Welcome to the World of RESIN PRO USA
At our online store, we provide top-quality epoxy resin products for all your artistic needs, including crafting stunning tables, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and breathtaking resin paintings. Our passion is to help you create beautiful and durable art pieces that will stand the test of time.
To help you navigate the fascinating and intricate world of epoxy resin, we have put together an extensive Technical F.A.Q. section, designed to answer all your questions and guide you through the entire process of working with epoxy resin. This section covers best practices, product selection, and troubleshooting tips, ensuring that you feel confident and well-equipped to bring your artistic vision to life.
Our F.A.Q. section is divided into three main chapters, each with multiple subcategories to provide comprehensive and easily accessible information:
Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting your journey into the world of epoxy resin, our Technical F.A.Q. is your go-to resource for all your resin art inquiries. We’re here to help you make informed decisions about product selection, applicative conditions, and post-casting care, ensuring that your creations are as flawless as possible.
Of course, we understand that our F.A.Q. section may not cover every specific question or concern you may have: our team of epoxy resin experts is always ready and happy to assist you with any inquiries or provide additional guidance.
Dive into the captivating world of epoxy resin artistry and explore our F.A.Q. section today. Your masterpiece awaits!
A – Selection of Product
WHICH RESIN IS MOST SUITABLE FOR A RIVER TABLE?
iCrystal 5 (for thicknesses up to 2″) is the ideal product to make a River Table: easily colored, low exotherm, low viscosity (to eliminate air bubbles) and long workability.
WHICH RESIN IS MOST SUITABLE FOR JEWELS?
For small objects, such as jewelry, we recommend water-clear epoxy, like ICRYSTAL, due its low viscosity (less bubble) and mechanical resistance. Plan on 24h for catalyzation.
CAN I POUR THE RESIN ONTO A PICTURE/PHOTO?
Yes, this is an increasingly popular type of application in the artistic/decorative world. For this type of processing, we recommend a specific product; our “ART PRO” epoxy resin
CAN I USE THE RESIN ON VERTICAL APPLICATIONS?
You can work vertically with a spatula or brush. For such use we recommend our “ART PRO” thanks to its highly-viscous nature. It allows you to carry out vertical applications while limiting the risk of dripping.
RECOMMENDED RESINS FOR TABLETOPS AND FLOORS
Art Pro is the proper choice. Hard surface; high viscosity to avoid unwanted leakage, with a shiny surface!
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THICK CASTINGS; TWO INCHES AND GREATER
“Icrsytal 5” allows you to make a single layer up to two inches ( 5 cm) thick due to its low exotherm and high mechanical strength.
BEST RESIN FOR CASTING IN SILICONE MOLDS
Along with very high UV resistance this product is charaterized by and extrymely low viscosity getting rid of micro bubbles.
WHICH RESINS TO COVER A CANVAS PAINTED WITH ACRYLIC PAINT?
For covering canvases, painting or general artistic creations, the best product is our Art Pro resin
WHICH RESIN MODEL IS THE BEST TO CREATE SEASCAPES?
The best resin for the art/creative sector is undoubtedly our “Art Pro“.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PRACTICES FOR USING EPOXY RESIN ON A WOOD OR CONCRETE FLOOR?
When using epoxy resin on a wood or concrete floor, it is important to properly prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding it. It is also recommended to use a high-quality self-leveling epoxy with a high gloss finish.
CAN EPOXY RESIN BE USED FOR OUTDOOR APPLICATIONS, AND IF SO, WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN?
Yes, epoxy resin can be used for outdoor applications, but it is important to use a UV-resistant formula and to protect the surface from prolonged exposure to sunlight. We recommend using a high-quality, marine-grade epoxy like our ART-PRO.
CAN I APPLY EPOXY RESIN OVER A PAINTED SURFACE?
Yes, you can apply epoxy resin over a painted surface, but it is important to ensure that the paint is completely cured and adhered to the surface. The paint surface should also be sanded to provide a good mechanical bond.
CAN I USE EPOXY RESIN TO CREATE A WATER-RESISTANT COATING FOR MY OUTDOOR FURNITURE?
Yes, epoxy resin is water-resistant and can be used to create a durable coating for outdoor furniture. However, it is important to choose a product that is UV-resistant and the right viscosity to achieve a uniform surface. We advise our ART-PRO
B. Applicative Conditions
HOW CAN I SPEED UP THE RESIN CATYLIZATION?
FOR SMALL CASTINGS: To speed up the curing process, we need to give a thermal head start, i.e. place the object/mold near a heat source (e.g. radiator or warm stove) or simply in the warmest room in the building. A temperature of 68-80F (25 -30°) is optimal for a correct cure of the resin for smaller items.
