What is Epoxy Resin? A Simple Guide to Its Properties and Uses

  • Resin Art 101
  • Posted by: amy-golden
  • Sep 28, 2023

If you’re curious about "What is Epoxy Resin?", you've come to the correct place. It is a versatile and highly adhesive material widely used in the construction, woodworking, and manufacturing industries. In this guide, we explore the uses, advantages, and limitations of epoxy resin, providing insights to help you harness its full potential in your projects.

What does Epoxy Resin mean?

What does epoxy resin mean?
What does epoxy resin mean?

Epoxy resin is a thermosetting polymer that is created by combining a hardener and a resin.

When the resin and hardener are mixed together, they undergo a chemical reaction that cross-links the polymer chains, making the resin hard and durable.

Epoxy resins have a broad variety of uses, including coatings, electrical components (such as chips on boards), LEDs, high-tension electrical insulators, the manufacture of paint brushes, fiber-reinforced plastic composites, and structural and other adhesives. 

Different Types of Epoxy Resin

To choose epoxy resin that suits your needs, you also need to know what type of material is epoxy. Here are some different types of epoxy resin that you may be interested in.

Different types of epoxy resin
Different types of epoxy resin

Bisphenol Epoxy Resins

Bisphenol Epoxy Resins (DGEBA or DGEBA) are a type of epoxy resin that is made by the reaction of bisphenol-A in contact with epichlorohydrin in the presence of a basic catalyst. They are commonly used in the construction, woodworking, and manufacturing industries.

When using Bisphenol Epoxy Resins, you need to be careful because Bisphenol A is known for its potential as an endocrine disruptor. It exhibits properties that modulate PPARγ and act against androgens. 

Additionally, BADGE has been classified as a Group 3 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which means that it is impossible to verify whether it causes cancer in humans.

Pros Cons
  • High strength
  • Chemical resistance
  • Strong adhesion
  • Toughness
  • Can be brittle
  • Can yellow over time
  • Can be expensive
  • Can be challenging to work with

Aliphatic Epoxy Resins

What type of material is epoxy?
What type of material is epoxy?

Aliphatic epoxy resins are a type of epoxy resin that have an aliphatic backbone. They are renowned for their outstanding color stability and UV resistance. They have a high level of resistance to chemicals and water. They cost more and are less durable than other varieties of epoxy resins.

These characteristics make them a popular option in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, building, and carpentry. They are also employed in a variety of tasks, including the construction of electrical circuit boards and electronic parts like fiber optics.

Pros Cons
  • Excellent UV resistance
  • More flexible and less brittle than traditional epoxy resins
  • Not as strong as other types 
  • More expensive than other types

Novolac Epoxy Resins

To create Novolac Epoxy Resins, phenol and formaldehyde are first condensed with an acid catalyst, then the resulting condensation is finished with epichlorohydrin. As a result of their significantly improved functionality, these resins offer better chemical resistance. In addition, they are more heat resistant than other epoxy resins. 

They are primarily used in coatings, containment systems, composites, structural adhesives, and electrical laminating and electronics. Their thermal stability also enables their use in high temperature coatings, castings, structural and electrical laminates, and adhesives.

Pros Cons
  • Better chemical resistance as a result of enormous functionality
  • Increased heat resistance than others
  • More brittle than others
  • More expensive than others

Halogenated Epoxy Resins

Notably, Halogenated epoxy resins are renowned for their exceptional flame retardant properties, rendering them ideal for environments where fire resistance is crucial. They also have a strong dielectric property, which makes them a popular option for electrical and electronic components. 

Applications for halogenated epoxy resins are numerous. Brominated bisphenol A is used when flame retardant properties are required, such as in printed circuit boards. Researchers have examined fluorinated epoxy resins for their excellent chemical resistance and low water absorption.

Pros Cons
  • Flame retardancy 
  • Chemical resistance
  • Electrical insulation
  • High durability
  • Quite expensive
  • Toxicity causing health problems if not handled properly
  • Limited transparency
  • Some halogenated compounds are environmentally problematic

Epoxy Resin Diluents

Types of resin and their uses
Types of resin and their uses

Epoxy Resin Diluents are used to reduce the viscosity and improve the handling qualities of epoxy resin systems. They are often low-viscosity liquids used to lower the cost of epoxy resin.

Pros Cons
  • Reduced viscosity
  • Improved handling characteristics
  • Improved wetting of substrates

Reduced mechanical properties compared to undiluted epoxy resins

Glycidylamine Epoxy Resins

Glycidylamine epoxy resins are multifunctional epoxies with outstanding performance that are created by reacting aromatic amines with epichlorohydrin. They are used in a number of applications, such as coatings, adhesives, and composites, and have exceptional mechanical properties.

