Image Source: Antel
An environmentally beneficial and sustainable alternative to conventional epoxy resins, solvent-free epoxy resin does not include any volatile organic compounds (VOCs). An adhesive, coating, or flooring material made from this two-component system consists of a resin and a hardener.
Solvent-free epoxy resin is advantageous since it poses no risk to humans or animals and can’t catch fire. When compared to solvent-based epoxy resins, it provides marked improvements in performance, durability, and chemical resistance.
In order to help readers better understand solvent-free epoxy resin, this blog will cover a wide range of topics related to the material, such as its definition, qualities, applications, use, safety measures, and environmental effect. Sustainable options will be discussed, and the pros and cons of solvent-free epoxy resin vs solvent-based epoxy resin will be examined. By the blog’s conclusion, readers will have gained a deeper familiarity with solvent-free epoxy resin and its many potential applications.
What is Epoxy Resin?
In order to create epoxy resin, an epoxy resin, and a hardener are combined. Because of its high mechanical strength, high adhesion, and high chemical resistance, it finds widespread usage in the industrial sector.
The distinctive chemical structure of epoxy resin sets it apart as a form of polymer. Long strands of carbon atoms held together by oxygen atoms make up its backbone, making it very tough to bend or break. The epoxy resin is a clear or amber-colored viscous liquid, and the hardener is a chemical ingredient that is mixed into the resin to speed up the curing process.
Epoxy resin’s qualities and features are very context and formulation-dependent. Epoxy resin is characterized by a number of characteristics.
- Superior tensile and shear strength
- High adherence to a variety of surfaces
- Tolerant to a wide range of chemicals
- Superior ability to prevent electrical current flow
- Reduced shrinkage after curing
- Extremely Stable in Many Dimensions
- Durability in hot and cold conditions
Epoxy resin is useful in many fields because of its adaptable nature and high-performance characteristics, such as coatings, adhesives, composites, and electronics. Epoxy resin’s adaptability and reliability have led to its extensive use across a variety of sectors.
What is a Solvent-Free Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resin that does not use solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is known as solvent-free epoxy resin. As an alternative to standard solvent-based epoxy resins, it is often created from a mix of plant-based or bio-based components, making it environmentally benign and sustainable.
Solvent-based epoxy resins include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be detrimental to human health and the environment, whereas solvent-free epoxy resins do not. However, epoxy resins that don’t require a solvent are better for the environment and safer to work with because they don’t give off volatile organic compounds. Chemical, abrasion, and impact resistance are all areas in which solvent-free epoxy resins tend to excel above their solvent-based counterparts.
Epoxy resin that doesn’t need the use of a solvent has a number of benefits.
Non-toxic and non-flammable:
In contrast to solvent-based epoxy resins, which may release toxic fumes and cause fires, solvent-free epoxy resins are far safer to work with.
Superior performance properties:
Epoxy resins that don’t need a solvent to cure are very versatile because of their superior mechanical, thermal, and chemical qualities.
Eco-friendly and long-lasting:
Epoxy resins that don’t need a solvent to cure are better for the environment since they may be recycled and decompose naturally.
Easy to use:
Epoxy resins that don’t need the use of a solvent are widely used for home improvement and light production because of how simple they are to work with.
Applications of Solvent-Free Epoxy Resin
Due to its outstanding performance properties and eco-friendliness, solvent-free epoxy resin is used in many different fields. Some typical uses for an epoxy resin that doesn’t need a solvent are as follows:
Epoxy resin, which doesn’t need any additional solvents, is a versatile coating substance that can be applied to a wide range of substrates. It’s perfect for use in commercial and industrial settings because of its high adhesion, durability, and resilience to wear and chemicals. Durable, low-maintenance, and sanitary, coatings formulated with solvent-free epoxy resin find widespread use in kitchens, hospitals, and storage facilities.
In high-traffic areas or places where chemical spills or large loads are to be anticipated, solvent-free epoxy resin is an appropriate material for flooring applications. It offers a smooth, long-lasting, and sanitary surface that is resistant to wear and tear as well as chemicals. In commercial and industrial environments where safety and longevity are of the utmost importance, such as factories, auto shops, and labs, solvent-free epoxy flooring is often employed.
