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Epoxy Resin

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What is clear epoxy resin?

Epoxy resin is a versatile and popular material used in modeling and diorama projects for its remarkable properties and wide range of applications. It is a type of synthetic polymer that, when combined with a hardener, undergoes a chemical reaction to create a strong and durable material.

In the realm of modeling, it offers several benefits that make it an excellent choice for various applications. One of its key advantages is its exceptional clarity. The standard one dries to a crystal-clear finish, allowing for the creation of transparent or translucent elements such as water effects, glass-like surfaces, or simulated liquids. This clarity adds a realistic and visually appealing touch to models and dioramas, enhancing their overall aesthetic appeal.

Another noteworthy characteristic is its excellent self-leveling properties. When poured or applied to a surface, it spreads out evenly, creating a smooth and level finish. This feature is particularly useful when creating flat surfaces, tabletops, or terrain elements in dioramas. Its self-leveling nature helps eliminate unevenness or imperfections, resulting in a professional and polished look.

This product also boasts exceptional hardness and durability once cured. It forms a robust and sturdy material that can withstand physical impact, making it suitable for creating durable components or surfaces. This durability ensures that any sort of encapsulations will remain intact even when handled or displayed over time, maintaining their quality and longevity.

Furthermore, this material, once cured, exhibits excellent chemical and moisture resistance. Once fully cured, it becomes highly resistant to chemicals, including solvents, oils, and household cleaners. This resistance protects models and dioramas from damage or discoloration caused by exposure to various substances. Additionally, this product is moisture-resistant, making it suitable for applications that require contact with water, such as creating water features, ponds, or streams in dioramas.

Additionally, It is known for its versatility in terms of coloring and customization. It can be easily tinted or pigmented using dyes for resins, allowing modelers to achieve a wide range of desired effects. Whether it's creating vibrant landscapes, replicating specific materials, or adding artistic touches, it provides a versatile medium for expressing creativity.

Moreover, crystal clear epoxy resin offers a wide window of working time before it begins to cure. This allows modelers and diorama builders to work on intricate details, complex structures, or multiple layers without feeling rushed. The extended working time ensures that every aspect of the project can be carefully executed, resulting in precise and refined outcomes.

Where to buy epoxy resin?

Green Stuff World is a well-known supplier of hobby materials and modeling tools that cater to the needs of hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. They offer a wide range of products, including epoxy resin for dioramas, which is also ideal for various art and craft projects. The answer to the question of where to buy epoxy resin is very easy, at Green Stuff World, visit their website, take a look at the products, and place an order.

How to make an encapsulation with 2-part epoxy resin?

Creating an encapsulation with 2-part epoxy resin is a straightforward process that requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make an encapsulation:

  1. Prepare the materials: Gather all the necessary materials, including mixing cups, stirring sticks, a silicone mold, and the items you want to encapsulate.
  2. Set up a clean workspace: Ensure you have a clean and well-ventilated area to work in. Lay down a protective covering to prevent any accidental spills or damage.
  3. Measuring: Follow the manufacturer's instructions to measure the appropriate amount of both components. Pour them into separate mixing cups in the recommended ratio.
  4. Mix both components: Use a clean stirring stick to thoroughly mix them. Stir slowly and methodically to minimize the introduction of air bubbles.
  5. Let the mixture rest: After stirring, allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes. This will help any air bubbles rise to the surface and dissipate.
  6. Pour the mixture into the mold: Slowly and evenly pour it into the silicone mold, ensuring that it covers the items you want to encapsulate completely. Take care not to overfill the mold.
  7. Remove air bubbles: To eliminate any remaining air bubbles, gently blow on the surface or use a heat gun or torch on low heat, moving it evenly over the surface. Be cautious not to overheat or scorch it.
  8. Allow to cure: Place the mold in a dust-free area and allow it to cure for 24 hours. The curing time can vary based on the specific product used and whether the mix is properly done, but it typically takes several hours or even overnight.
  9. Demold the encapsulated item: Once it has fully cured, carefully remove the encapsulated item from the silicone mold. If needed, use a releasing agent or gently flex the mold to aid in demolding.
  10. Finishing touches: After demolding, you may need to trim any excess or sand the edges for a smooth and polished finish. You can also apply a clear gloss varnish or polish the encapsulated item to further enhance its appearance.

Clear epoxy resin | 2-part epoxy resin

How do flat epoxy resin edges? 

Achieving flat and smooth edges requires careful attention to detail and a few essential steps. Firstly, start by assessing the current state of the edges. If there are any irregularities or bumps, they will need to be addressed before attempting to flatten the surface. Use sandpaper with a grit of around 800 and continue with 1200 to gently sand the edges. Sanding in a circular motion can help ensure the even removal of any uneven areas. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure, as this may result in creating new unevenness or damaging the surrounding resin surface.

After sanding, thoroughly clean the edges to remove any sanding residue or particles. A lint-free cloth can be used to wipe the surface and ensure it is free from dust and debris. Once the edges are clean, apply a thin layer of crystal-clear epoxy resin over the entire surface, including the edges. The resin will help fill in any remaining unevenness and create a level surface. 

To achieve a truly flat finish, it may be necessary to repeat the process of sanding and applying a thin layer of clear epoxy resin multiple times until the desired result is achieved. Take care to allow it to fully cure between each layer. This process can help gradually build up a smooth and level surface on the edges. 

How do you make crystal clear epoxy resin without bubbles?