Pros Cons
  • Excellent thermal stability
  • Excellent mechanical qualities
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Good adhesion to various substrates
  • Low shrinkage during curing
  • Low water absorption
  • High cost 
  • High viscosity 

What is Epoxy Resin used for?

In the quest to understand what is epoxy resin used for, we will delve into its myriad uses. It is essential in many industrial applications due to its outstanding adhesive capabilities, resistance to water and solvents, and electrical insulating properties. Apart from these industrial applications, epoxy resin is also popularly used in creative and decorative projects, such as preserving flowers in resin, showcasing its adaptability to both functional and artistic purposes.

Art and Crafts

Epoxy resin is used for art and crafts
Epoxy resin is used for art and crafts

The use of epoxy resin has become quite popular among painters and crafters. It is a flexible material for resin art because it can enclose items, produce beautiful visual effects, and offer a shiny, transparent finish.

Moreover, you can use it for art pieces such as coasters, jewelry boxes, and lamps. Furthermore, resin pours and geode art frequently employ it. If you have an affinity for a diverse range of resin art products, let's explore our collection of  Epoxy Lamp.


Epoxy resin is used for woodworking
Epoxy resin is used for woodworking

Epoxy resin has several uses in the field of woodworking. It is used by woodworkers to fill in cracks, voids, and other flaws in wood to produce surfaces that are both visually beautiful and long-lasting. 

Epoxy glue is also used to bind, strengthen, and reinforce wood joints, giving a variety of wooden crafts a stable structural foundation.


Epoxy resin is used for coatings
Epoxy resin is used for coatings

Because of its superior corrosion resistance, consistent chemical characteristics, superb adhesion, minimal curing shrinkage, and high tensile strength, epoxy resin is frequently employed as a protective coating. It serves as a barrier against corrosion, chemicals, and wear

Additionally, epoxy coatings are utilized to safeguard pipeline infrastructure against corrosion. They may be used on metal surfaces such as cast iron, steel, and aluminum, and they can function in continuous immersion. Anti-corrosive primers and abrasion- and fire-resistant coatings are among them.


Epoxy resin is used for electronics
Epoxy resin is used for electronics

Epoxy resins are employed in the electronic sector because of their superior electrical insulating qualities, resistance to dust, moisture, and short circuits. They are the main resins utilized in printed circuit boards, transistors, and integrated circuits. 

Epoxy paints and coatings are frequently used on metal substrates (such as cast iron, aluminum, or steel) to provide a long-lasting protective layer.


Epoxy adhesives are well-known for their exceptional bonding capabilities. Epoxy resins are utilized in a number of industries, including the building, automotive, and aerospace industries. 

Epoxy resin adhesive is commonly used for painted and pre-treated metals, as well as other composite materials, where its ability to paint on resin enhances its versatility. They form strong, high-tensile connections that are very robust and unaffected by mechanical or thermal forces.

Automotive Industry

Epoxy resin is used for automotive industry
Epoxy resin is used for automotive industry

Epoxy resins are utilized in the automobile sector for a variety of applications including paints, adhesives, and composites. Due to their resilience to chemicals present in lubricants, cleansers, and bleach, they are widely used. 

On the car body and other metal elements, epoxy resins can assist give adhesion to metal as well as resistance to rust and corrosion. They form strong, high-tensile connections that are very robust and unaffected by mechanical or thermal forces. 

The use of epoxies in automobiles can also assist to reduce the weight of automotive components, resulting in improved fuel economy and fewer CO2 and other pollutants.

Best Epoxy Resin 

Product Name Specs Suitable For Price
Naked Fusion The Artist’s Resin 1-Gallon Kit

Naked fusion the artist’s resin 1-gallon kit

  • Durability: 145° heat resistance
  • Working time: 60 minutes
  • Curing time: 24 hours 
  • Coating
  • Glass Coats on artwork
  • Pour Paintings
  • Resin Jewelry
  • Resin Art
  • Coasters
  • Encapsulations
Nicpro 16-Ounce Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin Kit

Nicpro 16-ounce crystal clear epoxy resin kit
Nicpro 16-ounce crystal clear epoxy resin kit
  • Durability: UV stabilizer and advanced additive which is resistant to yellowing
  • Working time: 30 minutes
  • Curing time: 8-24 hours
  • Jewelry making
  • Encapsulate objects
  • Garment accessories
  • Resin canvas painting
  • Cast figurines
  • Crafts decorations
FGCI Liquid Glass Deep Pour Epoxy

Fgci liquid glass deep pour epoxyfgci liquid glass deep pour epoxy

  • Durability: High-Grade UV Resistance, high barcole rating
  • Working time: N/A
  • Curing time: 48-72 Hours
  • Colored epoxy resin wood filler applications 
  • Clear epoxy resin wood filler 
  • Filling large voids in wood with epoxy
TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy

Totalboat table top epoxy

  • Durability: 100% high scratch, stain, and fading resistance, and a waterproof finish
  • Working time:  35-45 minutes
  • Curing time: 3-5 days
  • Glistening counters, bars, and tables

Factors to consider when buying Epoxy Resin

There are a number of important variables to take into account when exploring the world of epoxy resins to make sure you get the best product for your requirements. 

