Welcome, DIY enthusiasts and art lovers! Have you ever wondered why your epoxy gets hot during the curing process? It's time to solve the mystery and unleash the heat behind your project. Dive into the fascinating world of epoxy and let's explore the reasons why it sometimes gets hot!
Just recently I was back in my resin studio and actually wanted to film a great reel for my Instagram and TikTok account, however, unfortunately something happened to me that hasn't happened to me in what feels like forever. Here is a little shot of my disaster:
I asked you below the video what you think happened to me and I was mega excited about your basic knowledge on epoxy. Really great how you guys are dealing with it - whether it's through your own experiments or just researching and "reading up" ....
HERE IS THE REEL for all the ones who haven't seen it yet: https://www.instagram.com/p/CtzhVIPu5No/
Before I tell you what exactly happened to me, I want to give you a little basic information along the way so that this mess doesn't happen to you. Maybe you will find one or the other reason, which you didn't know until now.
The countdown to the heat kick:
Grab some popcorn, because here comes the countdown!
The magic of the exothermic reaction:
It's not a magic spell, it's a chemical reaction! Epoxy resin is made up of resin and hardener, which bond together as they cure. This is where heat comes into play. The reaction between the resin and hardener is exothermic, which means it releases heat. It's like your DIY project has its own little sun!
THE VOLUME/QUANTITY MATTERS
Depending on how much resin and hardener you use, the amount of heat generated can vary. A larger amount of epoxy also means more reaction energy, and the result is a hot spectacle. So, when tackling large projects, make sure you pour with smaller amounts, so please don't mix 5 liters right away (unless you're pouring a Rivertabel), but rather mix 5 x 1 liters at a time, working your way forward one liter at a time on your artwork.
THE PROCESSING TIME IS CRUCIAL
Cure time also matters. If the epoxy cures quickly, there is less time for heat dissipation. That means the temperature will rise faster and your project will literally be hotter than expected. It's a bit of a race against time!
Especially with very inexpensive resin, it's unfortunate that you're often advertised that it dries quickly. This is a nice feature for those without patience, but especially for those DIY lovers without patience, I would recommend UV resin, which flash dries within seconds under the UV light.
So I can recommend the resin with long processing time. Although it then also takes a little longer until your resin project is cured, but you are already a little safer on the subject of "hot resin".
THE TEMPERATURE IS CRUCIAL:
As with everything in life, be careful with epoxy. Overheating can lead to undesirable results. The resin can crack or even deform. Quite classic for overheated resin is unfortunately the beautiful color YELLOW, which is unfortunately not so popular with us resin artists. Too much heat makes the resin turn yellow. Some mugs filled with resin can "boil over" or suddenly become very sticky on the canvas. So, keep a cool head and maintain proper temperature control to ensure the optimal condition of your project. And by that I mean both room temperature (22°C max) and adding intentional heat such as a Bunsen burner or heat gun, because sometimes the heat comes from outside rather than inside. Pouring your epoxy project near heat sources (heating in the summer - sounds silly now, yes) or under direct sunlight can further increase the temperature.
So, keep your project in a cool and well-ventilated area to avoid unwanted heat waves.
Unfortunately, that's not all, and I'd like to point out two other facts that are very common in the resin world.
WAITING UNTIL THE DESIRED VISCOSITY IS REACHED
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon among resin artists that unmixed resin is deliberately left to stand, i.e. after mixing resin & hardener, it is simply left to stand in the mixing cup so that the chemical reaction can progress somewhat while still in the cup. In principle, this is not sooooo wrong and theoretically possible. But you really MUST master this and really know your resin that you are working with. If you are only a few minutes too late with the processing, the exothermic reaction in the cup has already progressed so far that the resin is very hot and unfortunately can no longer be processed well. This heat also promotes faster yellowing. So I would ask you to pay attention to the right viscosity when buying resin.
THE ACRYLIC COLORS IN RESIN
Acrylic paints contain water and other volatile components that evaporate as they dry. When mixed with epoxy, these volatile components can interfere with the curing of the resin or even cause the resin to boil. The water can cause bubbling and heat (known as boiling over the resin) or affect the adhesion of the epoxy because it can interfere with the chemical reaction between the resin and hardener.
Now I've listed you such a few reasons why the resin issue can sometimes get very heated.
In my case, it was actually a classic combination of 2 things: it was 29 °C in my studio and on top of that I wanted to create waves and used a hot air dryer on the highest setting.
Now you know the exciting reasons why your epoxy gets hot! From the exothermic reaction to the countdown to the heat kick, it all contributes to the impressive curing process. Remember to keep an eye on the heat and take the proper precautions to ensure your DIY project is radiant and not overheated. So, grab your paints, buckle up, and prepare for "no" heat adventures with epoxy!