Epoxy Resin versus Other Adhesives…

Getting the Scoop on Bonding Experiences…

Being in the epoxy resin business; one of the things people seem to wonder about is the difference in the adhesive properties of our product versus other types of epoxies and glues. And while the characteristics of epoxy resin lend themselves to being much more than an adhesive – also providing moisture, impact and chemical resistance as a sealant - as well as a hard-shell finish for substrate protection; here we’ll focus on the differences in bonding between several adhesives…

Epoxy Resin vs. Polyester Resin

The two “resins” that are most common are epoxy and polyester, but there are several differences in both their properties and recommended applications. While polyester resin generally cost a bit less than epoxy resin, polyester resin has strong, flammable fumes (off gases) and doesn’t cure well as a thin film – so doesn’t bond as well – and is therefore not nearly as strong an adhesive. (An epoxy resin bond is about four times stronger than a polyester resin bond – 2,000 lbs. per square inch versus 500.)

Polyester resin is also not recommended for coating (or wetting out) fabrics and laminates; whereas epoxy resin has excellent thin-film properties so is ideal for this application. Epoxy resin also resists micro-cracking much better than polyester resin. “What kind of resin you should select depends on the job you are doing. Polyester resin is excellent for fiberglass lay-up — building a boat, for example,” explains Don Casey in ‘Polyester or Epoxy Resin’ on boatus.com.

“However, when you are doing a repair, you need for the resin to also function as an adhesive - gluing the patch to the surrounding surface. Polyester is an adequate adhesive but not as good as epoxy. As a general rule, the tensile strength of a polyester bond will be around 20 percent weaker than the same bond made with epoxy. That makes epoxy resin usually the best choice for fiberglass repair work.”

Epoxy Resin vs. Resin Glue

Resin and epoxy are both classified as plastic adhesives and will bond myriad materials including plastics, metals, glass and ceramics. They are both noted for their superior bonding capabilities for a wide variety of uses in craft creation as well as household, commercial and industrial repair and construction. But there are differences, and depending upon application, one may be favored over the other… 

According to the reference site differencebetween.net in, ‘Difference between Epoxy and Resin,’ “It takes longer for resin glues to cure, usually around eight to ten hours. The higher the temperature of the environment, the shorter it takes for the glue to dry. Resin glue is usually employed in the construction industry since it provides excellent bonding.”

“On the other hand, epoxy adhesive is considered the strongest of all types of adhesives. It is used to build vehicles, planes, as well as sports equipment. It is water-resistant and is solvent-free. In addition to its superior bonding properties, it is extra durable and very resistant to chemicals and heat.

“Epoxy is not just excellent for industrial purposes but is also good as to use in the household. With epoxy, it is possible to repair damaged wires and repair chairs and table legs.” Epoxy resin cures in minutes – bonding to wood, plastics and metals - making it ideal for myriad creative projects as well as quick repairs and proactive maintenance tasks.

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