Have you ever wondered, “Which is better: epoxy or resin?” Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “polymer.” Maybe you’re an avid DIYer and are looking to create your own personalized castings like that ring mold I made of my child’s handprint.
Regardless of what brought you here, let’s talk about epoxy and resin—the two most popular types of polymers used in many applications and industries today.
First things first: what exactly is a polymer? A polymer is a long chain molecule formed by chemically bonding multiple short-chained molecules called monomers together.
Monomer means “one part,” whereas polymer means “many parts.” Epoxies are thermoset polymers that consist of two components (a resin and hardener) which when combined chemically react to form a solid plastic material with adhesive properties that can be molded into many shapes and forms or used as coatings for surfaces.
Resins are either thermoplastic or thermoset depending on the application needed for its use. Thermoplastics can be repeatedly melted down while thermosets cannot; they must go through a chemical reaction to achieve their solid-state (e.g., baking).
Which is better epoxy or resin?
So what is the difference between epoxy and resin? Epoxy is a resin that has been combined with a hardening agent. Resin is the base for epoxy, so you can think of it as being “resin” in its natural form.
Both are often used as adhesives and coatings, however, only epoxy can be used to create electronics like computer chips.
For example, resin is made from petroleum, but epoxy cannot be created without the addition of another substance (the hardener). Resin is a liquid polymer that turns into a solid when mixed with the right ingredients; since this process occurs naturally in nature, it’s not a surprise that “natural” resins exist in some plants and trees.
Epoxies are man-made materials created through chemical reactions using human intervention or technology—hence their common use in construction projects around homes and offices.
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Is epoxy the same thing as resin?
Epoxy and resin are not the same things, though several people use the two interchangeably. This is because many people use epoxy to mean any type of resin when in actuality, epoxy is a specific type of resin.
The first thing you need to know about epoxy and resin is that they’re both chemical compounds. They’re also both types of polymers, which can be used in a broad range of industries and applications.
But there’s more to it than that. Resin is any compound that’s sticky or gummy until it hardens into a solid form—and some resins can be extremely versatile—but the word itself typically refers to a particular kind of polymer called an unsaturated polyester thermosetting polymer (more on this later). Epoxies are thermosetting polymers too.
Why do you use epoxy or resin?
When you use epoxy or resin, it is to provide a stronger surface than paint can offer. It can cover over and repair small cracks, and make the surface waterproof.
Epoxy can also make the surface non-slip or give it a beautiful glossy finish. Resin is often used to coat and protect wood, as well as making surfaces resistant to chemicals, UV rays, heat and even mold.
Can epoxy be used as resin?
Although epoxy is often used as resin, both of them are different in nature. Epoxy can be used as resin but not vice versa. However, there are a few differences between the two.
Epoxy is stronger than resin and has higher adhesion strength compared to the latter one. Epoxy is more expensive than resin and has more curing time than resin.
So you have to consider these factors while deciding which one is better for your case at hand
What are the advantages and disadvantages of epoxy resin?
Advantages of Epoxy Resin
- Very durable.
- Can bond to many types of materials.
- Able to withstand heat and cold, so long as it’s not exposed to extremely high temperatures for too long (which can warp the material).
- Extremely strong adhesive properties when cured, meaning that the glue itself is very difficult to remove from whatever it’s stuck to. This makes epoxy a great choice for building or repairing things like boats and bridges that need to hold up against water damage.
Disadvantages of Epoxy Resin
Once an epoxy resin has been applied and cured, it will be more difficult to remove than other types of adhesives like super glue or hot glue.
The chemical make-up of epoxies makes them ideal for applications where strength is needed but not flexibility—such as bonding metal pieces together or waterproofing a surface—but they are less suited for more delicate applications where you might want an adhesive that could give way if necessary (like bonding two pieces of fabric together).
How long will epoxy resin last?
Epoxy resin is the stronger of the two types of resins. It’s long-lasting and resistant to water and heat. Epoxy resin might be more expensive, but it lasts longer than polyester resin. The epoxies used for home repairs typically last from 5 to 20 years.
Polyester resin can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, depending on how well you maintain your fiberglass or carbon fiber surface. For example, if you notice a crack in the fiberglass surface, the polyester resin might start to deteriorate quickly as moisture seeps through that crack into the fiberglass or carbon fiber layer below.
Although polyester resin might not hold up as long as epoxy resin, it’s still a less-expensive option for many projects.
Which resin is best?
The answer to this question is—it depends. There are many different types of resin and each serves a different purpose.
- High-density polyurethane casting resin is one of the most commonly used types of resin for creating a wide variety of products. This type of resin is typically used to make everything from tables, lamps, and jewelry to industrial parts.
- Polyester resins are generally used in fiberglass manufacturing and have not been approved by the FDA for use with food items.
- Epoxy resins are the most common type of resin that you will find on the market today. Epoxy resins are a strong adhesive that dries clear and has many uses including coating or sealing table tops, marine applications (when mixed with fillers), laminating surfboards, and filling gaps in wood finishes before applying varnish or paint.
What are the advantages of epoxy?
Epoxy can be used on a number of surfaces including wood, concrete, rubber, and metal. Because it is so versatile in where it can be applied, epoxy is great for use as a primer or topcoat. It also has excellent waterproofing properties, making it the perfect choice for any surface that needs to weather the elements.
Epoxy is also known to be extremely strong and durable once it dries. It forms an incredibly hard shell and will not chip even under extreme wear and tear.
In the end, the best choice for your project depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to make a nice table or countertop and need something that can withstand many years of use, epoxy is a great choice.
On the other hand, if you want to make a sculpture or mold an object, resin is the clear winner. Either way, you go, it’s important to follow all safety precautions when using epoxies or resins (and any other chemicals really) so that everyone on your team remains safe throughout your project.