FOR BIG CASTINGS: It is better not to apply high heat early in the cure process.
RECONMENDED AMBIENT TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
For correct application, we recommend to avoid ambient humidity above 50% and/or temperature below (15°C) 60 F. The ideal temperature is between 68-86F (20 and 30°C) with about 40% humidity
APPLICATIONS TO AVOID
Epoxy resin is compatible with practically all surfaces EXCEPT materials except those containing water. It is necessary to encapsulate moist objects before immersing in resin.
CAN I CAST WHEN IT’S VERY HOT IN THE WORKSHOP?
The ideal casting temperature is between 70-85F (25- 30°C). Casting in temperatures above 85F can compromise the final result, possibly resulting in cracks from too-rapid curing. Conversely casting at an ambient temperature below 60F (15C°) may give surface opacity; a matt finish due to room humidity having too much time to interact with the exposed surface of the resin while curing.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THE RESIN TO CATALYZE?
Assuming that you are in an ideal environment with a temperature of 68-75F (20-25°), the only variable that determines the polymerization time is the type of resin chosen. Dividing the resins into two macro-areas: epoxy resins and polyurethane resins, epoxy resins have a slower cure time and longer workability. Epoxies fully catalyze between 12 and 96 hours (in the case of large tables). Polyurethane resins, on the other hand have a much faster cure time and consequently a shorter workability time. We are talking in this case, of complete hardening between about 5 and 60 minutes depending on the type of resin applied.
IDEAL CASTING TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
The ideal resin processing temperature is between 68-85F (20 and 30° C) for small volume castings and between 60-70F (15-20°) for big castings. We recommend working in a ventilated environment, (not within living space), with a humidity level below 40 percent.
WHAT DEGREE OF HUMIDITY MUST THE WOOD HAVE BEFORE ENCAPSULATING IT IN RESIN?
Before encapsulating the wood in resin, make sure that it has a moisture content of 15% or less.
MIXING RESINS FROM DIFFERENT SUPPIERS
We strongly advise against this type of application. Chemically different components almost certainly will result in an altered chemical reaction and the potential for a bad result. Whether it’s from Resinpro or another company, when you decide to work on a project, make sure you are using resins and products from a single manufacturer, and for the intended application. Also, do not mix and match part A or B Resin Pro products intended for different thicknesses or applications.
REDUCE OR PREVENT YELLOWING OF THE FINISHED PRODUCT
If possible avoid placing the finished object in direct sunlight/UV. This is of course ideal but not always possible. Using Epoxy Resins like our iCrystal 5, which contains anti-yellowing stabilizers, will grant additional resistance of UV exposure. Tinted resins will show less yellowing over time than water-clear.
MEASURING CORRECT PROPORTIONS
To precisely calculate the quantities A + B (scrupulously following the indicated use ratio) we recommend using a calibrated digital precision scale, on which to weigh the two components. We recommend that you always work by weight and never by volume in order to be precise in the proportions to obtain a satisfactory result.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE QUANTITY OF RESIN TO CAST?
Resin Pro has created a valuable calculation tool (web version or Android and IOS Smartphone application): RESIN CALCULATOR by RESINPRO. Also available on the website: www.resinpro.us.
CAN EPOXY RESIN BE USED TO REPAIR A DAMAGED FIBERGLASS SURFACE?
Yes, epoxy resin is a common material for repairing damaged fiberglass surfaces. It can be used to fill in cracks, chips, and holes and can also be used to reinforce weakened areas.
D. Personal Protection
WHAT TYPES OF PERSONAL PROTECTION ARE RECOMMENDED?
The three primary protections are latex gloves, eye protection/hood, and FFP2 mask.
Follow commonsense rules, like good ventilation, long sleeves. Read and understanding label cautions before starting.
IS THE RESIN ONCE HARDENED TOXIC AND CAN IT AFFECT FOOD?
All of our resins are certified non-toxic once fully cured. However, there is only one resin which, in addition to being non-toxic like the others, is also certified for food contact (including liquids).
HOW CAN I REMOVE EPOXY RESIN FROM CLOTHING OR SKIN?
To remove resin from clothing, allow it to harden and then gently scrape it off with a plastic scraper. For skin, wash the affected area with soap and water or use a resin-specific cleaner.
E. Formwork and Molds and Release Agents
HOW TO CREATE A CASTING FORM
Laminated chipboard is often used for large items, creating a five-sided rectangular structure. The sides are interlocked with each other and a release product (e.g. wax or glossy tape) is applied.
IS IT BETTER TO USE PACKING TAPE as Release Agent for Frame work OR RELEASE WAX?
It is better to use the PACKING TAPE , being glossy. Wax generates a more opaque/matt finish, although it is easier to apply. Silicone spray mold release may also be used.
