Why Does Epoxy Crystallisation Occur
Troubleshooting Your Epoxy Resin kits
We all know that sometimes projects just don't go as planned. From beginners to seasoned professionals, we all experience some sort of problem at some point. Just Resin is highly experienced and has certainly faced their fair share of mistakes and problems, which is why we are here to talk about potential issues, dos and don'ts, and even getting the most out of your epoxy resin system.
When it comes to troubleshooting your epoxy resin kit, you should start by reading the instructions and warnings that come with the kit. Just Resin provides a number of resources to aid in your troubleshooting efforts, you can explore our Learn section or FAQ page, most epoxy resin kits will have a section on common issues and how to solve them. Pay attention to any procedures or protocols for proper usage of the product so that you don't run into any problems down the line. If there are no clear answers in your instruction manual. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the Just Resin team.
The customer support staff is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your resin kits and troubleshooting issues. We are also available via email or chat for further assistance if needed. With our help, we can get you back on track with whatever project you’re working on so that it turns out perfect!
What are the different types of epoxy resin?
Understanding the types of resin used in art is a great way to troubleshoot your epoxy resin kit. In hobby/artistry coatings and casting, Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol F (BPF) are two commonly used resin classes, and there are many variations within these two main classes, such as Novolacs and Hydrogenated variations. Unmodified Bisphenol A is typically thicker than Unmodified Bisphenol F, so manufacturers blend it with Bisphenol F and/or a diluent to either lower viscosity or change the curing or cured properties. In order to use either or a mixture of any of these products, consider pot life, cured hardness, gloss/clarity levels, and weather/chemical resistance. To achieve the desired viscosity and curing/cured properties, manufacturers blend different amounts or variations of Bisphenol F since it is normally half as viscous as Unmodified Bisphenol A.
In what way does epoxy crystallisation occur?
Crystallisation of epoxy resin is a common occurrence, as it naturally shifts from a liquid to solid state. As a "supercooled" liquid, epoxy resin stays liquid even below its freezing point. At lower temperatures, supercooled liquids naturally form crystals. If left unchecked, the tiny crystals can eventually disrupt the product from performing normally. The crystallisation process starts when the liquid epoxy is cooled below a certain temperature, known as the glass transition temperature. Once this point has been reached, energy changes within the material cause some of the molecules to attach themselves to each other and form crystals. As more molecules join with their neighboring molecules, these tiny crystals grow bigger until becoming visible. The key to avoiding crystallization is maintaining the liquid state by controlling its temperature during application and storage. Although it can be an annoyance, crystallization isn't a difficult issue; it's easily prevented or reversed with heat and mixing.
Do you have crystallised or cloudy epoxy resin?
It is fairly common for epoxy resins to become cloudy or crystallised when exposed to very cold weather, high moisture, or simply over a prolonged period of time. Cloudy epoxy resin or crystallized epoxy resin can be caused by a number of factors, including high resin purity or very low viscosity. To combat crystallising of Unmodified Bisphenol A/F, fillers, additives or diluents can be added to lower the resin purity and its freeze point. As a result, the final cured properties can be of lesser quality.
How to condition resin when it has crystallised?
It's best to inspect the bottle of epoxy resin first for crystallisation, if crystallisation has occurred, you can condition the resin fairly easily. Using your tap, fill a bucket or sink with hot water between 50 °C and 60 ° C. If you cannot reach these temperatures, add boiling water from a kettle. Just Resin bottles are all DG rated and can withstand these temperatures. Be careful not to allow water to come in direct contact with the resin bottle when placing it in hot water. The duration required for heating varies based on various factors such as the container size, quantity of product and level of crystallization. This process can be repeated several times without any negative impact on the resin properties. Once ten minutes have elapsed, take out the bottle and wipe it with a paper towel while shaking it uniformly. Doing so will assist in evenly heating up the resin and breaking down any crystals that may be clinging to its walls or base. Inspect for any remaining crystals and repeat if necessary while bearing in mind that you may need to replace the hot water depending on how frequently this procedure is carried out.
To prevent flash curing, once all crystals have been liquified the resin should be allowed to cool to room temperature before mixing. Once cooled, the resin will behave as if crystallisation never occurred.
How to store epoxy resin?
Because epoxy resin is a chemical, it must be stored safely and out of the reach of children and pets. People generally store their epoxy resin kit in a garage/shed or outdoors, and in most cases, that is the only option available. The following tips will help you keep your family safe and your epoxy resin in great shape. First, your location's climate and season will determine the level of prevention needed.
Store the Epoxy Resin in a sealed box in a cupboard on the top shelf in the house or in a warm area
Placing a towel under and around the bottles
Placing bottles on a reptile heat mat
Storing bottles close to a heater vent
Storing bottles in a warmer area during winter