Epoxy resin is a popular material for woodworking, jewelry making, and more, but it can be tricky to get it right.
This article will teach you how to use epoxy resin.
Will epoxy resin crack?
The short answer is: YES.
Epoxy resin can crack. Every material has a breaking point. But with proper care and maintenance, epoxy resin won’t crack easily.
How do you prevent epoxy resin from cracking? There are 3 main ways to prevent your resin surface from cracking:
- Properly mix your epoxy resin with the hardener. Even if it’s just off by 10 seconds, you could be causing a chemical reaction that will make your epoxy brittle! Check out our video on mixing here for a visual guide on how to properly mix the two components together.
- Take care when pouring and leveling the first layer of your project, so that there aren’t any bumps or ridges that might create stress points later on when you’re working on further layers or finishing techniques (i.e., sanding). Watch our first pour & leveling video here for a visual guide on what we mean by “bumps” or “ridges” in an epoxy project surface that could potentially cause the resin to crack down the line.
- When curing your finished piece, keep it at room temperature; heating up and cooling down too quickly can make your resin brittle again.*
How do you keep epoxy from cracking?
To keep epoxy from cracking, you need to avoid the following:
- Not using a solvent wipe on your surface
- Not using a pressure pot for deep pours
- Not using a heat lamp when working with thick layers or multiple layers of resin
- Having an ambient temperature that is too hot or too cold
- Having an epoxy temperature that is too hot or too cold
- Humidity levels in your work space being too high or too low
- Not mixing the resin and hardener thoroughly before applying
What causes epoxy to crack?
- Temperature. Generally speaking, keeping epoxy warmer will prevent cracking.
- Shrinking. Epoxy shrinks as it cures, and this is the main reason why it can crack. Often, cracks are stress cracks because of this shrinking process. As the epoxy hardens, it pulls back and shrinks on itself resulting in small cracks forming on the surface of the epoxy.
- Stress. If a piece of wood or other material is stressed due to warping or something like that, then there will be more pressure put on the epoxy that is used to coat it. This additional stress can lead to cracking as well since there will be a larger amount of force acting upon the finished surface than what was originally intended when you applied your epoxy coating in the first place!
Will epoxy resin break if dropped?
The epoxy resin is actually very stable and durable. This is especially true for the high-quality materials available from a provider like Resin Obsession. However, even the best products will have their limits when it comes to impact resistance.
Epoxy resin can be thought of as being somewhat brittle rather than flexible; if dropped on the floor, it will not flex but instead crack.
How big of an impact force does it take to break epoxy?
This depends on many factors such as temperature and volume, but generally speaking a small drop onto a hard surface will not cause a problem.
A large drop (or multiple drops) can cause damage. If you’re worried about your project breaking, then you should consider some kind of padding to protect it.
Does epoxy crack easily?
No. Epoxy is highly durable and harder than most other resins. Epoxy resins are strong, but epoxy resin can crack if not mixed properly. It can also crack if it doesn’t have enough hardener in it or when exposed to high temperatures.
If you use too little hardener your resin may not cure, which means that a part of your artwork will remain soft and sticky even after several days.
The soft part may remain tacky for a long time, but with time and heat, it will eventually cure and become hard!
Will resin crack in cold weather?
If you’ve been asking this question, you’ll be pleased to know that epoxy resin doesn’t have to crack if it’s exposed to extreme cold.
Resin cures by either exothermic heat or a catalyst. Either way, the molecules are rearranged so they can bind together in a hard, glass-like consistency.
However, once the epoxy has cured, then it will become brittle and quite likely to crack if it is exposed to cold temperatures. But why?
Can you crack resin?
Whether or not you can crack resin depends on how much pressure you apply. If you want to crack it, then some force will be needed. However, there is no real reason for cracking it unless something has gone wrong with your epoxy resin project.
Keep reading to find out why epoxy resin cracks and how we prevent it from doing so.
Does epoxy fill cracks?
Epoxy resin does not crack but will fill in cracks if the surface is thoroughly sanded. Epoxy resin can be applied as a filler to repair cracks and small holes in surfaces. It is also used for creating strong bonds between layers of wood.
If you want to make sure your epoxy resin doesn’t crack, practice these steps:
- Clean the surface properly before applying the epoxy.
- Buy a good quality epoxy. For example, UV-resistant epoxies are ideal for clear coating projects such as river tables or bar tops.
- Mix the two parts of the resin according to instructions and do not leave any unmixed portions of either part in the container.
- Apply enough coats of the mixture so there are no bald spots or bubbles left behind after application.