Are you looking for the best glue but just don’t know what to choose? Well, one of the solutions you have to go with is epoxy, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Epoxy or two part epoxy is a very strong type of glue and can be used for a wide variety of applications and today you’re going to find out exactly what those are. Let’s talk about epoxy glue and what it can do for you.
What is Epoxy Glue?
The number one thing that you need to know about two component epoxies is of course that there are two components to them. One of these components is a resin and the other is a hardener. Both of these components need to be mixed together in equal ratios in order for the epoxy to start curing.
When the hardener is next with the resin, a chemical reaction occurs which involves heat and other chemical properties, that causes the resident to become rock solid.
What needs to be noted is that the mixture of these two components can involve various different chemicals and compounds, and exactly what compounds are used in a specific two part epoxy are going to decide what kind of properties that it has.
Keep in mind that Epoxy is most often used when materials need to be joined with high strength and durability.
What also needs to be noted is that Epoxy has very many different applications from home repairs, small construction projects, gap filling and for professional applications too.
Something interesting to know about Epoxy is that the part time is fairly short. In other words, you’ve got about 10 minutes to use this stuff after you have mixed both components together before it begins to Harden, and you can’t work with it any longer.
Moreover, do keep in mind that most epoxies do come in the form of two components. However, there also are some one component of epoxies, or in other words, both components have already been mixed together inside of the tube and are thus ready to go. However, the problem with epoxies that have already been mixed together for you is that they require a much higher curing temperature and often don’t provide the same kind of hold as when you had to mix it yourself (although this depends on the specific formula used).
When Was Epoxy Invented?
Epoxy or epoxy resin was first discovered and patented by Paul Schlack of Germany in 1934. This type of epoxy used at epoxides and amines to form a solid bond. Another type of epoxy glue, bisphenol-A-based epoxy resin, was discovered by Pierre Castan of Switzerland in 1943. As you can see, this type of glue or adhesive has been around for a very long time.
With that being said, around this time, there were several scientists from various countries looking into epoxy resin formulas. Dr. Sylvan Greenlee of the United States also seems to have discovered a form of epoxy glue around this time, and it seems to be completely separate of the other discoveries.
Keep in mind that the very first epoxies were amber colored and used for dental fixture adhesion. Something else that is interesting to note is that there are more than 50 different substances which are known as epoxy residence, each of which features slightly different chemical makeups.
How it Works
In theory, how epoxy works is actually very simple. As we have noted above, epoxy consists of two components, a resin and a hardener. Quite honestly, there are about 50 different combinations of various hardeners and resonance, so we aren’t going to get too much into this as it gets very scientific and complicated. Quite honestly, there isn’t much point in discussing various chemicals that may or may not be contained in a specific epoxy glue.
However, the main thing to note here is that the resident, which is a specific type of monomeric resin, It’s mixed with a hardener which is an accelerator and a plasticizer, which causes that resident to essentially form into solid plastic. Depending on the chemical makeup of the two-component epoxy in question, the hardness, flexibility and resistance of the final product will differ. The reaction of the two components creates heat, which in turn causes the epoxy to harden. This epoxy curing process is something that we will discuss in greater detail further below.
Alright, so we said that we were going to talk more about the hearing curing process of two-part epoxy, so let’s do that right now. As noted above, when those two components come together, the hardener, also known as the accelerator or the plasticizer, creates a chemical reaction with the resin itself, which then causes the resin to Harden into plastic.
The molecular chains within these components have a chemical reaction that form a very strong bond. Keep in mind that some two-part proxies also include thermoplastic polymers that can increase the hardness of epoxy. What is very important to note here is that a big part of epoxy curing has to do with heat.
The chemical reaction that occurs here creates what is known as exothermal which actually causes the resin to cure much faster. What is also interesting is that the thicker the mass of glue is, the more heat is retained from this chemical reaction and therefore curing happens faster. The more he is involved with, the faster the curing happens.
Do remember that although the working time or pot time for this sort of glue is only about 10 minutes, but that said if you take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for epoxy resin to cure completely, depending on the moisture level and heat of the surrounding area.
How Strong is Epoxy?
What is definitely worth noting about the proxy is that it is one of the strongest types of glue in the world. In fact, when it comes to all the types of glue out there, including super glue, normal white glue, and wood glue, epoxy is by far the strongest kind of them all. Now exactly how strong your policy is will of course depend on the specific formula used. In terms of weight bearing capabilities, epoxy is one of the best options out there. Both two component and one component epoxy have the ability to hold up over 6000 PSI.
People, a single inch of epoxy, if you use the right stuff, can hold up 6000 pounds or deal with 6000 pounds of impact force. In terms of structural integrity, hardness, impact resistance, and weight bearing capabilities, two-part epoxy and one part of epoxy are both up there with the best of them. Moreover, epoxy is actually also one of the best types of adhesives across the board, as it has extreme moisture resistance and is completely waterproof.
