Epoxy resin is a two-part chemical, which, when combined, forms a strong, clear adhesive. It is commonly used in making molds, laminates and sealing fixtures in home and building construction. While commonly used by professionals, epoxy resin can be used in smaller amounts for do-it-yourself-construction. Often minor problems occur when do-it-yourselfers start to work with epoxy resin, though they can usually be fixed provided one acts quickly enough.
Trouble Applying Epoxy Resin
Applying epoxy resin by hand is very difficult, even for construction workers who work with it every day. It should be applied so sparsely to fixtures in as thin a layer as wall paint. For those who want to get it right the first time around, auto-measuring pumps are available in most hardware stores. They can provide even layers of epoxy resin and even mix it in the correct ratio to avoid most of the problems people experience with it.
Epoxy Resin Clouds as It Hardens
Epoxy resin clouds when it is exposed to too much moisture or has had even the slightest amount of water introduced when it was mixed. Most epoxy resins only stay clear when in optimum temperatures, if the curing process is sped along by means of a blow dryer or heat gun the epoxy will cloud up.
Epoxy Resin Heats Up
Epoxy resin is going to warm a little whenever it is mixed, the chemical interaction between the two parts of the resin is an endothermic one, meaning it will put off heat. As a result, the more epoxy is mixed at once, the hotter it will become. Also the ratios of hardener chemical to resin may be off. Should too much hardener be added, the mixture can become hot enough to burn skin and char paper.
Epoxy Develops Bubbles and Deforms
A few bubbles will often arise when the epoxy resin cures--this is simply a result of air being worked into the resin when it was mixed. However, should the epoxy resin cure too quickly or at too high a temperature, the air bubbles will form as part of a reaction to the excess heat. This can be avoided by only using epoxy resin during a cooler part of the day, or possibly at night.
Epoxy Remains Dull When It Should Shine After Curing
Epoxy resin will often appear quite dull once it is cured, though professionally done laminates and fixtures often shine. That is because there is one more step that most professionals don't tell the public about--a clear-coat enamel or polyurethane is sprayed onto the cured epoxy resin to get it to shine.