Factors to consider when buying epoxy resin
Factors to consider when buying epoxy resin

Intended Application

Epoxy resin has many more industrial applications than other types of resin. The fundamental properties of an epoxy resin formula will vary depending on the precise chemistry and polymerization techniques used.

The following are a few of the distinctive qualities of epoxy resin formulas: Electrical insulation, chemical stability, and heat resistance low absorption of moisture, long-lasting adhesive bond, Anti-corrosive, excellent flexural and fatigue strength, Low shrinkage upon cure, There are no VOCs.

Curing Process Duration

Consider curing process duration when buying epoxy resin
Consider curing process duration when buying epoxy resin

Curing time has an effect on the efficiency of your job as well as the time available for modifications. Most resins require 24 hours to cure. However, epoxy setting and strong adhesive bonding might take up to 72 hours. For applications requiring significant pressure or stress, full epoxy resin cure time should always be permitted.


The viscosity of epoxy resin impacts its flow and capacity to fill gaps or saturate materials. Low viscosity epoxy resin is thinner and has the fluidity of vegetable oil. A greater viscosity epoxy glue is substantially thicker, having a consistency similar to pudding or sticky slime

There are some epoxy resins with high viscosity such as UltraClear Table Top Epoxy or Hapco’s Steralloy, Filterbond and Hapflex resins. These are specialized substances created for highly technical uses. They are thicker viscous compared to other things..

And if you are looking for epoxy resins with low viscosity, you can consider UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy, Alicyclic Epoxy Resins, or Casting Epoxy Resin.

Mix Ratio

Consider mix ratio when buying epoxy resin
Consider mix ratio when buying epoxy resin

The mixing ratio of epoxy resin depends on the product you are using and every different product should have the ideal mixing ratio stated on the packaging. However, the most common ratio to use for mixing epoxy resin is either 1:1 or 2:1 resin to hardener. The mixing ratio has to be precise, otherwise the epoxy resin will not harden or it will not work optimally.

Maximum Layer Thickness 

The recommended layer thickness can usually be found in the manufacturer’s instructions, although a good guideline is to create a layer that is no more than 1 to 2 cm thick.

Surface Adhesion Properties

Consider surface adhesion properties when buying epoxy resin
Consider surface adhesion properties when buying epoxy resin

When buying epoxy resin, you should consider the adhesion properties on surfaces of different materials. For an epoxy resin to connect well with a substrate, the substrate's surface energy must be comparable to or greater than that of the epoxy.

Typical cured epoxies have surface energy around 45 dyne/cm. Epoxy adhesives do not attach properly to surfaces with surface energies of 30 dyne/cm or less.

Degree of Hardness

Epoxy resin hardness is frequently determined using the Shore D hardness scale. Higher values indicate a harder substance. This scale measures the material's resistance to being indented. When fully cured, the majority of common epoxy resins have a Shore D hardness value of 80–85.

Safety and Handling

Consider safety and handling when buying epoxy resin
Consider safety and handling when buying epoxy resin

When considering the purchase of epoxy resin, safety and handling is a crucial factor. Epoxy resins are generally safe for use, but they can cause skin and eye irritation, and prolonged exposure can lead to sensitization. 

It's crucial to practice safety precautions when dealing with epoxy resins, such as donning protective clothing like gloves, goggles, or a respirator mask. In order to prevent fume inhalation, these compounds should be utilized in a well-ventilated location. 

Some epoxy resins also require careful mixing in specific ratios for optimal performance and safety, such as:

  • Naked Fusion The Artist’s Resin 1-Gallon Kit
  • Nicpro 16-Ounce Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin Kit
  • FGCI Liquid Glass Deep Pour Epoxy
  • TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy, Puduo Epoxy Resin Kit for Art
  • Dr. Crafty Clear Epoxy Resin Kit.

Compatibility with Materials

Epoxy resins are adaptable and can stick to a variety of substances, including some plastics, glass, metal, and wood. But not all epoxy resins are appropriate for all kinds of materials. For instance, some epoxy resins could not stick to particular metals or types of plastic very well. 

