10+ Different Types of Resin & Their Applications - A Guide For Beginners

  • Resin Art 101
  • Posted by: amy-golden
  • Sep 25, 2023

Want to start a project with resin but are overwhelmed by its variety? You have come to the right place. Below we provide a complete look at 10+ different types of resin & their applications. Scroll down and read, you will find the right resin for your project. 

What are common types of resin?

Resin is a material with unique and diverse properties, usually in the form of a liquid or solid. Resin is widely used in many different industries and applications, including types of resin for 3D printing. Currently, there are many different types of resin, each with its own properties and applications. This brings variety and flexibility to the design and manufacturing process.

Below is basic information about the 5 most popular resins on the market: Epoxy resin, Polyester resin, Polyurethane resin, Silicone resin, UV resin.

Types of Resin Applications Price
Epoxy Resin
  • Adhesive
  • Coating
  • Manufacturing
  • Craft and Art
$75/ 1 gallon resin and 1 gallon hardener
Polyester Resin
  • Textiles
  • Craft and art
  • Production of materials
  • Packaging materials
$67/ gallon (include hardener)
Polyurethane Resin
  • Art and crafts
  • Surface coating
  • Wrapping electronic products
  • Manufacturing
$45/ gallon
Silicone Resin
  • Coating
  • Molding
$95/ 1 gallon
UV resin
  • Biocompatibility Printing
  • Producing a variety of equipment and supplies
  • Arts and crafts

*Note: Prices of products are referenced on August 31, 2023.

Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin
Epoxy resin

Epoxy resin, also called polyepoxides, is a flexible and durable synthetic polymer compound. It is often questioned "What does epoxy resin mean?". Essentially, it has transparent color, strong bonding ability and chemical resistance. Normally, epoxy resin consists of two main components: resin base and curing agent. When these two ingredients are combined together in standard proportions, a reaction will occur to form a hardening substance

Types of epoxy resin:

Epoxy resin comes in 6 types, each designed for specific applications. Here are some common types of epoxy resin. 

  • Aliphatic Epoxy Resins: Aliphatic Epoxy Resins are produced through double bond epoxidation. The roof has good mechanical properties and temperature resistance, so it is applied in many fields.
  • Novolac epoxy resin: Novolac epoxy resin is a special type of epoxy compound created from the reaction between a type of phenol called novolac and epichlorohydrin. It is highly durable and resistant to high temperatures. It is also VOC-free, making it safe to use.
  • Bisphenol epoxy resin: Bisphenol epoxy resin is a type of polymer compound created by reacting bisphenol and formaldehyde. They are often used in the production of hard and durable epoxies.
  • Halogenated epoxy resin: Halogenated Epoxy Resins contain halogen atoms in its molecular structure. These resins are commonly used in applications requiring fire resistance.
  • Epoxy resin diluent: Epoxy resin diluents are formed through glycosylation of fatty alcohols or polyols. It is used to adjust epoxy system properties such as consistency, viscosity, drying time, and adhesion.
  • Glycidyl Amine epoxy resin: Glycidyl Amine epoxy resins are a special type of epoxy resin, created from the reaction between epichlorohydrin and amines, especially glycidyl amines. It is often used in fields that require strong adhesive properties and good mechanical properties.


Applications of epoxy resin
Applications of epoxy resin

Epoxy resin is a versatile resin that has many strengths and different applications. This makes it a top choice for a large number of projects:

