What is the Difference Between Epoxy and Resin

Even if you have no knowledge regarding epoxy and resin, you must be using them in your life for different purposes. Specifically, while working in arts and craft class, or repairing small objects, you might have used these adhesives several times. Despite their extensive application in adhesion, binding, and assembling, people are likely to have confusion between epoxy and resin. The selection of wrong epoxy or resin for any project might waste your efforts. Therefore, it is essential to have knowledge related to the properties of epoxy and resins, prior to starting your project. The adhesive substances can be epoxy, resins, and the list goes on, but what is the difference between these adhesives? Let’s explore the differences between epoxy and resin in the current article!

What are Epoxy and Resin?

Epoxy and Resin are adhesives, also referred to as plastic adhesives, which are most commonly used in the construction industries. Their prominent uses are for binding plastics, glass, and metals, and assembling of different components. Due to having strong bonding, chemical resistance, and insulation properties, we use epoxy and resins for engineering and manufacturing purposes. We utilize Epoxy and resins for almost similar purposes for which they are perceived as alternatives; however, there are a number of differences in the properties of these adhesives.

Forms of Epoxy and Resin

Epoxy is also available in liquid form, such that liquid wood epoxy is often preferred in most of the industries. The main reason is that it provides greater strength to the joint. However, resins are most often found in powder and liquid form. We package resins in liquid form with a catalyst, (usually in powdered form), which we add into the resin before application. On the other hand, we mix the powdered resin with water, prior to application. Despite the type of resin, it usually takes more hours to assemble the objects. The higher the temperature of the environment, the shorter time resin takes for drying.

Differences between Epoxy and Resins

You can use Epoxy and resins for similar purposes, but there are significant differences between them. The main differences are as follows:

Strength of Bond formed by Adhesives

Epoxy has higher bonding capabilities than other materials. The relative strength of epoxy can uphold up to 2,000 lbs per square inch. On the other hand, Cheap clear epoxy resin is strong enough for holding less than 500 lbs per square inch. With respect to the bonding strength, epoxy is superior to resin. For this reason, epoxy is ideally used in larger projects, i.e., of the aircraft industry and vehicle manufacturing industry. Depending on its bonding strength, epoxy resin kits are ideal for woodworking projects and projects which don’t require rapid assembly.

Source: https://www.powerblanket.com/blog/what-epoxy-is-made-of/

The physical properties of epoxy and resin vary based on their chemical components. However, as a whole, these adhesives are resistant to abrasive substances and heat. The combination of epoxy and resins with diamine improves their strength and durability; hence, making it difficult to melt or mold them.

Resistance to Wear and Tear

Powdered and liquid epoxy are resistant to the wear, tear, crack, and peel.  Epoxy shows resistance to corrosion and other forms of damages due to environmental conditions. On the other hand, clear liquid epoxy resin is fragile and used in low-stress and temporary fixations.

Comparison of Cost

Epoxy is more expensive due to its strength; therefore, industries requiring assembling of objects use epoxy. For instance, manufacturing industries use liquid wood epoxy due to its strength. Contrarily, clear liquid epoxy resin is less expensive and is most popular within the craft industry. In addition, jewelry industry also extensively uses DIY epoxy resin.

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Moisture Resistance

Epoxy is resistant to moisture, such that we can apply some of the formulations of epoxy underwater. Cheap clear epoxy resin possesses minor resistance to water, due to which it gets easily fractured. For this reason, DIY epoxy resin isn’t used for object assembling and binding, which are exposed to water.

Resistance to Chemicals and Heat

Epoxies, utilized within household operations might not have a higher resistance to heat and chemicals. Cheap clear epoxy resin is resistant to chemicals and heat, making it a perfect adhesive substance for different industries. Due to high resistance to heat and durability, clear liquid epoxy resin is also utilized in the construction and manufacturing industries.

Cure Time

The cure time for epoxy and resin might vary, on the basis of formulation and temperature at use. However, depending on the brand of epoxy, it can also take a few minutes to a few hours to cure. Temperature strongly influences the cure time of epoxy. Due to quick-drying properties, epoxy is an ideal adhesive for assembling wood, metals, and plastic. On the other hand, resins usually take hours to cure; however, due to its availability and DIY epoxy resin is still preferred for household applications. Resin takes more time to get harden, but the use of epoxy resin kit is ideal for woodworking applications. It is also ideal for applications requiring careful and easy-going completion. Despite wood-work, resin glues are used for assembling floor finishes, countertops, and wall panels.

Source: https://www.powerblanket.com/blog/what-epoxy-is-made-of/

Shelf Life

Epoxy products have a longer shelf life and you can keep it for several years if it has no catalyst. Despite the fact that it is usable for several years, different epoxy types, including liquid wood epoxy is likely maintaining its potency. It is a fact that the resin is fragile over time; however, depending on the brand, the shelf life of resins can lie within a range from few-months-to-few-years.

Source: https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail/shelf-life-testing-12677563455.html

Final Verdict

In a nutshell, epoxy and resin have different properties and characteristics that make them suitable for certain applications. As compared to resin, epoxy possesses strong bonding strength, high resistance to moisture, corrosion and wear and tear, high-cost, and long-shelf-life. These characteristics make epoxy suitable for large scale projects. However, the resin is usually preferable in household applications, jewelry industry, small-scale projects, etc.