Have you ever wondered what epoxy resin is made of? Epoxy resin is an extremely versatile adhesive that can be used for everything from art projects to sealing a wooden floor.
Whether you are looking to learn more about this compound or want to know the best way to use it, read on. We will review the properties of epoxy resin, what makes it so useful, and where it comes from.
Epoxy resin is created by combining two substances: a base and a hardener. The base is made up of molecules called epoxides, which give it its adhesive quality and high strength.
An epoxide is an organic compound that has three atoms bonded in a ring-like shape (the “epi” prefix refers to this structure).
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Where is epoxy resin made?
Epoxy Resin is made primarily in two types of facilities. The first is a chemical plant that specializes in mixing chemicals for epoxy resin and many other products. The second type would be an industrial factory that has the equipment to mix larger batches of chemicals, like a 5 gallon bucket or 55 gallon drum.
We do not recommend you try to make epoxy resin at home because the fumes are very dangerous. We recommend you purchase your epoxy resin from a reputable company, such as Clear Gator USA, which has been making quality epoxy resins since 2009.
Where does epoxy resin come from?
The petroleum industry is the backbone to which epoxy resins owe their existence. It all starts with a crude oil well.
Crude oil is what you get when nature takes its time to bury things, like trees and leaves, under layers of earth.
The pressure from the earth above will eventually turn these dead plants into crude oil in a process that takes millions of years.
Epoxy resin isn’t made from crude oil directly; instead, it comes from ethylene gas, which is one of the many byproducts of cracking hydrocarbons into smaller molecules.
This can be done through fractional distillation: by separating hydrocarbons based on their weight, we can get different oils with different boiling points.
These oils can then be reacted to form various epoxies and other chemicals that are used in our everyday lives.
Who manufactures epoxy resin?
There are many manufacturers of epoxy resins in the U.S., as well as in other countries around the world. The following is a list of some of these companies, who they manufacture their resins for, and where they are located:
- Ashland Specialty Chemical, which makes ArtResin, is located in Covington, Kentucky.
- Mica Corporation manufactures EpoxAcast 690 and EpoxAcast 655 for Castaldo Rubber Molding company in New Jersey. They are located in Chicago, Illinois.
- Smooth-On manufactures ProMarine Supplies Crystal Clear Bar Table Top Epoxy Resin and EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy and is located in Easton, Pennsylvania.
- SICO America manufactures UltraGlaze Clear Epoxy and it has been used by various artists for resin artworks. They are located in Los Angeles, California
How epoxy resin is manufactured?
Epoxy resins are manufactured from a number of ingredients, including epichlorohydrin (ECH), bisphenol A (BPA), and phenol. The manufacturing process for epoxy resin involves reacting these three chemicals together at high temperatures, under pressure in an autoclave.
Once the reaction is complete, the resulting liquid is then cooled and poured into large holding tanks. These tanks allow the resin to cure until it’s ready to be used in industrial applications.
What is epoxy resin made out of?
Polymers are long chains made up of repeating chemical units. Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is one type of polymer that makes up the base ingredient in the resin part of epoxy.
The hardener, which can also be called a catalyst or cross-linker, helps make the resin more durable and strong by joining with molecules to form a network. One common hardener used in epoxies is bisphenol A (BPA).
Is epoxy resin made from oil?
A thermoset plastic like an epoxy resin has been chemically engineered and the molecules are linked together during the curing process to form an infusible, insoluble network.
Epoxy resins are made from synthetic monomers known as diglycidyl ethers of bisphenol-A (DGEBA). Epoxy resins are also derived from epichlorohydrin, which is produced via the chlorination of propylene gas or glycerin by bleach manufacturing facilities.
What is the difference between epoxy and resin?
Resin is a generic term for any polymer that can be formed into a solid shape. Polymer refers to materials that combine repeated smaller units of molecules in long chains.
You might be more familiar with natural polymers like cellulose found in trees or cotton, which are called polysaccharides or fibers, respectively.
Epoxy resin is one type of polymer whose molecules consist of two parts: a core (the actual epoxy) and an outer shell (the hardening agent).
When both parts are combined, they form a chemical reaction called “cross-linking” to create a solid polymerized material with many different applications.
Who makes plastic resin?
You may be wondering who makes plastic resin and what it’s made out of. The five largest producers of plastic resin in the United States, according to the Plastics Industry Association, are ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, SABIC, Formosa Plastics Corporation, and DowDuPont, Inc.
These companies make high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP), two types of plastic in wide use today. Plastic can also be made from oil or natural gas.
Epoxy resins are a combination of epichlorohydrin and bisphenol A, commonly called “BPA”, in the presence of an acid catalyst.
Epichlorohydrin is a compound made from chlorinated propylene derived from natural gas processing and BPA is produced from acetone.
The process for making these chemicals is complicated but, in brief, acetone can be obtained by fermentation of corn or sugarcane. Chlorinated propylene is obtained by oxidizing propylene which can be found naturally in petroleum or natural gas.