  • Adhesive: Epoxy resin is made to be used as an adhesive to bond materials such as concrete, wood, metal, glass, and stone. However, when the temperature is above 177 °F , its adhesion ability is no longer strong.
  • Coating: Epoxy resin is also used as a surface coating for enhanced durability and protection against chemicals, water and abrasion. A thin epoxy coating can protect ships from corrosion, water absorption or help floors become shiny, smooth and limit breakage.
  • Manufacturing: With strong bonding and light weight, Epoxy resin is used to make aircraft parts, molds, castings, furniture... It is also commonly used in the production of electrical industry thanks to its insulating properties such as making motors, generators, insulating covers and printed wiring boards.
  • Craft and Art: The ability to create crystal-clear surfaces and glossy coatings makes epoxy resin perfect for creating resin artwork, jewelry, and decorative pieces.
Pros Cons
  • Outstanding heat and chemical resistance
  • Can be used on many materials
  • Low cost
  • Low toxicity
  • Good electrical insulation
  • High adhesion
  • Able to resist chemicals
  • Needs catalyst (hardener)
  • Takes a long time to cure
  • Flammable, cannot withstand high temperatures
  • Needs a cool, dry environment for curing

Polyester Resin

Polyester resin
Polyester resin

Polyester resin is one of the most popular thermosetting resins. It is made by reacting a dibasic organic acid with a polyhydric alcohol. Polyester resin is a popular choice for a wide range of applications due to its flexibility, water resistance, strong bearing capacity, and affordability. It is also relatively easy to use.

Types of polyester resin

There are many different types of polyester resin available, each with its own unique properties and applications. Some of the most common types of polyester resin include:

  • Polyester orthophthalic resin: This resin is economical and widely used in many different applications. It offers good multi-purpose performance and is often used for projects that do not require high water resistance. It also shrinks a lot when frozen.
  • Polyester isophthalic resin: Isophthalic resin offers enhanced water and chemical resistance compared to orthophthalic resin. It is more suitable for applications that require durability in harsh environments or chemical exposure. It usually does not shrink when cured.


Applications of polyester resin
Applications of polyester resin

Each type of polyester resin is modified to meet specific performance requirements, making them suitable for many different industries and applications.

  • Textiles: Polyester resin is often combined with cotton to create a fabric that does not shrink, wrinkle, and is more resistant to tearing. In addition to fabric, this plastic is also used to make ropes, carpets, car interiors and other consumer products.
  • Craft and art: Its versatility, durability, and shiny finish make polyester resin attractive for arts and crafts projects and creating decorative items and sculptures.
  • Production of materials: With easy molding and cost-saving properties, polyester resin is used to apply in automobile production such as car body, windshield, hood... Due to its high durability and water-resistant properties, polyester resin is widely used in casting hull, deck.
  • Packaging materials: Some types of polyester resins do not react with food or beverages, making it an ideal packaging material. It can be produced into a film or a preform for molding such as plastic bottles, plastic boxes, plastic cups, etc.
Pros Cons
  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • Self-adjusting freezing time
  • Suitable for various applications
  • Resistant to high temperatures
  • Chemical resistance
  • Waterproof
  • Good electrical insulation
  • Tends to shrink during curing
  • Noxious smell
  • Adjust the amount of resin and hardener yourself

Polyurethane Resin

Polyurethane resin
Polyurethane resin

Polyurethane resin is a kind of polymer material with versatility and diversity. This plastic is made through the chemical reaction of polyols and isocyanates. Polyurethane can exist in hard, soft, porous, elastic forms. Therefore, it has many different properties depending on how it is manufactured and handled.

Types of Polyurethane resin

Polyurethane resins come in different forms and types based on how they are manufactured and used. Here are some common types of polyurethane resin:

  • Rigid polyurethane foam: This plastic has high stiffness, temperature stability and good thermal insulation.
  • Flexible polyurethane foam: This foam has the characteristics of elasticity, good deformation resistance and light weight.
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane: TPU is a type of polyurethane material that possesses both the properties of conventional plastics and the properties of rubber-like materials. This is a material with excellent flexibility and elasticity. TPU is also highly abrasion resistant, chemical resistant, and durable.

Applications of polyurethane resin

Applications of polyurethane resin
Applications of polyurethane resin

Polyurethane resin has wide applications in many different industries and fields, thanks to its diversity and special properties. Here are some common applications of PU resin.