HOW CAN I AVOID BUBBLES?
It depends on several factors.
There are two sources of bubbles. The first kind (the easier to avoid) come from the porosity of the material you are embedding (especially wood). If absorbant material is not properly sealed with 1-2 applications of epoxy by brush it might release bubbles during catalyzation.
The second type can come during the mixing process of A + B either from the selection of mixing paddle and speed, or from using a too-thick resin. A low viscosity epoxy (like our iCrystal 5) will help you to release all the bubbles that are created during mixing procedure.
WHY IS THE RESIN STICKING TO MY SILICONE MOLD AND HOW TO PREVENT IT?
Completely hardened resin can stick to a silicone mold but generally only after the mold has seen repeated use and has lost its glossy surface. The fault is usually not with the resin. We recommend the use of release agents when silicone molds are used in order to facilitate demolding and lengthen the “life” of the mold itself. In addition to easier demolding the release agent will protect the mold surface.
DOES EPOXY RESIN ADHER TO SILICONE?
No, for this reason all our molds are made in silicone. After repeated use the resin may begin to stick to the mold. For this reason, before casting, we always recommend the use of release agents.
TO WHICH MATERIALS WILL THE RESIN NOT STICK?
The resin can be applied to any material. In materials such as silicone, you can carry out the casting without preparation procedures, as silicone is one of the few materials (together with Plexiglass and polyethylene compounds) that does not stick to the resin. In all other materials before casting, in order to prevent the resin from sticking, we recommend using one of our release agents (WAX, OIL of SILICONE)
HOW LONG BEFORE CAN I REMOVE THE FORMWORK?
In general, after confirming the hardening of the resin, you can proceed with the removal of the formwork; usually 24-48 hours after application.
WHAT TYPES OF MOLDS ARE BEST FOR CASTING EPOXY RESIN, AND HOW CAN I PREPARE THEM FOR THE CASTING PROCESS?
Silicone molds are often the best choice for casting epoxy resin, as they are flexible and easy to work with. Before casting, it is important to properly clean and prepare the molds by using a release agent or applying a thin coat of petroleum jelly.
F. Preparation of the Casting
SHOULD WOOD SLABS BE TREATED BEFORE INCLUDING IT IN THE RESIN?
Absolutely yes, this is a fundamental step for the success of the project. The wood must be planed, smoothed (with bark removed), clean (dust-free) and impregnated with a low viscosity resin like ICRYSTAL (two coats) . This last step should close every pore of the wood, thus avoiding any air infiltration and the consequent release of bubbles from inside the wood.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE QUANTITY OF PIGMENT TO MIX WITH THE RESIN?
As a general rule, we recommend using 0.1 to 1% pigment by weight in proportion to the amount of resin to be cast.
SHOULD I PUT A SUPPORT FRAME UNDER THE TABLE?
Yes, we recommend placing a supporting framework under the table to ensure the table top is stable and levelled to avoid sagging. This is especially true for table tops with a high proportion of resin to wood. Resin should not be used as a structural support medium.
HOW TO ELIMINATE AIR BUBBLES?
It depends on the type of items being encapsulated and the mold. If you have already poured something, such as a glass coaster, which has bubbles, there are several possibilities:
1) A brief application with a heat gun
2) Heat the object in an oven, giving a thermal boost.
3) Wait for the bubbles to self-eliminate over time.
If it is a closed mold, for example a bivalve mold, you must proceed with low viscosity resin, which reduces the problem of trapped air thanks to its low viscosity: Use ICRYSTAL (for up to 2cm casting) and iCrystal 5 for bigger/thicker castings to 2″ thickness.
WHAT CAN I “EMBED” IN THE RESIN?
In theory, you can incorporate any type of object/material. We recommend incorporating non-organic objects. If you incorporate an organic material (such as a rose), a natural process of decomposition of the material will occur once encapsulated and this will have a significant impact on the final aesthetic effect. The only viable way is to dry the organic material before incorporating it (perhaps in salt for two weeks in a plastic bag). In any case, the most suitable epoxy resin product for this application is our resin “iCrystal 5“
SHOULD I WEAR PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT?
Absolutely yes. Since these are chemical products, you must work in total safety. RESIN PRO has compiled an article providing the guidelines and common sense rules to be implemented before, during, and after resin cast processing. The best known protective devices (PPE) to be implemented are: latex gloves, protective goggles, and FFP2 mask with interchangeable filters
COMPONENT A OF THE RESIN IS “WHITE AND JELLY-LIKE” WHAT CAUSES THIS?
This condition is due to a partial or total freezing of the resin (A component might freeze if exposed for long period below 10°C). To recover it, immerse the container A (resin) in a “bain-marie” or a basin of very hot water for at least 50 minutes. In doing so, the resin will return to transparent and regain its original chemical and mechanical properties. Wait until it cools before using.
