What are the different types of resins?
Several types of resins exist, including naturally occurring and synthetically made. Epoxy resin is one of the most popular. Other resins used in crafting include polyurethane, polyester, and plastic.
Working with resins is fun, but there are some things you should know before diving into your first project.
In this article, we’re looking at the different types of resins and how to use them. We’ll delve into what resins work best for what kinds of projects. Keep reading to find out more about the art of resin crafting.
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What Is Resin?
Resin is defined as an organic compound that has a viscous liquid nature. The liquid can set and harden.
Resin was originally all-natural. It’s a sticky liquid found in trees that are injured or damaged. The tree leaks oil that thickens as it’s exposed to air.
Resin was used in ancient times as chewing gum and served as a natural adhesive.
Today, there are several types of resins. They range from naturally occurring to synthetic resins created for use in many industries.
How Are Resins Used?
Resins are used for many purposes. Crafting is becoming increasingly more popular. Crafting enthusiasts use resin to make jewelry, housewares, add details to furniture, coat projects, and much more. We’ll get further into crafts in just a minute.
Construction companies use resins in their line of work. Some resin variations are inexpensive and work well as a laminate or coating.
Resins are often used in the automobile industry as fillers, linings, adhesives, or within electrical systems.
You’ll also find resins used in the medical field. Some resins work well for sutures and other fibers. Resins are often flexible, heat-resistant, water-resistant, and make good sealants, making them good for use in the healthcare industry.
What’s more is you can use resins to make toys, molds, tubes, containers, and many other miscellaneous items. You can use acrylic resins to make UV- and impact-resistant items for outside.
Not all resins are right for the same jobs. Before you choose a resin for your project, you’ll want to make sure you know which type is a good match for your needs.
What Are the Different Types of Resin?
Now let’s look at some of the types of resin. We’ll give a brief overview of each, along with some of their prominent properties and the pros and cons that come with using them.
These are sometimes referred to as polyepoxides. Epoxy resins have many uses because of their heat- and chemical-resistant properties.
Contractors and builders use epoxy resin for laminate and adhesive flooring. They also coat various surfaces in homes and businesses with epoxy resin.
Epoxy resin is also used for many kinds of art. Hobbyists often make jewelry out of epoxy resin. You can mix colors, glitter, beads, sequins, flowers, and even photos into resin for projects.
- Excellent adhesive
- Highly durable
- No shrinking
- Good weight-to-strength ratio
- Not waterproof
- Not UV-resistant
- Slow curing
Polyester resin has a plastic-like form but is similar to epoxy. A chemical reaction creates this type of resin. Polyhydric alcohols are combined with dibasic organic acids. The resulting reaction forms polyester resin.
Polyester resin does not deteriorate when exposed to UV rays. It also cures quickly. It’s durable and waterproof.
Many washing machines are coated inside with polyester resin. It’s highly heat-resistant and isn’t prone to corrosion and breakdown. It’s used as powder coating in other places, as well. It makes a good coating for watercraft and other surfaces exposed to water.
- Low shrinkage
- Weaker adhesion
- Chemicals involved are toxic
- No casting
Polyurethane resin is one of the most popular types due to its versatile applications. It’s often combined with other kinds of resin to get the ideal consistency for the job at hand.
This resin is highly elastic and bonds well with certain solid surfaces. Polyurethane resin also cures quickly. You can choose a quick-curing polyurethane resin and have it set in just half an hour, in some cases.
Polyurethane resin is a good choice for insulating certain projects. It’s also good as a bonding agent. It has a lot of uses.
- Cures fast
- Highly versatile
- Good elasticity
- Sensitive to moisture
- Not good for beginners
Acrylic resins are strong and durable. These are both UV- and impact-resistant. They’re part of a group of resins considered to be thermoplastic.
This type of resin works well for use in projects and items exposed to sunlight and the elements. That means they make great coatings or liners. Acrylic resins are often used as structural pieces.
As acrylic resin is so durable and resistant to impact, it works well for large projects. You can successfully make bigger crafts or pieces of art with this type of resin. Many signs and decorative panels are made with acrylic resin.
- Good strength
- Good alternative to glass
- Low strength-to-weight ratio
- Prone to scratching
- Not chemical-resistant
Silicone resin doesn’t corrode or break down quickly even when exposed to air and the elements. This type can withstand heat well and repels water. Silicone resin is flexible but hardens to a strong and durable solid state.
This resin is often used as rubber and coatings. It’s also good for laminate and is applied as a water-resistant layer for various projects.
- May need more care
Plastic resin is different than plastic. There are two forms of plastic resins–ethylene resin and propylene resin. The unique thing about plastic resin is it’s a byproduct. It’s made through the process of oil refining.
Plastic resin is used to make all sorts of items. You’ll find anything from toys to containers to ornaments and more made from plastic resin. This type is used in many commercial products.
- Repurposed byproduct
- Prone to oxidation
- Not biodegradable
Natural Resin vs. Synthetic Resin
The obvious difference between these two is one is produced by nature while the other is manufactured. They have some other differences as well, however.
Trees produce natural resins. We mentioned above that when a tree is damaged, it creates oil. Once that oil is exposed to air, the oxidation process begins, thickening the oil. Eventually, the tree oil turns to resin.
Synthetic resins are made with different substances and through various chemical reactions. They’re also known as plastics sometimes. Synthetic resins are good for molding because they can be softened repeatedly by using pressure and heat.
Natural resins are generally safer to work with because there aren’t chemicals to worry about. However, synthetic resins are easy to manipulate and configure just as you want them with proper mixing.
Summary: Types of resins
There are many types of resin and they aren’t all meant for the same types of use. While resin is generally safe to work with, you must know something about the resin you’re using. Some resins result in beautiful art and crafts but are toxic. Know what you’re working with and choose the right resin type for the project you want to take on.
Different types of resins include:
Resin can be naturally occurring or synthetically made.