For wood, you can consider Naked Fusion The Artist’s Resin 1-Gallon Kit or TotalBoat Table Top Epoxy. For metal, there are many epoxy resins recommended such as 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200, or J-B Weld 8276 KwikWeld Reinforced Epoxy.

Is Epoxy Resin harmful?

Is epoxy resin harmful?
Is epoxy resin harmful?

Health Effects from Overexposure to Epoxy Resin

Epoxy Resin has health effects when exposed to too much. It can cause contact dermatitis, a common reaction in about 10% of epoxy users. This can lead to acute or chronic dermatitis, which can be mild but long-lasting. It can turn into eczema if left untreated for an extended length of time.

Additionally, breathing in strong epoxy vapors on a regular basis or for an extended amount of time can irritate your respiratory system. Itching and swelling could result from being exposed to highly concentrated epoxy fumes in sensitive skin areas like the eyelids.

Precautions for Epoxy Resin Safety

Precautions for epoxy resin safety
Precautions for epoxy resin safety

Ventilation: Epoxy resins are toxic and can be harmful when inhaled. The epoxy scent can linger for three days to two weeks, depending on the room's size and ventilation. Therefore, until the scent disappears, it is crucial to maintain good ventilation in the space.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): If handled improperly, epoxy resin can have major negative effects on health. Therefore, when handling epoxy resin, it's vital to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Gloves, safety glasses, and respiration devices are among the PPE required for the safe application of epoxy coatings. 

Work Surface Preparation: Clean surfaces before sanding to prevent contaminants and ensure good adhesion. You can clean with lacquer thinner, acetone, or another solvent, and wipe them before they dry. Then, sand smooth non-porous surfaces, remove flaking, chalking, blistering, or old coating, and remove dust after sanding.

Proper Mixing: The key to a high-strength epoxy mix and proper cure is to carefully read through all the product labels and Technical Data Sheets before you start mixing. This will help determine the correct ratios based on the products you are using and the environment you are working in. 


Certainly, by now, you should have a comprehensive answer to the question, "What is epoxy resin?". In this guide, we have explored the uses of it, providing insights to help you harness its full potential. Epoxy resin offers a range of benefits. However, remember to make sure about proper handling and safety precautions due to its potential hazards associated.


What is epoxy resin made from?

The resin and the hardener are the two parts that make up epoxy resin. Typically, the resin is thin, very viscous, and nearly colorless. The hardener typically has a lower viscosity and a darker hue.

What surfaces can you use epoxy resin on?

Epoxy resin can be used on a variety of surfaces including wood, metal, concrete, stone, ceramics, and some plastics. It is frequently used to cover tabletops, floors, and countertops. 

What are the common uses of epoxy resin?

Epoxy resin is used in the construction trades to anchor bolts and other hardware into concrete walls, ceilings, and floors. Moreover, epoxies are most commonly used as adhesives, which are applicable on any kind of surface, from glass to plastic. 

Epoxy resins are also used to make a variety of items, such as boat hulls and electrical components, either by themselves or in conjunction with glass, carbon, or other reinforcing fibers.

Is epoxy resin safe to use?

Epoxy resin is generally safe to use when handled properly. But in other people, it can result in skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction. When using epoxy resin, it's crucial to take safety precautions like wearing gloves and making sure there's enough air.

What is epoxy resin made of?

The epoxide, or resin, and a hardener are the two components that make up epoxy resin. A polymer compound, which is a lengthy chain made up of repeating chemical units, often makes up the epoxide or resin portion of epoxy. Epoxide molecules make up the base's constituent parts and are what give it its great strength and adhesive properties.

Is epoxy waterproof?

When epoxy has had time to cure, the answer to the question "is epoxy waterproof?" is yes. But it's crucial to remember that not all epoxy resins are the same. You must select the one that is suitable for your project because some are more waterproof than others.

Is Epoxy Resin Food Safe?

Epoxy resin is not food safe unless it has been specifically formulated for that purpose. If you plan on using epoxy resin for food-related projects such as coating a cutting board or making a serving tray, make sure to choose a food-safe epoxy resin.

Is epoxy resin a glue?

Epoxy resin can be used as an adhesive but it is not technically a glue. Glue typically refers to an adhesive that is already in a liquid or semi-liquid state and does not require mixing.

Is epoxy a plastic?

Epoxy resin is a form of plastic. Epoxy is a type of thermosetting polymer. When heated, thermosetting polymers undergo a chemical reaction that prevents melting or reshaping once the reaction has taken place and the polymer has dried.



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