CAN I MIX DIFFERENT RESINS?
No. Each resin is formulated for a particular bonding reaction. You CAN apply a different resin on an already catalyzed and cooled layer of a different type of epoxy
HOW TO AVOID HOLES AND LACK OF COVERAGE ON THE SURFACE?
First, verify the levelness of the casting surface. If when you are working and realize the resin won’t fully cover, stop and mix more, or decide to wait for full cure and add another layer. For this reason, we always recommend to use “ResinProCalculator” to calculate the right quantity to use (1,5kg per m2)
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM APPLICATION THICKNESS?
The minimum application thickness required to achieve a self-leveling surface is typically 1mm. However, when applying epoxy resin on a porous surface, it is possible to apply it at a thickness of 0.2mm (e.g. By roller of Spray)
CALCULATING THE VOLUME OF RESIN REQUIRED
Use the website application ‘Resin Calculator’ at resinpro.us. https://www.resinpro.us/resin-flow-calculator/
Input the measurements of the void areas. The algorithm will automatically calculate the total quantity.
SHELF LIFE OF EPOXY RESINS
One of the positive notes of Resin Pro epoxy resins is that, unlike the multitude of products we find on the market, it does not have a “strict” expiration date. The only thing you need to pay attention to is storage. In this regard, we advise storing the resin at room temperature (not below 60F/15°C), trying to avoid direct contact with UV rays and high humidity.
MY RESIN HAS TURNED YELLOW BEFORE USING IT
If the resin is two years old, or older, it might start be become yellow. It is only an aesthetic problem. In terms of hardening and mechanical properties it is still 100% efficient. If you are going to color it you can use it without problem. Do not use where water-clarity is needed, final product using yellowed resin will not be water-clear.
CALCULATING THE VOLUME OF RESIN REQUIRED FOR ROUND OR CIRCULAR OBJECTS
Use the website application ‘Resin Calculator’ at resinpro.us. https://www.resinpro.us/resin-flow-calculator/
(There are both Android and iPhone versions). Once you are in, click on the design with the entry “Circular Filling”. You will be asked for the type of resin to be applied and the mold dimensions in terms of diameter, thickness and volume.
At that point, the system will automatically calculate the weight of resin to be poured, divided between component A and component B.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SUITABLE TYPE OF WOOD TO BE USED ALONG WITH EPOXY
“For river tables, there are no specific recommendations. However, the more porous and irregular the wood, the more attention you will need to pay to sealing the surface with epoxy before casting. Additionally, make sure that the thickness of the wood is sufficient to sustain the weight of the table and prevent bending
HOW MUCH COLORANT CAN I ADD TO THE RESIN?
Beyond a certain level the color is not deepened and the strength of the final product can be compromised. Our colorants (Colorfun) are very concentrated. We recommend using between 0.1% (semi transparent) and 3% (very dark) in relation to the total resin weight, depending on the degree of transparency to be obtained.
PIGMENTS AFFECT THE CATALYZATION OF THE RESIN?
Always use certified pigments designed for epoxy resin. Avoid enamel dyes or acrylic dyes. Compatible liquid pigments should be alcohol based. Avoid buying wholesale dyes to save money, as it may ruin your creation. Buy one certified type of pigment type at a time and test it in your creations like COLORFUN or MICA POWDER
CREATING SEAFOAM EFFECTS
The secret is the epoxy’s viscosity. Too-liquid epoxy tends to spread too much. On the other hand high viscosity epoxy might tend not to “spread” giving an unnatural effect for the SEAFOAM. ART PRO is specifically developed for this task to keep a balanced viscosity during all the working time to grant you more control of your artistic process.
HOW CAN I GET A “SEA WAVES EFFECT”?
To obtain this fantastic effect, we recommend you utilize our ARTPRO transparent epoxy resin
HOW CAN I GET A PETRI DISH EFFECT?
The Petri Dish Effect arises from the combination of epoxy resin and alcohol-based colors. Recommended resin: ARTPRO, with alcohol-based colors
WHICH PIGMENTS CAN I USE FOR THE RESIN?
Avoid acrylic colorants and do not use non-certified resin dyes. Mica powders and alcohol based pigments are generally safe to use. All of our pigments are certified safe to use with our resins.
PERCENTAGE OF COLORANTS FOR AN OPQUE OR TRANSLUCENT RESULT?
Depending on the degree of transparency desired we recommend to use our colorants in proportions between 0.1% and 0.3% percent, giving a consequent result of higher/lower gloss or opacity. There are 454 grams per pound, so 0.1% would be 0.454 (half a gram) to 1.362 grams per pound of resin.