Efficiently bonding metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites, solvent-free epoxy resin is a versatile adhesive. It’s great for structural bonding because of its high shear and peel strength. In areas where high-performance adhesives are needed, such as aerospace, automotive, and construction, solvent-free epoxy adhesives are often employed.
Electrical and Electronics:
Because of its excellent dielectric strength and thermal stability, solvent-free epoxy resin is widely utilized as an insulating material in electrical and electronic components. It finds widespread use in transformers, printed circuit boards, and electronic cases.
Fiber-reinforced composites like carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar often employ solvent-free epoxy resin as a matrix material. Aerospace, automobile, and sports equipment may all benefit from the composite’s enhanced strength, stiffness, and longevity.
The clarity, UV stability, and user-friendliness of solvent-free epoxy resin have made it a go-to for a wide variety of creative endeavors. Jewelry, resin artwork, and do-it-yourself home décor may all benefit from its usage.
How to Use Solvent-Free Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin that doesn’t need a solvent to cure dries quickly and adheres well to many materials outside only plastics, wood, metal, and concrete. Here is a detailed explanation of how to work with epoxy resin that does not need a solvent:
Solvent-free epoxy resin preparation:
Surface preparation is critical for the solvent-free epoxy resin to adhere to and cure properly. Grease, oil, and dust should not be present, and the surface should be dry. If improved adherence is required, the surface might be sanded or etched. When working with resin, it is crucial to use proper PPE, such as gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator.
Solvent-free epoxy resin application and mixing:
The resin and the hardener are the two components of a solvent-free epoxy resin kit. Before using, make sure the two components are well combined. To guarantee appropriate curing, use the resin and hardener in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. The resin has a short pot life, so after it’s been blended, it has to be applied right away.
Brushing, rolling, or spraying on solvent-free epoxy resin are all viable application methods. Spread the resin out in uniform layers until the surface is completely coated. To get the appropriate thickness or coverage, more coats may be applied. The resin starts to cure almost immediately after application, so you’ll need to move fast and precisely.
Time Required for Solvent-Free Epoxy Resin to Cure and Dry:
Depending on the ambient temperature and humidity, curing times for solvent-free epoxy resin might range from 24 to 48 hours. During the curing process, it is essential to keep the surface dry and clean. Once the surface has cured, it can be sanded and polished to the desired smoothness.
The curing and drying times of solvent-free epoxy resin might vary from one product to the next and from one application to the next. For information on proper mixing, application, and curing periods, always consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs
Does UV light have no effect on solvent-free epoxy resin?
While some solvent-free epoxy resins may boast UV resistance, this should be verified with the manufacturer before application.
How much of the solvent-free epoxy resin should be used during mixing?
Epoxy resins that don’t need a solvent to cure have different recommended mixing ratios. The proper mixing ratio should always be determined by consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Can you add pigment to solvent-free epoxy resin?
Epoxy resin that doesn’t use solvents may be stained or colored with the help of additives like pigments and dyes.
Do you need to use protection while working with solvent-free epoxy resin?
When working with solvent-free epoxy resin, it is necessary to use PPE such as gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator.
How long does a container of solvent-free epoxy resin last?
Solvent-free epoxy resin has a shelf life that shifts based on the formulation and the environment in which it is stored. If you want to know how long something can be stored, read the label.
Many industries can benefit from switching to solvent-free epoxy resin because of its many uses and lower environmental impact compared to traditional epoxy resin. As more businesses search for eco-friendly and risk-free options for their coating, adhesive, and flooring requirements, the market for solvent-free epoxy resin is projected to expand. The need for ecologically friendly goods and the advancement of new technologies are likely to fuel product development and market expansion in the solvent-free epoxy resin industry.
New uses for solvent-free epoxy resin are likely to be explored in the future, particularly in the transportation, aerospace, and maritime sectors. Demand for solvent-free epoxy resin is expected to rise as environmental consciousness grows among both consumers and enterprises.
The development of solvent-free epoxy resin has the potential to greatly improve the epoxy resin industry. Solvent-free epoxy resin, because of its non-toxic, low-odor, and easy-to-use qualities, is poised to play an increasingly vital role in numerous sectors in the coming years.
If you’re still interested, check out the articles we’ve included below:
Written By: Trisha Mae Raymundo