies and vice-versa. Plastics and epoxies are in fact very different materials with unique properties and use.
The chemical structure of epoxy differs from most plastics in two important ways:
- Epoxy consists of two parts, whereas other plastics are one-part compounds
- Epoxy molecules crosslink during curing with another substance (typically a hardener). Most other plastics do not need to react with another substance to cure
What can I use instead of resin?
Polymer is a broad definition that ultimately has little to do with the specific use of a polymerized material. What we call plastic is actually the fate of many different groups of materials.
Plastics are synthetic materials made in factories, typically from petroleum products. They can be molded into any shape and are really useful for mass produced products like bottles and toys because they can be made quickly, cheaply, and reliably.
Does epoxy resin break down?
- No, epoxy is not plastic. Epoxy resins and plastics are both thermosetting polymers. Epoxies are strong, but most plastics tend to be stronger. Plastics are usually less expensive than epoxies.
- No, epoxy resin will not break down in sunlight or UV radiation. The pigments used in modern resins may change color over time when exposed to direct sunlight in a non-protected area. One of the best things about epoxy resin is its resistance to breaking down when exposed to direct sunlight or high levels of UV radiation. The UV resistance properties can differ between manufacturers; however, for the most part, the pigments used in epoxy will change color when exposed to direct sunlight over an extended period of time whether it is transparent or non-transparent (colored) epoxy resin. Transparent epoxies that have been cast into molds and then placed outside tend to yellow more quickly than if they were left alone inside because light can pass through all directions allowing the rays from the sun through every side at once! If you want your work of art protected from UV rays, always use a UV resistant topcoat over your dried clear casting resin project before putting it outside or in windows where there will be lots of natural light shining on it directly for long periods without protection such as a coat or varnish made specifically for this purpose by one’s supplier.
So, epoxy vs. plastic: which is better?
Plastics are cheaper and can be molded into a wider variety of shapes, but are also far weaker than epoxy. If your project doesn’t require heavy-duty strength or if you’re working on a budget, plastic will do the job just fine.
But for projects that need extra durability or flexibility, such as airplanes, boats, and surfboards, epoxy resin is definitely the way to go.