  • Art and crafts: Due to its low viscosity, liquid texture and a few other outstanding properties, PU resin is very suitable for creating molds, crafts, works of art as well as preserving materials. It allows for intricate detailing and can be mixed with colorants to achieve the desired color.
  • Surface coating: Polyurethane resin is commonly used as a protective coating for a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, plastic and concrete. It creates a durable and glossy protective layer that is resistant to abrasion, chemicals and UV radiation.
  • Wrapping electronic products: Packaging and wrapping electronic components to protect them from moisture, chemicals and physical damage are some of the applications of PU resin. It also has the ability to cover gaps in electrical wires, providing insulation and protection from the environment.
  • Manufacturing: Impact resistance and flexibility make polyurethane resin ideal for manufacturing automotive parts such as tires, dashboards, seats, etc. These properties also allow the creation of manufactures of a variety of sports equipment, including helmets, protective gear, and sports equipment.


  • Polyurethane resin must be treated with a non-stick agent before being cast into the mold.
  • The mold can be damaged because of the heat released by the polyurethane resin during the curing process.
Pros Cons
  • Good impact resistance
  • High elasticity
  • Fast freezing time
  • The viscosity is not high so it is easy to mold
  • Other substances can be mixed
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Anti-UV
  • Strong odor is harmful to health
  • Not moisture resistant
  • Not reproducible

Silicone Resin

Silicone resin
Silicone resin

Silicone resin is a man-made elastomer with high heat resistance and good cold resistance, thereby creating many advantages over natural rubber. Viscosity and elasticity are its common physical properties. This type of plastic can produce solid resin products as well as flexible resin products.

Types of silicone resin

Depending on the type of raw material as well as the production conditions, silicone resin is made into many different types with different properties.

  • Liquid silicone rubber resin (LSR): These resins are typically low-viscosity, liquid materials that cure to form a flexible elastomer. Once shaped, it cannot be restored to its original state. It has very good heat resistance and UV protection properties. 
  • Room temperature vulcanizing Resin (RTV): RTV silicone is a silicone rubber that cures at ambient or room temperature to form a flexible and durable elastomer.RTV's versatility, moisture resistance and ease of use silicone makes it a popular choice for many applications.
  • High temperature vulcanizing resin (HTV): HTV is a type of silicone with a high density, usually in the form of a flexible or solid mass. HTV silicone provides a reliable solution for applications requiring flexibility, durability and high heat resistance.

Applications of silicone resin

Applications of silicone resin
Applications of silicone resin

With many outstanding properties, silicone resin has become extremely important and is widely used in many different industries and fields.

  • Coating: Silicone resin coatings are used to provide heat, UV, water and weather resistance to surfaces. Therefore, the construction industry often uses it for buildings, bridges and industrial structures to protect against harsh environmental conditions. At the same time, it is also applied in textile and paper production.
  • Molding: Thanks to its flexible and durable properties, silicone resin is used as a material for craft molds and plastic molding, especially molds with many small, angular details because it can be easily removed.
  • Item production: Silicone is considered safe when in contact with food and the human body. Therefore, this material is increasingly used in many products that come into contact with the body such as masks, mouthpieces, nipples as well as kitchen utensils such as pans, grills, etc.
Pros Cons
  • High heat resistance (up to 500°C)
  • Resistant to cold well
  • Can be recycled
  • Waterproof
  • Biocompatibility and with organic products
  • Good electrical insulation
  • Price is higher than other types of plastic
  • Vulnerable to abrasion, mutilation
  • Poor endurance

UV Resin

UV resin, also known as ultraviolet curing resin, is a type of liquid resin that cures when exposed to ultraviolet light. It is made of synthetic resins (polymers) and UV stabilizers or UV absorbers.

