Processing of epoxy resin and useful tips that you should consider in advance to save yourself a lot of time, money and trouble
PPE (personal protective equipment)
The PPE, i.e. your personal protective equipment, is essential when working with epoxy resin
Nitrile gloves (ATTENTION: do not use latex gloves or similar!)
Use a breathing mask with the appropriate gas and / or particle filters (this should be heeded if possible, even with odorless epoxy resin)
Ear protection should be worn when grinding or doing other noisy work
Wear clothes as long as possible
Preparation of the workplace
ensure the right ambient temperature, epoxy resin feels most comfortable at temperatures between 22 and 25ºC and is ideal for processing
If necessary, cover the surface with a painter's foil, because where the epoxy resin gets to and hardens you cannot get it away again
Regardless of whether you are doing a cast (a cast over a layer height of several cm if necessary) or a coat (coating of surfaces with a layer thickness of a few mm), make absolutely sure that your object is 100% leveled. If this is not the case, your coating will have different thicknesses or, in the case of a thin layer, may even be so thin that the original surface is not covered at all.
If you are building a formwork for a river table, for example, make sure that your formwork is sealed with silicone so that epoxy resin cannot leak anywhere. You should also try to build a formwork with the smoothest and level surface possible and I also recommend a release spray so that it is a little easier for you to remove the formwork.
Have all the materials you need ready so you can keep things running smoothly.
Your environment should be as free of dust and insects as possible
Processing in a well-ventilated room is recommended.
Prepare the epoxy resin
To make sure that your epoxy resin is in its perfect original condition, you should heat the container with the epoxy resin (without the lid) in a water bath to approx. 45-55ºC. If the epoxy resin has crystallized, it returns to its original state and can be processed without hesitation. Due to cold storage or temperatures during transport (especially in the winter months), the epoxy resin can occasionally crystallize. This is not a sign of poor quality or a reason for complaint. At best, try to use smaller container sizes during the winter months so that you can still warm them up in a water bath without any problems.
The heating also makes the epoxy resin easier to process and it has a positive effect on the curing process.
Make absolutely sure that you strictly adhere to the mixing ratio by weight! Even the smallest deviations can ensure that the end product either does not harden completely and remains sticky or that it does harden, but becomes brittle / brittle.
To mix, you have to fall back on unused, clean and dust-free plastic containers (e.g. paint mixing cups).
Depending on the amount, stir the epoxy resin with a wooden or plastic stirring stick and try not to stir in any air (for larger amounts, use a cordless screwdriver with a paint whisk, ATTENTION: The speed should be as low as possible and be between 250 and 300 rpm ), the tools must be free from contamination, otherwise the epoxy resin may be contaminated.
Repotting while mixing is highly recommended, ie you fill everything you have mixed so far into another new container and scrape everything completely out of the first container so that your mixing ratio remains correct. Now stir a second time until everything is homogeneously mixed.
If you would like to color your epoxy resin, either with color powder (MICA Powder) or with transparent liquid colorants, you can of course add these from the beginning.
Processing of the epoxy resin
When pouring, you should be as close as possible to your object in order to keep the entrapment of air as low as possible.
The epoxy resin should only be used at temperatures between 15-30ºC, ideal are 23ºC and a maximum humidity of 60-70%.
Above all, it is important that the ambient temperature and humidity are constant and do not fluctuate, as this could lead to uneven curing and disrupt the process.
Apply or pour out the epoxy with a paint roller or brush. Spread it as evenly as possible with a spatula, without first pushing it over the edges. The epoxy resin has good self-leveling properties.
Small note: the epoxy resin is odorless, but the hardeners have a slight odor. However, as soon as you have stirred the hardener into the epoxy resin, the homogeneous connection is odorless.
Hardening of the epoxy resin
Our epoxy resin has been developed in such a way that it cures optimally at a temperature of 10-30ºC. Curing at room temperature (at best approx. 25 ° C) for 24 hours gives the end product a heat resistance of approx. 50-60 ° C.
Hardening at higher temperatures accelerates the hardening process and the end product can withstand temperatures of up to 100ºC. (You can find detailed information in our Technical Data Sheets).
Normally, the epoxy resin should already have hardened after 24-48 hours in such a way that any previously slight odor is no longer present. After a maximum of 7 days, the epoxy resin is already physically resilient, after approx. 21 days the product reaches its final strength and chemical resistance.