Epoxy resin is amazing to work with because of its versatility. It can be used in woodworking projects, dioramas, for sealing swimming pools, for gluing different materials, and so on. Interestingly enough a lot of people who use epoxy resin on a daily bases don´t even know what it is. This leads us to the question is epoxy resin a plastic?
Epoxy resin is a type of plastic. Epoxy resins are a group of polymers and prepolymers that contain epoxide groups. Synthetic polymers are plastics. So epoxy resin is a type of plastic that has epoxide groups in it that allows the plastic to cure into a solid state once it is mixed with a hardener.
A polymer is a substance that consists of very large molecules that can be synthetic or naturally occurring. Synthetic polymers include polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, epoxy resins, and more.
All of the synthetic polymers listed above are types of plastic including epoxy resins.
Epoxy resin is further categorized as a thermosetting polymer. Meaning it will set in an exothermic reaction called curing. This reaction generates heat.
Thermosetting polymers are quite heat resistant and don´t easily melt once they have cured. Thermoplastics, on the other hand, can melt and are often used for 3D printing, and in production for casting items.
You can read more about epoxy in this Wikipedia article right here if you are interested or you can read my detailed guide about what epoxy is right here if you want a simpler explanation.
I will explain what epoxy resin is very quickly in this article too, however, I will keep it short.
What is Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resins have been used for jewelry making and in the industry since the mid-nineteen hundreds. But what is epoxy resin?
Epoxy resin is a type of synthetic plastic resin that is made out of reactive polymers and prepolymers that contain an epoxide group. Epoxy resin is liquid and will start a cross-linking reaction when it is mixed with a hardener in a process called curing. Once the resin has cured it will be rigid.
After the resin has cured it can be sanded, carved, and polished. This makes it perfect for woodworking projects, jewelry making, and more.
The curing process is an exothermic reaction meaning it will produce heat during the process. This is important to keep in mind especially when the resin is used together with materials that can melt or deform when they heat up.
It is also important to note that epoxy and resin aren´t necessarily the same thing. There are differences between the two that you should know if you are working with epoxy. I have a whole article about the differences between epoxy and resin that you can read by following this link.
What Epoxy Resin is Used for
I already mentioned that epoxy resin can be used for a lot of different things. In my opinion, epoxy resin is one of the most versatile materials we have.
I will only list a few possible uses for resin but you should know that there are hundreds of more possible uses for epoxy resin.
You can use epoxy resin to make jewelry.
There are silicone molds that you can buy to easily make resin jewelry.
Different materials such as glitter, color, dried flowers, and more can be mixed into the resin to achieve very unique results.
Resin can also be used for woodworking projects.
You can make river tables, special lamps, and much more by combining woodworking with epoxy resin (resin is transparent and can achieve very interesting effects).
Epoxy and wood can both be sanded, polished, and sealed very similarly. Which makes both materials a perfect match for one another.
Fake Water for Dioramas
Another very interesting use case for epoxy resin is making fake water effects for dioramas.
Resin is transparent and can be colored with alcohol inks or resin dye to tint it in a specific color while keeping its transparency.
This is perfect if you want to make a diorama and add a realistic-looking water effect to the scene.
Finally, another very interesting use case is using epoxy resin as flooring.
Resin is water and scratch resistant so it is a perfect fit for making a floor with it.
Epoxy resin can also be colored in any color you want, it can be kept transparent, and it is even possible to add some special effects such as glow-in-the-dark powder to glitter powder to it.
This makes it possible to create very unique-looking flooring that would be perfect for a bar, or any other event location.
Epoxy resin is also very easy to clean.