Advances in Epoxy Resin Chemical Properties Leads to Application Benefits

Epoxy resins, like many other inventions, are prone to advances in science and technology. Researchers and chemists continue to “push the envelope” of what this polymer can do and for what sectors it may be applied. As chemical technology advances, the new benefits realized are vast and substantial…

Take for instance, new capabilities as regards the hardening and curing processes of epoxy resin. What if a catalyst of some sort could solidify epoxy resin within seconds rather than hours – or in some cases days? Chemical scientists and researchers have been searching for just such a process for years in order to make the polymer even more viable for a wider range of solutions.

Think what a boon this would be to applications and processes whereby quicker curing would mean quicker construction and repairs such as in bridge and highway structures and underwater operations to maintain pipelines and dams. Plus, for the commercial marine industry; a quick-curing epoxy resin would mean faster boat repairs – keeping vessels online and earning income for their owners.

According to an article on phys.org titled ‘Epoxy Resins: Hardening at the push of a button,’ polymer research that enables transformation of liquid or paste-form epoxy resins into solids within seconds, is made possible by irradiation with a specialty light source – triggering the polymer’s self-curing process. The process was developed by the TU Wein University of Technology in Vienna, Austria.

“We are developing special compounds in which light triggers a chemical reaction,” Professor Robert Liska, of the Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry at Tu Wein, explains. “"The key advantage of this method is that it isn't necessary to illuminate the entire resin as with other light-curing materials. It's sufficient to irradiate any part of the resin with light. The rest then cures even if it's situated deep in a dark crack that you want to fill."

The special formula and process has other advantages as well. Carbon and glass fiber composites may be created for additional strength, reinforcement, and to design and build lighter-weight structural materials – all beneficial in such applications as aerospace and aircraft constructs, wind turbine blades, and the automotive industry for a variety of vehicle parts and panels. Plus, underwater structures could be repaired and maintained by efficient and effective “flash of light” curing capabilities.

Aside from commercial and industrial applications; wouldn’t it be nice if at some point this new epoxy resin light-cured formula becomes the norm to speed up myriad residential DIY and craft and artisanal projects as well? Epoxy Resin Projects – at the push of a button!