Epoxy resin is a synthetic substance derived from oligomers. Under the influence of polyamine impurities (hardeners) it is able to form strong polymers which are resistant to the aggressive influence of external factors.
In the industry epoxy is a part of different kinds of glue, varnishes, plastocements and other technical solutions. In creative activities it also found a use for it. From epoxy they make souvenirs, jewelry, decorative objects.
Properties of epoxy resin
Artisans have learned to make jewelry, pendants, pendants, decorative crafts from epoxy resin, using its unique properties:
- high strength;
- absolute transparency;
- has an excellent waterproofing.
Epoxy should not be confused with the glue of the same name. It is not intended for creativity, because in addition to the resin it contains a solvent, a plasticizer and a filler. Compared with the glue resin has advantages:
- it hardens quickly, and this process can be controlled and accelerated;
- the property of pure transparency is not broken during the whole service life of the product;
- plasticity, malleability in processing;
- possibility to create any shape of the product;
- change of consistency by means of different proportion of hardener.
Epoxy resin, suitable for creativity, can be purchased in stores of handmade goods.
Basics of safe work
Although the substance has the word “resin” in its name, there are no natural components in it. When in contact with epoxy, there is a danger of suffering from the vapors emitted. Therefore, it is necessary to observe safety precautions:
- work wearing gloves;
- wear a respirator to prevent inhalation of vapors;
- arrange for ventilation in the room;
- limit access of household members to the place where the work takes place, especially children and animals;
- do not get distracted during work.
In order not to spoil the surface of the table, you need to put a special board or film.
Method of preparation of epoxy resin
Special kits for the preparation of resin are on sale. Before you start your creative work, you should read the instructions. Especially if this is the first experience of sculpting from this material.
To create a working substance will require materials:
- purchased resin;
- disposable syringes;
- measuring pots;
- wooden stirring stick (a toothpick will do).
- Measure out the desired amount of ingredients with a syringe;
- Mix ingredients at a temperature of +25 degrees in one bowl;
- Stir the mixture thoroughly with a wooden stick to make sure that there are no air bubbles;
- If bubbles remain, you need to heat the mixture, the bubbles will rise to the surface, they will be easy to remove;
- Use the mixture to make a creative idea.
An important point to remember is that if the mixture is prepared in plastic measuring cups, they will not be suitable for other uses. These cups should be discarded.
Processing products after the curing of the resin
After the substance has cured, the product becomes cloudy, rough and requires finishing. Beginners sincerely believe that they have not coped with the work and the handicraft is not successful.
Epoxy has good elasticity, so the product is easy to transform with sandpaper. During sanding, you should protect the respiratory organs with a respirator, and lightly moisten the sandpaper with water. This is done to ensure that the fine fractions of epoxy dust do not get into the air and do not harm the body.
Epoxy resin handicrafts
Epoxy is considered a universal material and is widely used in hand-made. It is used to create independent products (figurines, pendants, beads), as well as additional elements that complement the composition.
Handicrafts made of epoxy are made with the help of molds. Popular molds are silicone molds. They allow making not only beads, pendants, but even rings. Molds “release” the solution well, so the cured product can be easily extracted.
Advantages of silicone molds:
- Are available for purchase in any hand-made store at democratic prices;
- Do not contact with the work compound (do not stick, do not stick together).
Dried leaves, flowers, seashells are good as decorations. Any three-dimensional object fused in the transparent resin will be associated with an ancient amber inlay. No matter what element of decor you have in mind, you should prepare it well, dry leaves and shells with an alcohol-containing detergent.
Glitter, sequins, paint drops can also be used as “stuffing” the piece, but in small proportions so as not to disturb the concentration of resin.
How do I pour resin into molds?
All epoxy objects are made using casting molds. There are two tried-and-true ways to make a craft without flaws.
The first method is to let the mixed resin stand for half an hour. During this time, the ingredients go through all the steps of the chemical process, the substance acquires properties suitable for work without the possibility of unpleasant surprises.
Decorative ornaments are placed in the mold, then a thin stream slowly pours the mixture. After curing, the product is easily removed from the mold, and the surface is polished.
With this method, the product turns out flat, without bubbles or flaws, but the decorative elements slide down the mold. If the idea is that they should be evenly distributed inside the piece, this method of pouring is not appropriate.
The second method is similar to the first, it is carried out in reverse order. The master class includes the following steps:
- The mixture stands for half an hour;
- First, the resin is slowly poured into the mold in a thin stream;
- Then decorative objects are dipped into it with a toothpick.
- With a single mold, you can create different items with your hands, playing with the decorative filling.
Using epoxy resin
Jewelry is not limited to the range of possibilities of epoxy resin. Although costume jewelry, pendants, pendants can be found more often, other products are also made from epoxy. For example, the original look handles knives, flash drives frames, pens.
Experienced craftsmen have learned how to make large decorative objects of epoxy and wood. Incredibly beautiful tables that have a tabletop decorated with epoxy and imitates water in the middle or along the entire length of the surface. Some models have the tabletop entirely filled with epoxy, with decorative leaves and flowers inside. In thematic blogs, available for viewing on the Internet, many photos of such furniture are published, which amaze the talent of craftsmen.
Resin is able to realize any ideas of the author. Some crafts look like works of art – cases for pocket mirrors, pendants, pendants, key chains. Even articulated dolls can be made of transparent epoxy.