On that same note, epoxy is also extremely resistant to UV light, as well as to virtually all solvents and harsh chemicals. Due to the extremely high strength resistance and versatility of epoxy, it is used in a great number of applications, something that we were about to talk about below.
What is Epoxy Used for?
As mentioned above, it epoxy has a great number of applications in it’s all thanks to the fact that it is so durable and resistant to mostly everything and anything. One thing that is worth noting here is that Epoxy will stick to most porous and non-porous materials.
This includes things like most plastics, metals, wood, stone, concrete, ceramic, tile, and other related things. However, keep in mind that epoxy is not the best thing to use on substances such as vinyl, rubber, silicone, wax paper or parchment paper.
Although it epoxy can stick to non-porous and smooth materials, if the material is far too smooth, even greasy, then it will not stick. So what exactly is epoxy glue used for?
Epoxy for Wood
One of the common uses for epoxy glue is for wood. Although wood glue is often the preferred choice for growing word together, there is no reason why can epoxy cannot be used. People will generally go for wood glue because it’s cheaper, but that said epoxy does tend to be stronger.
Epoxy makes for good wood glue if you need a very strong bond. On a side note, two part epoxy is a great thing to use to fill gaps in wood, because due to its thickness, it won’t run down. Epoxy can also be used to repair rotten wood or missing parts of wood.
Epoxy for Metal
Another very common use of epoxy glue is the bonding of metal. If you need to repair household appliances, you need to repair small pieces of metal that have been sheared apart from each other, or you need to seal unpressurized pipes, then epoxy glue makes for a great option.
Moreover, if you need to secure bolts or screws to metal and it works very well too. Sure, welding and soldering do create much better bonds, but that said, it’s also much harder to do and requires more time and materials.
Epoxy for Plastic
If you need to glue plastic parts together where they are, car parts, lawn chairs, or anything in between, epoxy can glue them all together. For instance, if you have a burst PVC pipe in your bathroom, this type of glue can be used for repairs.
Epoxy for Cement
Epoxy is so strong and thick that it can also be used to fill gaps in cement. Moreover, if you need to glue small pieces of stone together, such as if you have a cracked garden step, then this is a good option to consider. If you need to repair, fill or rebuild a concrete surface, two part epoxy is the way to go.
Of course, if you want the best results you are going to need the best products in terms of the best two part epoxy products there are a few good brand that you should consider. Some of the most popular brands here include Gorilla Glue, J-B Weld, Loctite, Dr. Crafty, and Bob Smith Industries.
Fun Facts About Epoxy
There are a few very interesting facts that you should know about Epoxy, so let’s cover them right now.
- Remember that if you were working in a cold temperature, the working time of epoxy will be much longer. Heat will cause the epoxy to cure much faster, so if you want to have a lot of working time, make sure to be working in a cool environment.
- On that same note, if you mix it all together in a delete container, the working time is going to be a lot less than if you spread the epoxy out over a thin surface. The thinner this epoxy is. Faster table cure.
- Although Epoxy will Harden in a few minutes or hours, to completely cure, it can take several days.
- Keep in mind that if you plan on applying two or more coats of epoxy, you will want to apply the second coat within 48 hours after the first coat. The reason for this is because you do not want the first coat to be completely cured when you apply the second one. If the first coat is completely cured when you go to apply the second coat, the second coating won’t stick to the first coating, at least not very well.
How to Remove Epoxy
Epoxy is extremely strong and very resistant to a variety of solvents, but that said, if you get it on yourself or on a surface that it shouldn’t be on, there are some ways to remove it.
Realistically, you want to wear gloves when working with epoxy as it will bond his skin. If you do get it onto your skin, use open water to immediately remove it. Under no circumstances do you want this stuff to Harden on your skin because it will become nearly impossible to remove.
If epoxy resin is completely cured, the only real way to remove it from a surface is by scraping and sanding it away. There are no solvents that you will be able to find that will be able to remove this stuff. Now, with that being said, if the epoxy is not yet totally cured, both acetone and isopropyl alcohol will be able to remove it. Just apply a bit of either of those things to a cloth and rub it over the uncured epoxy.
Bad Things About Epoxy
Although Epoxy is one of the best types of the best types of adhesives out there, there are some disadvantages that you need to consider.
Short Working Time
The fact is that you’ve got about 10 minutes to work with your epoxy before it starts to harden. This means that you need to work fast.
Clamping and Curing Time
You will often need to clamp components together when using epoxy, and Moreover it can take up to two days to cure, depending on the environment.
For the most part, epoxy will cost more than most other types of glue.
The other disadvantage with epoxy is that the mixing ratio needs to be exact. If the two components are not mixed in a precise manner, the results will not be to your liking.
Will epoxy stick to PVC?
Is epoxy waterproof?
Will Epoxy stick to metal?
There you have it, people, everything you need to know about epoxies. Now that you are an epoxy expert, you could you are one step closer to determining what the right type of glue or adhesive for any project at hand is.