Epoxy resin is a versatile composite material used for so many projects by artisans for crafts, home do-it-yourselfers for furniture creation and repair, and in the marine industry for myriad boat building applications. However, epoxy resins are also used for the basis of a wide variety of modern applications in the commercial, residential and industrial building and construction industries.
“Epoxy resins are used in the manufacture of adhesives, plastics, paints, coatings, primers and sealers, flooring and other products and materials that are used in building and construction applications. Epoxies are thermoset plastics made by the reaction of two or more industrial chemical compounds. Epoxy resins are used in a wide array of consumer and industrial applications because of their toughness, strong adhesion, chemical resistance and other specialized properties,” from the American Chemistry Council’s ‘Building with Chemistry’ site article titled ‘Epoxies in Building and Construction.’
Most high-performance adhesives used in structural or engineering applications are epoxies. These polymers form strong bonds that adhere to many surfaces including wood, metal, glass, stone and some plastics – and are heat and chemical-resistant - making them the perfect bonding material for building applications.
Examples of epoxy resin applications in the building and construction industry include:
- Manufacturing laminated wood for decks, walls, and roofs
- Creating high-gloss durable coatings for indoor/outdoor use
- Combining quartz, tile & other materials for high-performance & decorative flooring
- Developing composites for use in architectural surfaces such as countertops
- Applying water-based epoxy paint for a quick drying protective coating
A fine example of using epoxy resin in architecture is the FIBERwave Pavilion pictured above. The shell of the pavilion is comprised of one geometric unit designed by Alphonso Peluso and his Spring 2014 IIT Architecture Students. "The FIBERwave PAVILION was designed and built as part of a student-based design research studio. Carbon fiber was used because when coated with epoxy it can become as hard as steel and added layers enhance its strength. It offers designers great control over structural properties and is incredibly lightweight," from epoxyworks.com.
Highly adhesive and durable epoxy resin provides an excellent material for a wide range of building and repair projects. Its heat, water, and chemical-resistant properties further enhance the composite’s uses as an ideal adhesive and coating in myriad applications such as boat building, building, and furniture construction and repair, and as an additive in paint and coatings to create durable flooring, counter, and tabletop surfaces and to coat industrial iron, steel, and aluminum parts.