The Magic of Epoxy

“When I was in high school, my best friend and his father had a workshop in their garage for their hobbies, repairs and projects – lots of woodworking and car restoration. I knew nothing about polymers and adhesives until I assisted them in their endeavors and learned about the magic of epoxy resin and its properties…”

The bonding reaction of epoxy, the combination of two components, the resin glue itself and the hardener - is accomplished through a thermosetting chemical reaction. "A thermoset, also called a thermosetting plastic, is a plastic that is irreversibly cured from a soft solid or viscous liquid, prepolymer or resin. The process of curing changes the resin into an infusible, insoluble polymer network, and is induced by the action of heat or suitable radiation often under high pressure, or by mixing with a catalyst," from 'Thermosetting Polymer' on Wikipedia.

Resin and epoxy are, however, two very different adhesives; both form strong bonds, but epoxy is the stronger of the two. And while both require mixing for use, epoxy hardens much more quickly than resin glue – resin taking 8-10 hours to harden while epoxy begins to harden in as little as 30 minutes. Both of these adhesives are commonly employed for use in the construction industry and for creative projects (to assemble items together); and are used to bond a variety of materials including plastics, glass, and metals.

"Since epoxy adhesive is superior to resin glue when it comes to bonding, it is ideal to use in larger projects like building aircraft, boats, and the like. Resin glue is ideal for woodworking projects or any projects that don’t require rapid assembly. For bonding plastics, metals, wood, and any crafting projects that need to be completed immediately, epoxy is the best type of adhesive to use," 'Difference Between Epoxy and Resin,' DifferenceBetween.net.

Noted for their strong bonding properties, and excellent heat, impact and chemical-resistant properties, as well as insulation properties; these plastic adhesives are packaged in ready-to-use packets, syringes, containers, and glue gun cartridges. The variety of uses for epoxy continues to grow and includes:

  • General-purpose adhesives
  • Table & bar top coatings
  • Arts & craft projects
  • Household & recreational equipment assembly & repair
  • Aircraft & marine moldings & parts

"The term epoxy has been widely adopted for many uses beyond fiber reinforced polymer composites. Today, epoxy adhesives are readily available, and epoxy resin is used as the binder in countertops or coatings for floors. The myriad of uses for epoxy continues to expand, and variants of epoxies are constantly being developed to fit the industries and products they are used in," 'Epoxy Resin - What is epoxy resin?' by Todd Johnson on thoughtco.com.