A resin is a viscous substance that can be converted into a rigid polymer when it cures. All resins will harden under certain conditions, for example, heat, exposure to light, or being mixed with a setting agent or hardener. They can be naturally occurring or made synthetically to suit a range of applications and uses. Natural resins are organic substances that are fusible and can either be transparent or translucent. Synthetic resins have similar characteristics but are different chemically and can be clear. Some are referred to as a casting resin if they are a liquid before it polymerises and sets.
Types of ResinEpoxy resin
- Epoxy resins are characterised by their excellent durability, strength, chemical resistance and low absorption of moisture. Commonly used for laminating, epoxy resin can be used as a protective coating as well as on materials in circuit boards and for patching holes in concrete pavements. These versatile resins offer high strength resistance to corrosion. Epoxy offers a high strength to weight ratio and dimensional stability as well as adhesion properties which make them ideal for a wide range of applications. Different epoxy resins are produced by varying the ratios of the chemical components.Polyester resin
- Sometimes referred to as unsaturated polyester resin or more simply polyester is a type of adhesive paste, filler and laminating resin. The polyester resin normally comes as a pale, viscous solution or paste containing a polyester solution, normally styrene. They have a fast cure time and can be used as a sealant on a variety of materials, thanks to their resistance to chemicals and harsh weather. MEKP is the catalyst added to the polyester resin in order to cure (harden) the resin.
Resins can be useful across a range of applications, but their main purpose is as a glue, to fuse or mould objects together. Common uses include adhesives, paints and coatings, electronic components and medical devices.