HOW CAN I OBTAIN A MARBLE EFFECT?
The marble effect is one of the most sought-after effects when it comes to resin tables. In this process, pigments play a fundamental role. Application method: Color ARTPRO resin with an opaque white pigment that will act as a base color, wait about 30-40 minutes, which is the time necessary for the resin to start hardening. Then, when your compound is thick enough, play with the pigments by recreating the veins of your favorite marble.
HOW CAN I CREATE A MARBLED EFFECT USING EPOXY RESIN FOR MY DIY CRAFTS?
To create a marbled effect with epoxy resin, you have first to use the right viscosity, otherwise your project will be affected. We advise our ART-PRO. Then you can use a variety of techniques, such as adding different colors of resin, swirling the colors together with a toothpick, or using a heat gun to create a unique pattern.
WHAT ARE THE BEST TECHNIQUES FOR COLORING OR DYEING EPOXY RESIN?
Epoxy resin can be colored or dyed using a variety of techniques, such as adding liquid or powder pigments, or mixing in other materials, such as glitter or small beads. It is important to use high-quality, wate-free colorants and to thorougly mix the resin and colorant.
CAN I CHANGE THE MIXING RATIO A + B?
Absolutely not! You must be precise and weigh scrupulously, respecting the use ratio shown on the label. Altered proportions can compromise the catalyzation process irreversibly.
DOES THE RESIN RELEASE TOXIC FUMES?
During processing, the resin can release toxic fumes if not used properly. A rapid and violent exothermic reaction can occur, called “mass effect”. By mass effect we mean the phenomenon of exotherm, resulting in the release of heat in short time. In minimal thicknesses (generally up to a thickness of up to 3/8″ (1 cm), heat is quickly dispersed and will build slowly. In general greater volumes will heat up faster, especially if the wrong resin is used, or the mixture ratio is wrong, (or the resin is excessively prewarmed,) and accelerates the exothermic reaction to the point of causing smoke, cracks and/or deformation. For this reason we advise not to pour too much resin all at once or in any case to utilize resins especially formulated for medium-to-high thickness casting; perhaps a low exotherm product such as iCrystal 5. Never blend components coming from two manuafacturers or use Part B intended for different thickness.
CURE TIME VARIABLES
In applications like River Tables, especially with castings between 1”- 3″ (3 to 8 cm) where you may require a total quantity of casting resin ranging from 10-110 pounds (5 to 50 kg), polymerization takes place approximately after 3-6 hours. Complete hardening takes between 2-3 days. For smaller creations, in which most of the resin surfaces are enclosed, such as for example the creation of jewelry (low thickness with little resin), a complete catalyzation will take place between 12 and 24 hours.
SINGLE VERSUS MULTIPLE CASTINGS
For aesthetic reasons, and to avoid visible lines on the edge of the piece, whenever possible we recommend a single pour, always noting the intended maximum thickness properties of epoxy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST TECHNIQUES FOR MIXING LARGE VOLUMES OF RESIN WITH MINIMAL BUBBLES?
When mixing large volumes of resin, it’s important to take your time and follow a few key precautions to minimize the formation of bubbles. First, make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl thoroughly, without rushing or shaking the mixture, as this can create bubbles. Additionally, pour the resin slowly, keeping the mixing bowl at least 2 inches (5 cm) above the surface you’re casting onto to prevent splashing, which can also create bubbles. Another technique to minimize bubbles is to use a vacuum chamber to remove any air bubbles that may have formed during the mixing process. This technique is especially useful for large volume castings, and can be done by pouring the mixed resin into a vacuum chamber and allowing it to degas for several minutes before pouring it into the casting mold.
HOW TO GET RID OF BUBBLES IN A RIVER OR A LARGE JET OF RESIN WITHOUT A VACUUM PUMP?
The best prevention is to start with a low viscosity, slow-setting resin, like iCrystal 5. It is compulsory to treat wood or any porous surface before casting to lock in trapped air. Apply a low viscosity resin like ICRYSTAL (two coats) to the porous object that will encapsulate the air trapped inside, blocking the consequent leakage of bubbles. Do not thin the encapsulating resin, since this will make the resin pourous. It is possible to use heat , like a hair dryer, to encourage air bubbles to the surface after pouring.
If you fail to follow the right proportions by weight, or sometimes people get confused and put the same component two times, we must interrupt this application and prepare to start over. 99% of the time the resin will not complete its catalyzation process and you will lose time trying to salvage the pour.
