Epoxy is an organic compound that consists of chains of carbon connected to other elements such as nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. This connection materialises through a covalent bond, in which the elements divide a pair of electrons to stay together.
When evaluating the effectiveness of the covalent bond, it is useful to analyze the general formulation of the compounds that constitute it. As the most widely used structural type adhesive, epoxy resin adhesives are commonly offered as two-component systems that are mixed prior to application. The other chemical in the case of epoxy is a strengthening or curing agent which works to cure it into a very strong adhesive.
Epoxy resin is a versatile product used across many industries for purposes such as leak-proofing, sealing floors, bonding and surface building. Its defence to be able to resist heat and chemical applications makes it ideal for any job that requires a robust hold under pressure.
Compatible with many different materials including wood, fabric, concrete, china or glass, it also dries out extremely quickly, so you will need to apply the epoxy promptly. Daniel Loeschen from Mixer Direct states that “Epoxy is thermosetting. This means that it cures depending on the surrounding temperature.”
What are the best applications for Epoxy?
There is the possibility of epoxies turning an unattractive yellow colour if exposed to UV rays. It is therefore advisable to limit the use of epoxy to indoor settings. It is commonly found in the plastic material polyurethane which provides surfaces with a tough protective coating that is difficult to crack or chip. This makes it a practical solution for decorative floors such as concrete and stained wood in heavy-duty industrial environments such as garages and workshops. As well as enhancing the durability of the surface, it will enhance the colour and protect the floor from abrasion, oil spills, water and impact damage.
Suitable for repairing broken objects in the home, the bonding qualities of epoxy should never be overlooked. It is inexpensive and can put back together cracked vases and fractured glass. Heavy Duty Epoxy Repair Compounds are also available for industrial applications as they can offer a rapid fix whilst provide minimum disruption to services and people. They are suitable for the likes of damaged sills, loading bays and ramps.
Epoxy paint is often used in high traffic areas for covering walls and floors, as well as offering a durable and seamless finish to appliances such as stoves, washers and dryers. The strong, protective coating will again repel most oils, chemicals and solvents.
Epoxy is also a crucial part of the electronics industry. Epoxy resins are extremely efficient electrical insulators and are used in the production of insulators, motors, transformers and generators. Major epoxy product supplier Dalchem highlight the fantastic insulation properties of epoxy resin – it “offers protection from dust, moisture and short circuits, and that is why it remains one of the primary resins used in circuit creation too.”
The ability of epoxy to form high strength bonds to a wide variety of materials makes it the most widely used and most adaptable of the polymer types.