Resin is a highly versatile product and has several uses in different industries. It has also been gaining a lot of popularity in arts and crafts recently and is being used in jewelry making.

On their own, resins are very stable fluid with relatively long shelf lives. It is only when mixed with a hardener, they can cure and solidify.

 

There are many different resin types, and each has its own properties and is used for different purposes. Most resins are made up of two elements: the base resin and the hardener. Combining the two elements results in an exothermic chemical reaction which allows the resin to set.

Some different types of resins and their uses are:

  • Casting Resin: it is a resin with low viscosity and thin consistency, usually used to fill a hollow area or preserve items.
  • Coating Resin: it is used to effectively coat items or surfaces while providing a heavy-duty finish, usually used to seal floors.
  • UV Resin: it is very similar to epoxy resin but has a different chemical structure. Epoxy resin has two parts that need to be combined to set, whereas UV resin is already combined and sets quickly when exposed to UV light.

What are hardeners?

 

Polyamine-based hardeners are used to cure resins at room temperature and thus are known as ‘the curing agents’. Though there are different types of hardeners available, polyamine-based hardeners are the most common type. Other hardeners include polyamide hardeners and anhydride hardeners which only work when they are exposed to heat. 

Polyamine hardeners are corrosive liquids and are mostly used by the composites industry. They are formulated using more than one polyamine compound and other additives depending on the resin being used.

All hardeners can cause irritation and chemical burns if they are exposed to the skin directly. This can occur after short and long-term exposure. Effects can include dermatitis of the skin, redness, and irritation. 

How much hardener should you use?

When the resin and hardeners are mixed, it is important that the correct amount of hardener is used for a certain weight of the resin. Most resins have one fixed ratio that must not be changed in order to create a perfectly cured product.

The supplier will always provide you with a specified mixed ratio that must be used in order to obtain optimum properties for mixed and cured material. 

Mostly, resin and hardener are supposed to be of a 1:1 ratio, but sometimes this can vary depending upon the resin and hardener that you are using.

 Always make sure to double-check the quantities that you’re going to be using and measure them accurately.