Epoxy resin, being a universal polymeric material, applies not only for industrial purposes or performing repair work, but also for creativity. Using the resin, you can create beautiful jewelry, souvenirs, dishes, decor items, furniture and so on. The epoxy product consists of two components, so you need to know how correctly and in what proportions they apply. In this article, consider it more, how to work with epoxy resin.
It is possible to work with epoxy resin composition at home. So that such work enjoyed, and the result of creative work was pleased with and inspired, it is necessary to know and comply with the basic rules for using this polymer.
- When mixing components, it is necessary to strictly observe the proportion. The number of components mixed with each other depends on the epoxy resin brand and manufacturer’s recommendations. If you first develop with a new grade of a polymer resin with a brand name, then you should not rely on the previous experience – each type of resin formulations has its own characteristics. If you make a mistake, the resulting mixture may be unsuitable for use. In addition, the proportions of epoxy resin and hardener must be strictly observed by weight or volume. For example, to measure the exact amount of ingredients, use medical syringe – for each component separate. Mix the ingredients of the polymer resin in a separate dish, and not in the one with which you performed measurements.
- Component connection must be performed in a specific sequence, if it is broken, then the composition will begin polymerization ahead of time. When mixed, a hardener should be addressed to the base, but not vice versa. You need to pour slowly, while performing slow stirring composition for 5 minutes. When stirring from the resin, air bubbles will be taken into composition when pouring a hardener. If, when connecting the ingredients, the mass turned out to be excessively viscous and thick, then it is heated to + 40 ° C in a water bath.
- Epoxy resin is very sensitive to the surrounding temperature background. When the resin component is mixed with a hardener, a chemical reaction occurs with heat release. The greater the volume of the mixture, the greater the thermal energy is released when the components are connected. The temperature of the mixture with this process can reach more than + 500 ° C. Therefore, the mixture of the resin component and the hardener is bottled to work in the shape made of heat-resistant material. Usually resin freezes at room temperature, but if it is necessary to speed up this process, then the initial ingredients must be preheated.
The polymer resin mixture can be applied with a thin layer or carry out volumetric casting from it in the prepared form. Often, epoxy resin is used to impregnating it with a composition of structural fiberglass.
After the frozen, a dense and durable coating is formed, which is not afraid of water, it works well and prevents the electrical current.
What and how to breed?
Do it yourself to make at home the finished epoxy composition can be used correctly, if you make a hardener. The proportions of mixing, as a rule, are 10 parts of the resin to 1 part of the hardener. This ratio may be different, depending on the species of epoxy composition. For example, there are such compositions where it is necessary to mix 5 parts of the polymer resin and 1 part of the hardener. Before cooking a working polymer composition, it is necessary to calculate the amount of epoxy resin, which is necessary to perform a particular task. The calculation of the consumption of the resin can be made, based on the fact that 1 mm to fill 1 m² of the area on the thickness of 1 mm layer, 1.1 l of the ready mixture will be required. Accordingly, if you need to pour on the same area a layer of 10 mm, you will have to dilute the hardener of the resin so that it turned out 11 l of the finished composition.
A hardener for epoxy resin – pep or teta, is a chemical catalyst for the polymerization process. Making this component into the epoxy resin mixture in the required amount ensures the finished product strength and durability, and also affects the transparency of the material.
In case of improper use of the hardener, the life of the products, as well as the compounds made using the resin, cannot be considered reliable.
Resin can be prepared in different amounts of quantities.
- Cooking small volume. The components of the epoxy resin are mixed with a cold method at room temperature, not exceeding + 25 ° C. It is not recommended to mix all the required amount of material at once. To begin with, you can try to make a trial game and see how it will stick and what features. When mixing a small amount of epoxy resin and a hardener, heat will be highlighted, so you need to prepare a special dishes to work with the polymer, as well as the place where this container with hot content can be put. Mixing polymers components need slow and carefully so that there are no air bubbles in the mixture. Ready resin composition should be homogeneous, viscous and plastic, with an absolute degree of transparency.
- Cooking big volume. The larger the volume of the ingredients participates in the mixing process, the greater the heat releases the polymer resin composition. For this reason, for the preparation of epoxy resin in large quantities, the hot method is used. For this, the resin is heated in a water bath to a temperature of + 50 ° C. Such a measure allows the result as a result to mix the resin with a hardener and extend the life of it efficiency to solidification of about 1.5-2 hours. If, when heated, the temperature rises to + 60 ° C, the polymerization process will accelerate. In addition, it is necessary to ensure that water will not fall into the epoxy resin, which will spoil the polymer in the fact that it will lose its adhesive properties and.
If, as a result of work, it is necessary to obtain a durable and plastic material, before the introduction of a hardener to epoxy resin, a plasticizer of the DBF or DEG-1 grade is added. Its amount to the total volume of the resin ingredient should not exceed 10%. Plasticizer will increase the resistance of the finished product to the effects of vibration and mechanical damage. 5-10 minutes after the introduction of a plasticizer, a hardener is added to the epoxy resin.
It is impossible to break this time interval, otherwise the epoxy resin will boil and loses its properties.
The following tools will be required to work with epoxy resin:
- Medical syringe without needle – 2 pcs.;
- Capacity from glass or plastic for mixing components;
- Glass or wooden wand;
- polyethylene film;
- corrector in aerosol packaging to eliminate air bubbles;
- sandpaper or grinding;
- Protective glasses, rubber gloves, respirator;
- painting pigments, fittings, decorative elements;
- silicone pouring forms.
When performing work, the wizard is ready to have a piece of clean tissue to remove excess or drops of softened epoxy resin.