Types of UV resin

There are several types of UV resin, each designed for specific applications. Here are some common types:

  • UV-curable resin (Free radical UV resin): This is a UV resin that has the ability to harden quickly when exposed to ultraviolet light. However, after stopping exposure it will stop the curing process immediately. Therefore, irradiating it with UV light until it completely hardens is necessary.
  • Cationic UV resin: Cationic UV resin is the most popular type of UV resin. Its characteristic is that it will solidify when exposed to UV rays. In contrast to UV Curable resin, the UV resin cation will continue to solidify when the UV light is removed. It usually does not shrink during curing.
  • Flexible UV Resin: This resin is a small type of Cationic UV resin. It has good plasticity, elasticity and elasticity after curing.

Applications of UV resin

UV resin is widely used in many different fields thanks to its versatility and UV curing process.

  • Printing: UV resin is often used for printing on packaging, product labels, and other media materials. UV printing technology provides bright colors, quick drying and a beautiful glossy surface.
  • Manufacturing: Flexible UV resin is great for medical devices, accessories, and decorations, while hard UV resin is ideal for jewelry, household items, and car interiors.
  • Jewelry making: UV resin is commonly used to create jewelry, such as earrings, pendants, and bracelets. It can also be used to embed objects in jewelry, such as flowers, shells, and beads.
  • Crafting: UV resin can be used to create a variety of crafts, such as coasters, keychains, and home décor. It can also be used to seal decoupage projects and protect painted surfaces.
Pros Cons
  • Quick drying
  • No need to mix glue
  • Controlled drying time
  • Clear color
  • Low curing temperature
  • Various physical properties: hard and flexible
  • Anti-UV
  • Difficult to use for large-scale art projects
  • Needs UV lamp
  • Limited working time
  • UV exposure required

Other Types of Resin

Except for the 5 popular types above, you can refer to other types of resin below.

Vinyl Ester Resin

Vinyl ester resin
Vinyl ester resin

Vinyl ester resin is a resin created by the combination of the advantages of epoxy resin and polyester resin but with stronger properties. It also needs to be mixed with a hardener in the right ratio to harden.

Main Characteristics:

  • Able to withstand high water pressure
  • High durability (higher than Polyester resin)
  • High elasticity (higher than epoxy resin)
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Chemical resistance

Vinyl ester resin has a shelf life of 3 months. Therefore, you should determine the amount of resin needed for your project to avoid waste.

Applications of vinyl ester resin

With its outstanding properties, vinyl is used in many different applications. Vinyl Ester resin, with its ability to withstand water pressure, is becoming popular as a lining material for water tanks and plants. At the same time, thanks to its mechanical durability and chemical resistance, this type of plastic is also widely used in the production of chemical tanks, pipes and industrial equipment. In addition, Vinyl Ester is also used as a surface coating on concrete, steel, and wood, providing resistance to abrasion, impact, and fire.

Phenolic Resin

Phenolic resin
Phenolic resin

Phenolic resin is a thermosetting resin, once it is melted and shaped it cannot be recycled anymore. The original color of this plastic is green or black. Depends on the manufacturing process. Its initial state can be solid, liquid or powder.

Main Characteristics:

  • Good heat resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Has electrical insulating properties
  • High hardness
  • Moisture resistant

Applications of Phenolic resin

Phenolic resin has many important applications. First, it is widely used as an insulator of insulated electronic parts, circuit boards and control panels. Second, phenolic resin has the ability to withstand heat up to 550F, from there, it is used to produce insulation and fireproof materials. It is also used to create household products such as bowls, chopsticks, knife handles and boxes, thanks to its moisture-proof and water-resistant properties. Finally, phenolic resins play an important role in creating adhesives in friction materials such as clutch discs and brake pads, thanks to their ability to withstand high temperatures.

Alkyd Resins

Alkyd resin
Alkyd resin

Alkyd resin is a synthetic resin formed from the reaction between polyhydric alcohol and fatty acids. The normal state of this resin is liquid or viscous, and the initial color is usually yellow or brown. It also needs a catalyst (hardener) to carry out the hardening process.

