Resins are around in the market for quite some time, and the latest type introduced to us is the UV resin. It has opened gate to a number of possibilities in different applications. And today, we shall discuss in brief about the types of UV resins and the difference between the hard and the soft UV resin.
What is a UV resin?
UV-curing resins are a type of material that is polymerized and cured when exposed to the ultraviolet irradiation. These are cured in a very short period of time by the ultraviolet irradiation device’s energy. This makes the different types of UV resins suitable for a number of applications. You can use it in everyday life as well as industrial processes such as sealing, coating, and bonding.
General Characteristics of UV-Curing Resins
The UV resins are more readily accepted because of its specific characteristics that make it useful in many applications.
- The UV resins cure in a very short period of time. This makes it handy to complete the project in a shorter duration and working hours are shortened too.
- These types of resins are only cured under UV irradiation. This means you have to follow less restriction during the coating process, which makes it a preferable choice.
- They easily cure at a low temperature making it applicable for a number of applications.
- These are non-solvent similar to other types. You can work better with these types.
- You can use it with various applications. In addition, because of the characteristics, the production cost reduces a lot.
- These are the general characteristics of the UV resins. However, the specific features will change depending on the types of UV resins you are interested in.
Types of UV Resins
You can categorize different types of UV resins in mainly two large groups. They are Acrylate Radical Polymerization and Epoxy Cationic Polymerization. They are grouped according to their properties of polymerizing during the curing period and the method used to do so. Apart from these major differences, other differences between the Radical and Cationic UV resins are
Radical UV resins
The major component used herein is Acrylate with 5-10% of curing contraction during the process. These resins are mildly heat resistant and chemical resistant. Another special character of this group is that curing of the material stops when the exposure of UV irradiation is paused. Lastly, they are very flexible and hence can be used in a number of applications requiring flexibility in designing.
The Acrylate Radical Polymerization can be further classified as Epoxy Denatured Acrylate, Urethane Denatured Acrylate, and Silicone Denatured Acrylate.
Cationic UV resins
The major component used herein is Epoxy with 2-4% of curing contraction during the process. These resins possess good heat resistance and chemical resistance properties. Another special character of this group is that curing of the material continues even when the exposure of UV irradiation is paused. Lastly, they have low flexibility in designing, which limits the usage with specific applications.
The Epoxy Cationic type can be further classified as Hard and Soft UV resins.
Difference Between Hard and Soft UV Resin
Hard UV Resin
This type of UV resin gets cured under ultraviolet or direct sunlight. It is very useful and famous in resin crafts applications. The hard UV resins are available in thick and thin texture. The thinner one is good for applications like mold, bezel filling, and mixing with pigments for use.
Soft UV Resin
This type of UV resin gets cured under direct sunlight as well as when exposed to UV devices. It comes very handy in resin crafts because of the flexibility it offers. However, if you go for the thick texture of Soft UV resin, then they will be less flexible and bendable.
Features of Soft and Hard UV resins
These specific types of UV resins have most of the common features shared as they belong to the same Epoxy Cationic Group. Some of the major features are –
- They are cured within minutes without any long wait.
- These types can be cured when exposed to UV devices or directly under Sun.
- They are also available in small squeezable tubes with a smaller opening for handyworks in compact places or delicate placings.
- These clear UV resins are made from non-toxic materials keeping you free from side-effects.
Different Applications of UV Resin
The characteristics of this specific type of resin makes are compatible to use in a number of applications. Some of the major ones are
- Dentistry – The free radical UV resin glue has a special use in this industry and is used as adhesives, protective coatings, and sealant composites.
- Medical Uses – These adhesives come handy while production of the hearing aids, catheters, surgical masks, blood analysis sensors, and medical filters.
- 3D Printing – The UV resins are more commonly used than you can think. It has a special role in 3D printing and digital imaging, converting the liquid polymer to solid with its specific features.
- Repairing Leaks – This light-activated resin is used as a sealant or UV resin glue in cracks or leaks. The property of it getting cured in a short time helps with the application.
- Fishing – The resin has been introduced lately in the fishing industry as a way to create flies in a short interval.
- Floor Refinishing – The clear UV resins are readily used for refinishing applications of wooden, vinyl, tile, and concrete floors. This clear craft UV resin has replaced the traditional use of polyurethanes for finishing purposes.
- Jewelry – The UV resin for jewelry industry is not much of a surprise. They come in small compact tubes with a smaller opening for delicate handiwork.