How to use?
Any master class for beginners, where the technique of working with epoxy resin is trained, contains instructions for the use of this polymer. No way you decide to take advantage of work, first of all, it is necessary to prepare work surfaces. They are necessarily cleaned by pollution and conduct high-quality degreasing with alcohol or acetone.
To improve the adhesion, the surface is stamped with shallow sandpaper to create the necessary roughness of the surfaces.
After the preparatory this stage, you can go to the following actions.
If you need to glue two parts, a layer of epoxy resin is applied to the working surface, no more than 1 mm thick. Then, both surfaces with adhesive composition are combined with a tangent moving movement. This will help reliably glue the details and ensure the removal of air bubbles. For the strength of gluing, the part can be fixed for 2 days in the clamp. When you need to make casting in forms, follow the following rules:
- Pouring the composition is in the form in the horizontal direction;
- work is performed indoors at room temperature not lower than + 20 ° C;
- so that after frozen the product easily came out of the form, its edges are treated with vaseline oil;
- If the pouring is subject to wood, it should be well sucked.
After the fill is performed, with the help of an aerosol corrector, air bubbles are removed. Then the product must be dried to the end of the polymerization process.
The time of drying the polymer resin depends on its freshness, the old resin will dry long. Other factors affecting the time of polymerization are the type of hardener and its number in the mixture, the area of the working surface and its thickness, ambient temperature. The polymerization and rejection of epoxy resin takes place the following stages:
- The polymer resin in the liquid consistency fills itself with all the space of the form or the working plane;
- The consistency viscosity resembles honey and embossed forms with a resin fill it difficult;
- High density that is suitable only for gluing parts;
- The viscosity is that when separating the part of the total mass stretches the loop, which is hardening right in the eyes;
- The epoxy mixture is similar to rubber, it can be pulled, twist and compressed;
- The composition was polymerized and became solid.
After that, it is necessary to withstand the product 72 hours without use so that the polymerization is completely stopped, and the composition of the material is fixed and hardened. You can speed up the drying process by increasing the room temperature to + 30 ° C. It is noteworthy that in the cold air medium, the polymerization slows down. Special accelerators additives are now developed, with the addition of which resin freezes faster, but these funds affect transparency – products after their use have a yellowish tint.
So that epoxy resin remains transparent, you do not need to artificially accelerate the polymerization processes in it. Thermal energy should exit naturally at a temperature of + 20 ° C, otherwise there is a risk of yellowing resin products.
To protect yourself when working with the chemical components of the epoxy resin, you must adhere to several rules.
- Protection of skin. Working with a polymer resin and a hardener must be performed only in rubber gloves. In case of chemicals in open areas, severe irritation arises by the type of allergic reaction. If epoxy resin or her hardener hit the skin, it is necessary to remove the composition with a tampon impregnated with alcohol. Next, the skin is washed with water with soap and lubricated with vaseline or castor oil.
- Protection of organs of vision. When working with a resin, chemical components can be splashing and cause a burn. To prevent such development of events, you need to wear safety glasses while working. If chemicals get into the eyes, it is necessary to immediately rinse them with a large number of running water. If the feeling of burning is preserved, you will need to seek medical attention.
- Protection of respiratory authorities. Couples hot epoxy resin are harmful to health. In addition, light people may suffer and during grinding of a frozen polymer. To prevent it, you need to use the respirator. For secure operation with epoxy resin, it is necessary to ensure good ventilation or use extract.
Epoxy resin becomes especially dangerous when it is used in large volumes and in large areas. In this case, without personal protective equipment, it is categorically prohibited to work with chemicals.
Proven by the practice of the recommendation of the experienced masters working with epoxy resin will help newcomers to master the basics of skill and warned from committing the most common mistakes. To create products with a high level of quality and reliability, you may be useful to several tips.
- When heating a thick epoxy resin on a water bath, it is necessary to ensure that the temperature does not rise above + 40 ° C and the resin did not boil, which will reduce its qualities and properties. If it is necessary to cut the polymer composition, then dry pigments are used for this purpose, which, when adding to the resin, it is necessary to carefully laugh evenly to obtain a homogeneous painted mass. When using a water bath, you need to ensure that no water drops fall into epoxy resin, otherwise the composition will be muddy, and it will not be able to restore it.
- After the epoxy resin is mixed with a hardener, the resulting mixture must be used for 30-60 minutes. It is impossible to save remnants – they will only have to throw them, as they are polymerized. In order not to waste the expensive material, it is necessary to carefully calculate the consumption of components before starting work.
- To obtain a high degree of adhesiveness, the surface of the working objects must be stitched and deprive well. If the work suggests layer-by-layer resin, then each subsequent layer is not applied to a completely filled previous. Such stickiness will allow layers to firmly connect.
- After the casting into the shape or on the plane is made, it will have to dry 72 hours. To protect the upper layer of material from dust or small particles on it, it is necessary to cover the product with a polyethylene film. Instead of film, you can use a large lid.
- Epoxy resin badly tolerates the impact of ultraviolet sun rays, under which it acquires a yellow shade. To save products the perfect degree of transparency, choose the polymer resin compositions containing special additives in the form of a UV filter.
When working with epoxy resin, you need to find a perfectly smooth horizontal surface. Otherwise, the product may turn out an uneven influx of the polymer mass on one side. Mastery in working with epoxy resin comes only in the process of regular practice.
Do not immediately schedule for work large and labor-intensive objects. It is best to start mastering this skill on small products, gradually complicating the work process.
About how to get started with epoxy resin, look in the following video.