APPLYING ADDITIONAL LAYERS
You can make multiple castings spaced 24 hours from each other, even on an already catalyzed resin, as the resin undergoing catalyzation will tend to adhere to an already catalyzed layer. The only aspect to take into consideration is purely aesthetic. Each casting creates an easily visible thin line on the edges/sides of the creation. Multiple castings will leave a telltale seam line. For purely aesthetic reasons, we therefore recommend a single casting where possible (e.g. with iCrystal 5). In order to increase the grip and make the surface adherent, we recommend a light sanding (320 grit) between one casting and another.
REPAIR/PREPARE SURFACE FOR RECASTING
Give the surface a light sanding with 320 grit to prepare for the next pour. After homogeneous mixing between the two components, and having arrived at a reaction temperature of about 100F (40°C), proceed with the second pour.
WHAT ARE THE BEST TECHNIQUES FOR APPLYING EPOXY RESIN TO SMALL OR INTRICATE SURFACES, SUCH AS JEWELRY OR FIGURINES?
When applying epoxy resin to small or intricate surfaces, it is important to use a small, precise applicator, such as a toothpick. Additionally, to avoid unwanted drops, you may wait 20-30 minutes before application, so that the resin is more viscous. It may also be helpful to apply the resin in multiple thin layers.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE AIR BUBBLES FROM EPOXY RESIN?
Using a heat gun or propane torch, lightly pass the flame over the surface of the resin to pop the bubbles. Another method is to use a vacuum chamber to remove the bubbles before pouring the resin. For sure a low viscosity epoxy will help you a lot , like our iCrystal 5.
I. Polymerization Issues
Each resin system has its own workability time (pot life). Epoxy resins have a longer time (versus polyurethanes , which have a shorter working time.) When you mix the two components A+B, a chemical reaction is triggered. The components react on contact and start the pre-catalyzation, or heating phase of catalyzation. After 10-15 minutes an epoxy mixture will produce heat. Once it reaches skin temperature (90-100 F or 38-40°C), you are ready to pour. If you continue to leave the mixture in the cup the resin will quickly begin to harden and become difficult to cast. Higher ambient temperatures accelerate the reaction..
CAN I MAKE A NEW CASTING ON A NON-CATALYZED CASTING?
It is always belter to wait for the first layer to be solid and at ambient temperature. If not possible (due to catalyzing problems/ mistakes) you have two possible choices. 1) Is it still liquid after 3-4 days? Remove as much resin as possible (with spatula + and paper with acetone). 2) It is jelly like? (Impossible to remove by hand,) then apply a thin layer of new epoxy (1-2mm). Wait for it to cure and the proceed with a second casting.
HOW CAN I REMOVE THE NON-CATALYZED RESIN RESIDUES FROM THE MOLDS?
The infallible method to eliminate resin residues from both instruments is direct contact with 90° ethyl alcohol/thinner/ acetone. Let it act for a few minutes and carefully remove all resin residues. The resin will very easily come off, leaving the surface of tools and molds clean and shiny. If resin is catalyzed the only way is “mechanical”. If proper disposal methods are available, warm water mixed with powdered laundry detergent will release liquid resin from the mixing equipment.
HOW CAN I PREVENT THE STICKY CONDITION OF EPOXY RESIN AFTER CURING?
The sticky condition of epoxy resin is often caused by a non-homogeneous mixing of the two components. To prevent this issue, it is important to follow the recommended mixing procedure, which involves using two different clean containers and pouring the two components into the first one in the desired proportions, scrupulously following the specified ratio (by weight). After three to five minutes of mixing, pour everything into the second clean container and stir again for three to five minutes. Leave the mixture in the second mixing container for another 10-15 minutes, and then proceed with the pour.
THE RESIN DOESN’T CATALYZE COMPLITELY
In case the resin is still sticky after curing, waiting for one or two days in a hot place may help complete the cure. However, if the mixing ratio or procedure was not respected, there is very little chance the resin mixture will solidify. In such cases, the only solution is to remove the uncured resin by spatula or, if the mixture is jelly-like, apply 1 or 2 new epoxy mixtures to the surface to create a “solid cover” and then cast a new layer with the previous one. To prevent this issue, it is also recommended to cover the object after casting to prevent ambient humidity from damaging the surfac
THE RESIN IS STILL SOFT AFTER 24-48h
If the resin has already exceeded the expected hardening time you must intervene. Apply more heat to complete the polymerization process. Position the object near heat a source (or if impossible wait a couple of days more). If the resin is still soft, it probably means that there has been an error in the proportion of the two components A+B. If, for example, we confuse the two jars or pour one of the two components in disproportionate quantities, the resin may only partially harden. If the partially-catalyzed epoxy will not play a structural role you may go with another layer on the top (double check mixing ratios, mixing procedure , etc.)
REMOVE THE OPACITY OR DULLNESS THAT HAS FORMED ON THE SURFACE?