While handling these varieties of products is usually a relatively straightforward endeavor, achieving transparent results devoid of air bubbles necessitates adequate preparation, meticulousness, and adherence to the manufacturer's guidelines regarding timing, blending proportions, and quantities. Below are some basic suggestions to reduce the occurrence of bubbles:

  • Ensure your workspace is warm and free from dust: Opt for a room with a cozy temperature and minimal humidity to reduce the formation of air pockets during the application. Thoroughly clean the work area to prevent dust particles from infiltrating the mixture.
  • Gently combine both components to prevent the formation of air bubbles. Mix them thoroughly but refrain from vigorously whipping the mixture to avoid introducing air.
  • Employ a heat gun or torch when possible: Delicately and briefly pass a heat gun or torch over the mixed product's surface to eliminate any surface bubbles. Exercise caution during this step to prevent overheating or scorching the material you are encapsulating.
  • Allow the mixture to settle: After blending, let the mixture rest for a few minutes before pouring it to permit any air bubbles to naturally rise to the surface.
  • Pour the mixture with a slow and steady hand into the mold or surface, avoiding any splashing. This approach can help minimize the introduction of new bubbles.
  • Utilize a vibrating tool: If available, a vibrating tool or a sander equipped with a vibration mode can aid in releasing any trapped air bubbles within the mixture.
  • Cover and let it undergo the curing process: Following the pour, cover it with a lid or plastic wrap to shield it from dust and other debris. Allow it to cure for the duration recommended in the instructions.

How long does 2-part epoxy resin take to cure?

The curing time for 2-part epoxy resin can vary depending on several factors, including the specific brand and formulation of the epoxy, the temperature and humidity of the environment, and the thickness of the application. However, in general, most 2-part epoxy resins have a curing time of about 24 to 72 hours to reach full cure and maximum strength.

Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Initial Set Time: This is the time it takes to become firm enough that it will not flow or sag. It typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the product.
  2. Full Cure: Full cure, where it reaches its maximum hardness and strength, typically occurs within 24 to 72 hours. However, it's important to note that the product may continue to harden and improve its properties over several days to a week.
  3. Temperature and Humidity: Higher temperatures and lower humidity levels can accelerate the curing process, while lower temperatures and higher humidity levels can slow it down. Always refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for the specific 2-part epoxy resin you are using.
  4. Thickness of Application: Thicker layers may take longer to cure than thin layers. Some epoxies may have a maximum recommended thickness for a single application.
  5. Post-Cure: Some of them benefit from a post-cure period, where they are kept at a slightly elevated temperature for a certain amount of time to improve their properties further.

How to clean epoxy resin?

Cleaning epoxy resin can be a bit challenging because it's a strong adhesive and can become hard when cured. Here are some steps to help you clean epoxy resin:

  1. Safety First: Before you begin, make sure you're wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and safety goggles, to protect yourself from any potentially harmful chemicals.
  2. Immediate Cleanup: If you spill it on a surface, it's best to clean it up as soon as possible while it's still in its liquid state. Use a paper towel or disposable cloth to soak up as much resin as you can. Be careful not to spread it further.
  3. Solvents: They often can be cleaned using solvents like acetone or isopropyl alcohol. Soak a clean cloth or paper towel in the solvent and gently rub it to soften it. Then, wipe it away. Repeat this process until it is completely removed. Always follow safety guidelines when using solvents and ensure proper ventilation.
  4. Heat: For small spots on certain surfaces, you can sometimes use heat to soften the product. You can use a heat gun or a hair dryer on a low setting to warm it, making it more pliable. Once it softens, you can scrape it off with a plastic scraper or a wooden stick. Be cautious not to overheat it, as it could release fumes or damage the surface you're cleaning.
  5. Mechanical Methods: If it is fully cured and cannot be softened with solvents or heat, you may need to use mechanical methods like sanding or scraping. Use fine-grit sandpaper (around 220-grit or higher) to gently sand it away. Wear a mask to avoid inhaling dust particles.
  6. Dispose of Waste Properly: Be sure to dispose of any waste, such as used rags or sandpaper, following local regulations and environmental guidelines. Some epoxy products may be considered hazardous waste.

What materials does epoxy resin not adhere to?

Epoxy resin is known for its ability to adhere to a wide variety of materials, which makes it useful in many applications. However, there are some materials to which it generally does not adhere well or may have difficulty adhering. These materials include:

  1. Polyethylene and polypropylene: These plastics have a very unreactive surface, which makes their adhesion poor and tends to pull away from these materials.
  2. Extremely smooth or water-repellent surfaces: If a surface is very smooth or water-repellent, it may have difficulty adhering effectively. It is important to properly prepare the surface by sanding or chemical treatment techniques before application in these cases.
  3. Silicone rubber: In general does not adhere well to silicone rubber due to the non-polar nature of this material.
  4. Extremely porous or absorbent surfaces: If a surface is highly porous or absorbent, such as very dry wood or untreated cardboard, the clear epoxy resin may be absorbed into the material before it has a chance to cure and bond effectively. In such cases, it is important to properly seal or prepare the surface before applying the product.
  5. Teflon (PTFE): Teflon is known for its ability to resist adhesion to a wide range of materials, it simply does not work.
  6. Dirty or greasy surfaces: They will not adhere properly to surfaces contaminated with grease, oil, dirt, or other contaminants. Proper cleaning and surface preparation are essential for good adhesion.

At Green Stuff World we have similar products that may interest you such as UV Resin.