Main Characteristics:

  • Can be dissolved in organic solvents
  • Dry quickly
  • Durable
  • No abrasion
  • High elasticity
  • Flexible application

Applications of alkyd resin

Like other resins, Alkyd resin is also manufactured to serve many different applications. Alkyd resin is commonly used in the surface coating industry. With the ability to create a protective film that is weather, abrasion and rust resistant, it is suitable for exterior, interior, industrial and decorative painting. In addition, Alkyd is also used in the production of composite products such as pipes, construction materials and engineering parts.

Polycarbonate Resins

Polycarbonate resin
Polycarbonate resin

Polycarbonate resin (PC) is a synthetic plastic with a special polymer structure, made up of carbonate. This is a transparent and very durable plastic that is impact and heat resistant. The general state of polycarbonate resin before it is processed and used in production processes is plastic granules with uniform size.

Main Characteristics:

  • Lightweight
  • Good light transmission
  • Flexibility
  • Impact and scratch resistant
  • Chemical resistance
  • Easy to bend, easy to produce

Applications of Polycarbonate resin

Polycarbonate resin is quite commonly used in common items in life. Polycarbonate resin plays an important role in the electronics manufacturing industry. It is used to create electronic components, computer cases, LCD screens, cell phones and many other products. In addition, with its ability to transmit light, Polycarbonate is widely used as a replacement material for glass, creating visors, goggles, door visors and headlights. This type of plastic is also used to produce large capacity plastic bottles, bringing safety to users.

Polyamide Resins

Polyamide resin
Polyamide resin

Polyamide resin - can be called nylon - is a synthetic resin with a polymer structure. It is a thermoplastic, so it can be remanufactured. Polyamide resin before it is processed and used has a general state of plastic granules with uniform size.

Main Characteristics:

  • Good heat resistance
  • Durable
  • Flexibility and toughness
  • Chemical resistance
  • Anti-friction properties
  • Has the ability to reduce noise
  • Resistant to moisture

Applications of polyamide resin

Polyamide resin is widely used in many fields. With good heat and moisture resistance and high durability, Polyamide resin is a popular choice as a coating material for outdoor or underwater machinery and equipment. In addition, this type of resin is also often used in painting walls or floors. In the field of materials production, Polyamide is used to make electronic components, from insulation materials to shells or containers for drugs and capsules in the pharmaceutical industry. Besides, Polyamide also has wide applications in the industry of manufacturing bags, suitcases, zippers and ropes.

Acrylic Resins

Acrylic resin
Acrylic resin

Acrylic resin is a synthetic resin that does not break. It is a transparent and hard resin, similar to glass, but lighter and quite durable. Depending on the production method and raw materials, thermoplastic acrylic or thermosetting acrylic can be obtained.

Main Characteristics:

  • High transparency
  • Allow light to pass through
  • High hardness and durability
  • Unaffected by the weather
  • Easy to work with

Applications of Acrylic resin

Acrylic resin is a versatile material widely used in many industries. Acrylic resins, with their excellent transparency, durability and weather resistance, are often the top choice for coatings on automobiles, plastic and metal surfaces. In particular, the transparency of it also provides many creative applications such as making advertising signs, light boxes and display products. In addition, it is also used to replace glass in making windows and partitions. In the field of arts and crafts, Acrylic resin is popular for creating paintings, statues, decorative lamps and many other artistic products.

Polypropylene Resin

Polypropylene resin (PP) is a synthetic engineering resin made up of propylene monomer units. This is a clear white thermoplastic. It is resistant to temperatures up to 320°F. It is one of the most popular resins in the world.

Main Characteristics:

  • Good heat resistance
  • Not moldy
  • High elasticity
  • No yellowing
  • Non-toxic

Applications of Polypropylene resin 

Polypropylene resin is a versatile material with many important and diverse applications. In the packaging industry, PP's versatility and reasonable price promote the production of packaging such as plastic bags, bottles, jars, boxes and many similar products. PP is also widely used in the textile industry, for the production of man-made fibers, cables and bags, thanks to its flexibility, heat resistance and moisture resistance. Another popular application of it is in the medical industry, especially in the production of syringes. In addition, PP is also widely used in the production of water pipes, drainage systems and vehicle interiors.

