Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Resin Facts - Resin Does Not Like The Cold!

 
Question:  I have heard resin does not work in the cold.  Can you tell me why?


The Carmi answer is resin would not join a hockey team.  Hehehe.  

In other words, Envirotex Lite and the ETI line of resins need to be mixed and cured in a warmish room.  Envirotex Lite (and all other two-part epoxies) are reactive compounds that require warm temperatures.  The absence of heat means that they will not cure.  Heat/warmth is the part of the process you control by planning when and where you will be mixing and pouring a batch of resin.
70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius at all time please!   

Warmer is even better and if you ever have the good fortune to mix resin on your back deck on a hot day you’ll see how how much quicker it gels and cures.  When I work indoors in the summer my air conditioner does keep my studio cool.  I always leave my desk lamp on in the spot where my resin is curing…sort of like a lamp over eggs if I wanted to hatch a chicks.  If your studio is really cool, you might let your projects cure in place overnight and then move them to a sunny window for the final phase of the full 48-hour cure.  Your projects will be as hard as glass if you do.  If you have ever had cloudy results or resin that took forever to cure this might be the reason why.  
So, here are my final tips:
70 -80F degrees or 21-26 C is best for mixing, pouring and curing resin projects.
80F or  26C is the maximum.  Any hotter and your results will be mixed.
(These temperatures apply to coating, puttys and clays too.) 


So when you think resin, think warm thoughts.
The scientific answer from the company is much better though.  The issue is crystallization. Due to the purity of EnviroTex resin, a clouding or settling of the resin may occur in extremely cold conditions.  Should this “clouding” occur, place resin (there are two bottles in the kit, one marked resin and one marked hardener) container in hot water until resin clears. Allow resin to return to room temperature (approximately 70 F or 21c) before mixing with EnviroTex hardener.  This condition will only happen on the resin side.  You may need to repeat these steps.


Just like honey.
Crystallization is a natural occurring phenomenon and is not a reflection of the quality of the product.  When you move resin from cold to warm or warm to cold you are shocking it.  It's just like when I put my honey in the fridge.  When I take it out it appears solid and white....but left on the warm counter for a while it returns to it's liquid golden state.  Keep your resin stored indoors in a nice, warm and dry cupboard.

19 comments:

  1. I've been reading your fabulous blog for ages and have never done anything with resin! I keep reading your blog b/c you make such great things. But this new resin has me thinking I can do it! Where can I find it and when will it be in stores? Thanks, Carmi.

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  2. I love learning something new everyday!! :) Thanks!

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  3. This makes so much sense! I have destroyed so many pieces in the winter, not knowing why. Now I do! Thanks!

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  4. hi i've been looking for a substitute for polyester casting resin for a specific project that contains a vinyl piece that the pr seems to partially disolve. i tried easy cast but it seems so soft compared to the pr. if left in a hot room, i do my casting in a shed, it will actually bend after weeks of being left alone. i need to be able to machine the piece,and have been able to do so only if i freeze it. but i have to keep it cold or it returns to being soft. do you know of a product that may work for me.

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    1. Polyester Casting Resin is the hardest resin there is to work with. It is also the most optically clear resin available. This product can be cast, machined and polished to a high gloss due to its extreme hardness. Epoxy resins are not by nature as hard or as clear, although very close. Cured epoxy products do not polish to the same high gloss as do polyester resins. FYI, Polyester resin can not be applied over cured epoxy resin as it will chemically react with it. However, epoxy resin can be applied over cured polyester resin without any chemical reactions. With some plastics, a reaction or softening may occur when attempting to embed or coat over. Prior testing for this is always important before attempting ones project.

      Hope this helps….

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  5. I have been working on embedding photographs in memorial stones. The PCR does a great job, but the top surface, the important one, has a slightly rippled effect like waves almost. When I pour the resin it is perfectly flat and smooth, but during the curing process it gets a wavy top surface. I suspect that the temperatures of the stone and the PCR may be causing this. Can anyone help me? Thanks

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  6. Darrell, this message went into spam...I know not why. I will try and get some advice for you from the company quickly!

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  7. Can the resin be used for trivets - like putting hot pans on it?

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    Replies
    1. Envirotex Lite® is heat resistant, however, it should not be intentionally subjected to high temperatures such as cigarettes, cooking utensils, etc. Envirotex Lite® is water and alcohol proof.

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  8. Oh no! Just found this super blog as I'm really interested in using resin. In the cold climes of Scotland, I fear the resin will NEVER cure.
    I may have to move somewhere very warm!

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  9. Hi please help me. I have made some tables and put envortex lite, however after a few weeks I have noticed the wood to bend. I used pine wood. Why is this happening.

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    1. Hello Zaf, ETI has customer service for product questions: http://eti-usa.com/contact/

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  10. Planning my first project - sea glass to window frame to cover bathroom window in Texas (gets hot)! I want the clear resin look between the glass, however want to ensure will not discolor over time. Suggestions?

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    1. Hi Cindy,
      All of our epoxy products will amber over time; there is just no way around that fact. The ambering will happen at a faster rate when subjected to heat and direct sunlight. We do manufacture a product (EX-74) that has a UV inhibitor that will slow the ambering process, but does not take it away. The sea glass project in the hot Texas window will begin to amber more quickly.

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  11. Hi,
    Can i put epoxy resin in uv lamp?:)
    Thanks!
    Tamara

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    Replies
    1. I do not know how hot a UV lamp will get, or if it gets hotter the longer it is on, I do know changes will occur with our epoxy products at 130*F and 180*F it will begin to soften.

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