To eliminate the opacity, wrinkles or imperfections on the surface, we recommend lightly sanding the surface with 320 grit, and then perform a second resin casting or flood coat.
HOW CAN I ACHIEVE A PERFECT MIX OF EPOXY RESIN AND HARDENER?
To achieve a perfect mix, use a digital scale to measure the exact proportions of resin and hardener according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix the two components thoroughly and slowly, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing container to ensure all areas are mixed.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BEFORE SANDING EPOXY RESIN?
The cure time for epoxy resin varies depending on the specific product and ambient conditions. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended cure times. Generally, it is best to wait at least 24-48 hours before sanding epoxy resin.
CAN I ADD MORE HARDENER TO EPOXY RESIN TO SPEED UP THE CURING PROCESS?
Adding more hardener than recommended can cause the epoxy resin to become brittle or even unusable. It is not recommended to alter the recommended mixing ratio.
HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY EPOXY RESIN DOESN’T OVERHEAT DURING THE CURING PROCESS?
To prevent overheating, ensure that the ambient temperature is within the recommended range for the specific product. You can also use a temperature-controlled curing box to regulate the curing temperature. One example of a slow-curing epoxy is Icrystal 5.
POST CASTING STAGE
HOW TO DETACH THE RESIN FROM A SILICONE MOLD IF IT REMAINS STUCK?
To avoid this simple problem, we recommend always to apply release agents before casting. If it’s too late, try to leave the mold in the freezer, away from food, and wait for the resin to freeze completely, and then take it out of the mold. (like removing ice cubes from the ice tray ).
I HAVE ‘HOLES’ / UNCOVERED AREAS ON THE SURFACE
The “not self-levelling” effect usually results from a quantity of poured resin that is not sufficient to cover the entire surface. Maybe there was an error in weighing the correct amount of resin for that application. To overcome this problem, we always recommend using the “calculate consumption” service or our “resin calculator” app (downloadable via Smartphone for both Android and IOs) use the tool to calculate the correct amount of resin required for the job.
HOW CAN I CLEAN MY TOOLS?
The best product to clean tools/resin residues is normal acetone or alcohol. (for example, leave a brush in a glass to “soak” with alcohol). Alternatively, we recommend using thinners (dedicated epoxy thinner would be better, white spirit is also fine) for cleaning immediately after using the resin, because once catalyzed, the resin can only be removed mechanically. If proper disposal is available, tools can be washed in warm water and laundry detergent.
CAN I PUT MY RESIN CREATIONS IN THE MICROWAVE OF DISHWASHER?
Epoxy resin can withstand temperatures of up to 60°C for a prolonged period of time and can sustain up to 100°C for a shorter period, for example, a cup of tea. When catalyzed, the epoxy resin is comparable to normal plastic and is not affected by microwaves. However, it is strongly advised not to put the resin in the dishwasher as the temperature can reach around 70°C (160F), causing the resin to soften. In general, the resin should not be exposed to temperatures higher than 60°C for long time (130F).
WHY DO RIVER TABLES SOMETIMES BEND?
There are two different moments in which a river table can bend: immediately after casting or after several weeks or months. In the latter case, this is often due to insufficient support for the table, such as the lack of a central metal support or legs that are spaced too far apart, or an insufficient thickness of the table. Generally, the more resin that is used and the less wood present, the more extra support is needed. On the other hand, if the deformation happens immediately after casting, it might be due to the phenomenon of exotherm and the release of heat. In minimum thicknesses, the heat is immediately dispersed and will heat up more slowly. Conversely, in castings with thicknesses above 1cm, heat will be dissipated more slowly due to the resin formulation. Pre-heating considerably accelerates the exothermic reaction to such an extent that cracks, deformations, and toxic fume leaks can occur. For this reason, it is recommended not to pour too much resin all at once or to acquire resins specifically designed for medium to high thickness castings with low exotherm, such as iCrystal 5.
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT A RESIN TABLE TURNING YELLOW?
In general we are talking about yellowing after medium-long term, perhaps 6-7 years. Three factors have a significant impact: placement and sun exposure, type of resin used, and color/quantity of colorant used. In a place with low exposure to sunlight, the resin can remain intact for many years. When we expose resin directly to UV rays yellowing time is accelerated. Different resins contain varying amounts of anti-UV polymers. This component affects the susceptibility to yellowing. The other major fact is color. With dark colors/shades, the yellowing process is usually imperceptible.
CAN I ELIMINATE BUBBLES IF THE RESIN IS ALREADY HARD?
The only way to eliminate the presence of bubbles in an already catalyzed resin surface is to first give the surface a light sanding (320 grit), subsequently carrying out a second casting (preferably ARTPRO epoxy or HEATPRO polyurethane, which is “elastic”)
HOW TO POLISH MY CREATION?