You can refer to the videos below to learn more information about resins as well as some ways to apply them.

How to Choose the Right Resin for Your Projects

Choose the right resin for your projects
Choose the right resin for your projects

Each resin possesses unique properties, so different factors need to be carefully considered in order to be able to choose the one that best suits your project and your wishes. Below are 6 factors you need to consider carefully before deciding to choose resin.

Purpose of the Artwork

Clearly defining the purpose of your artwork is the first and most important thing in choosing the type of resin. Do you want casting, coating, or bonding? This will help you narrow down your resin options because different resins will have superior properties in different applications. For example, if you want to preserve your favorite flowers in resin, then transparent casting resin would be a perfect choice.

Curing Time

Depending on how long the project takes, you may need a resin that works quickly or a resin that allows you more time to manipulate and adjust. If this is your first time working with resin, a resin with a long set time is more suitable as it offers more flexibility in the fabrication process. However, faster-curing resins are often more expensive and may have less desirable properties, such as lower strength and durability. It is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of speeding up the curing process before making a decision. Normally, to completely cure: UV resin takes 5-10 minutes, epoxy resin takes 72 hours, silicone resin takes 24 hours, polyester takes 12 hours…


Durability is also an important aspect in making your resin selection decision. Different resins have different hardness, impact resistance, abrasion, and service life. Consider the environment in which your artwork will be displayed or used, and choose a plastic that can withstand those conditions. If you are making a piece of furniture that will be used heavily, you will need to choose a resin that is resistant to scratches, dents, and chips. Epoxy resin is a good choice for durable furniture projects.

Surface Finish

The surface finish of your artwork is another important factor to consider as it directly affects the aesthetics of the artwork. Resins can create different surface finishes, from glossy and reflective to matte or satin. Determine the desired finish with the properties of the resin to ensure that the aesthetics and beauty of the artwork meets your expectations.

Safety and Health Considerations

Some types of plastic will have less odor and are safe to use, such as Polyurethane (PU), Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP). On the contrary, some types have a very strong odor and emit toxic and harmful fumes. for human health. Make sure you choose a plastic that is safe for your health. If the plastic that meets all your other expectations is harmful to your health, you need to wear protective equipment such as masks, gloves and glasses. You also need to make sure to do it in a spacious, well-ventilated place

Budget and Cost Considerations

Different types of plastic come in different price ranges, and it's important to strike a balance between quality and affordability. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to choose a less expensive resin, such as polyester resin. However, keep in mind that polyester resin is not as durable as some other types of resin.


In this article, we learned about +10 different types of resins and their applications in many fields. We hope the above information will be helpful in determining the right resin for your project. If you want to learn more details or have any questions about resin, leave them in the comments section below. 


What is the best type of resin to use?

Compared to other resin types, epoxy is generally the best option. It is more forgiving when it comes to common mistakes made by newcomers, and it is also the simplest to mix and measure.

What are the most common types of resin?

Epoxy resin, vinyl ester resin, polyester resin are the 3 most popular resins with outstanding advantages and diversity in applications in life.

What type of resin is used for art?

Epoxy resin is a popular choice for art projects, especially for creating resin paintings, jewelry, and decorative pieces. Artists often ask, "How to paint on resin?" due to its appealing features such as transparency, flexibility, gloss, and UV resistance. It also has a long lifespan, allowing artists to work on intricate details and designs.

How many types of resin are there?

There are many types of plastic on the market, each with its own properties and applications. Therefore, we have researched and selected the 12 most popular and most applicable types of plastic. This will help you narrow down the range of resins, making it easier to make your choice.

What are the different types of resin used for?

Each different type of resin is produced for its own purpose and application. This is to meet the needs of use and development of modern life today.



I work as a freelance blogger in Seattle, Washington. I've been freelancing full-time for 5 years. I'm interested in anime, resin art, and mechanical keyboards.