If we are talking about small objects, such as jewels or costume jewelry, the simplest solution is to use one-part polishing resins (like for fingernails). They are easy to apply, effective. For a big surface (like a table,) it’s better go with a sandpaper sequence like 320-400-600-1000 (wet)-2000 (wet)-3000 (wet) + liquid polish cream.
Store the resin in a place at room temperature (min 60F/15°C), trying to avoid direct contact with UV rays and humidity (number one and two enemies of resin.)
OPACITY PROBLEMS, IRREGULAR SURFACES (FOR HUMIDITY, SEE IDEAL CONDITIONS OF USE)
Ideal conditions for successful application:
1) Work in an environment with a temperature of 68-75F (20-25C) degrees and a humidity of less than 40 percent.
2) Work in an indoor, ventilated environment; not living space. Avoid application with direct contact with sunlight and rain.
HOW CAN I REPAIR OR REFINISH A DAMAGED EPOXY RESIN SURFACE?
To repair or refinish a damaged epoxy resin surface, you can sand down the damaged area and apply a new layer of epoxy resin. It may also be helpful to use a UV-resistant clear coat like Heat Pro for added protection.
K. Polishing and Protection
I WANT A GLOSSY RESIN WITHOUT POLISHING, HOW TO DO IT?
First we need to understand the type of application you intend to carry out. If the idea is to make simple castings, we suggest you use the pre-catalyzation technique. Specifically, after correct mixing and having made sure that the mold has been correctly made, you must pour the resin when you feel that it has reached a warm/hot temperature (about 100F or 40°). ART PRO is the most glossy epoxy we have.
HOW CAN I POLISH EPOXY?
Starting from a medium-coarse grit (80-120) and going step-by-step up to 4000 (wet in the final steps). Sand the surface in order to make it smooth and free from imperfections. After sanding and honing through 4000 the top is ready for the application of EpoxyPolish polishing cream, applied with a damp woolen cloth.
WHICH ANTI-SCRATCH FINISH CAN I USE?
We recommend Heat Pro, a polyurethane resin with a glossy finish (1mm recommended thickness, so only as a final layer). An elastic formulation, it absorbs scratches and bumps, thus protecting the surface.
WHICH DETERGENTS TO USE TO CLEAN THE TABLE ONCE COMPLETE?
For routine cleaning and renewal of the surface, you can use a solution composed of mild soap and water (including products like Murphy’s oil soap). Distribute the solution on the surface with a sponge and leave it to act for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly or remove residue with a damp cloth. Apply a normal WAX occasionally (this will also cover scratches.)
REPAIRING SCRATCHED OR DULL SURFACES
Two simple steps: sanding and polishing. Start working on the surface with our abrasive grits, beginning at 500 grit and going up to 4000 grit. At that point you are ready to buff with Epoxypolish polishing cream
Oil is easy but not long-lasting. Varnish requires additional equipment to be applied, and a 100% dust free application area. Polishing is the best option but requires physical labor. Polishing followed by wax will provide the most durable surface.
It depends on the application purpose of the resin creation. We recommend not subjecting the cast resin to a temperature above 120F (50C), after which the resin may become deformed or potentially break.
FORTIFY RESIN SURFACE AGAINST SHOCK, SCRATCHES AND HEAT
In all three cases there is no better product than our “Heat Pro” polyurethane resin, thanks to its special elastic formulation. This resin allows it to absorb bumps and scratches, while remaining mirror polished at all times. It resists up to 400 degrees (200C), making it ideal for surfaces that will come in contact with pots and pans or other high-temperature materials.
RESISTANCE OF EPOXY RESINS TO TEMPERATURE, AND ABRASION
Epoxy (after fully catalyzed) has a mechanical resistance similar to plexiglass. Even though it is hard, it is NOT indestructible. Conversely, if it gets scratched it can be easily repolished with sandpaper and polishing paste. Once cured, epoxy can withstand 212 F (100°C) for a short period of time (e.g. a cup of hot tea,) but ordinarily the temperature should not exceed 140F (60°C.)
HOW CAN I CREATE A CLEAR, SMOOTH FINISH ON MY EPOXY RESIN COUNTERTOPS?
To create a clear, smooth finish on epoxy resin countertops, it is important to properly mix and apply the epoxy, and to use a high-quality, non-yellowing clear coat like ART-PRO. Sanding and polishing the surface prior to casting can also help achieve a smooth finish.
HOW DO I ACHIEVE A MATTE FINISH ON MY EPOXY RESIN PROJECT?
To achieve a matte finish on an epoxy resin project, you can simply sand (up to grain 1000-2000) and buff the surface after the resin has cured.