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Topic: The random RESIN question thread!  (Read 393415 times)
Tags for this thread: resin , mold , catalyst , resin_problems  Add new tag
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1640 on: February 19, 2011 08:15:55 AM »

Quote
I know polyester is fairly toxic, I kept the windows open with a fan with an OSHA mask on while working with it, but I'm sure I inhaled a ton of fumes. I only worked with it on two separate days - that was it and now that I know about epoxy I threw out the polyester and bought epoxy to work with.
I only got a slight headache from it, but I'm kind of concerned about the long term effects. Should I be worried about my exposure, even though it was short-term?. . . here's a pic of the coasters

Not sure how I missed this post, but neither polyester nor epoxy craft resin is really "toxic."  If you were in a plant that manufactured it, or if you used a lot of it on your own (for your business perhaps), then you'd definitely not want to breathe in that much of it, especially polyester.  The issues are much better for epoxy resins though you still would want at least reasonable ventilation, and to wear at least a dust mask if you sanded. Tweaked epoxies like Easy Cast, etc, are even less bad for lungs but they do have other problems after curing.

The problem from breathing in anything "bad for you" is mostly the cumulative effect over years or a lifetime though, not that you'll keel over after exposure when using in small amounts for crafts.  You might get a headache from the polyester resin, but there's no real long-term effect other than you've added a tiny bit to your lifetime exposure (which you'll also get into your lungs from daily living in a developed country especially from car exhaust and many other air pollutants, rugs and all kinds of furniture in your house, heating non-stick coatings too high, etc., as well as inhaling smoke from fireplaces, etc).

P.S.  I think we've mentioned somewhere in this long thread or perhaps on the Completed Projects board that not just any kind of mold material can be used for resins and allow the resin to release.  Some molds will even become distorted or cause foggy resin surfaces from the heat generated by their curing.  And many candy molds won't be the right kind of plastic, but could perhaps work if they were silicone.

Also, regular epoxy resins won't work well in molds where you want the resin to be deeper than about 1/4" at more.  For those you'd need a polyester resin or one of the tweaked epoxies.  They don't have the exact same properties though they look the same after curing when done right.
For more info on molds for resin, check out at least some of my previous posts found by doing an Advanced Search here for my name plus resin mold HDPE:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=10667.msg4176021#msg4176021
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=254029.msg3964373#msg3964373
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=318977.msg3970174#msg3970174
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011 08:31:50 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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LadybugsAndBumblebees
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« Reply #1641 on: February 19, 2011 09:52:25 AM »

Since we're talking about resin...I have a question...I made bottle cap pendants using resin and small gemstones (inexpensive).  They have been done for about five days now, and are still tacky.  Anything I can do to move it along (the drying)?  Any help would be much appreciated!  Thanks!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1642 on: February 19, 2011 10:10:59 AM »

Quote
I made bottle cap pendants using resin and small gemstones (inexpensive).  They have been done for about five days now, and are still tacky.  Anything I can do to move it along (the drying)?


Miss Barbara:

Which kind, and brand, of resin were you using?

What was the temperature and humidity during pouring and curing?

How thoroughly did you  mix, and did you move the mixed resin to another cup (and mix a bit more) before using?

How old was your resin?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011 10:16:46 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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LadybugsAndBumblebees
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« Reply #1643 on: February 20, 2011 06:22:33 AM »

To answer your questions...I forget the name of it, but it's the one that comes in 2 bottles that you have to mix together.  I did it just as the instructions said, and I have made it before without a problem.  It's been pretty chilly here, no precipitation of any kind.  And the resin is not old.  Do you think it will EVER dry?  (I'm getting tired of "babysitting" the pieces on my kitchen table.)  Thanks for your help!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1644 on: February 20, 2011 11:07:18 AM »

The name of the resin could be important since both polyester and epoxy resins "come in two bottles"... epoxies are mixed one-to-one while polyesters are mixed a lot of one to a few drops of the other (so I'm presuming you got a regular epoxy, or a tweaked epoxy like Easy Cast which can have a "soft" surface if exposed to too-warm conditions after curing).  
Polyester resins won't usually cure thoroughly in the presence of air, so any side exposed to air during curing might have stayed "tacky."  
And btw, thin layers of resin can take longer to cure than thick ones because they don't generate as much internal heat from the curing process as thicker layers/pours.

Not mixing any resin thoroughly could also create problems/areas of non-curing (i.e, not mixed long enough, and for every little bit including the parts around the bottom corners of the cup if not moving to a new cup before using).

Being too cool (less than about 70 F) or too hot, or too humid as well, can also create similar problems. Using embedments that are any of those things can change the temp/humidity as well, or embedments that have substances in/on them that aren't compatible, etc.  And were you using metal bottlecaps?  And what else was touching the resin inside the cap?

Here is some suggestions from the page at my site I linked to before about ways to correct tacky or uncured areas:
You can can correct with another pour of epoxy resin:.. scrape out any obviously sticky spots or the whole surface; scrub with a clean cloth and alcohol or acetone before recoating; mix new batch of resin; pour over old surface and allow to cure .....or just start over with new resin and mix well.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011 11:10:40 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
LadybugsAndBumblebees
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« Reply #1645 on: February 21, 2011 08:19:40 AM »

Thank you thank you thank you!
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« Reply #1646 on: February 21, 2011 12:15:14 PM »

Hi everyone. I'm new to Craftster but not to resin. I've tried them all. Made all the mistakes. My favorite in terms of fumes, tackiness after curing, ease, bubbles, etc. is ICE Resin. Just thought I'd throw my two cents into the ring. 
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MissFlynn
« Reply #1647 on: February 21, 2011 10:40:23 PM »

Ok, I've been trying to research this as best as I can but with so much information out there it's a little overwhelming. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction...

I'm looking to coat some things with resin (Sealant spray won't do because I want the items to have a much thicker coating, so don't bother suggesting it.) I've decided that this is the easiest solution as casting them in resin would take custom mold making, release agents, etc. But I digress. Anyway, I'd like to mix up some resin and dip the items for a coat or two or three (with drying time in-between, of course.)

This is my criteria:
- Completely Clear
- Will Not Yellow (But if it may, suggest something to seal it and cut the UV rays)
- Waterproof
- No shrink/ warp
- No tackiness


What brand/ type do you guys suggest for this project?



I've looked at things like: Envirotex Lite, Ultra-Glo Polymer Coating, EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy , Crystal Sheen, Crystal Sheen Casting Resin, ICE Resin....etc.

And I just don't know which I should be using! And input would be great Cheesy
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1648 on: February 22, 2011 10:11:40 AM »

It could help if we knew the size/shape of the items you want to coat, and also what material they are (at least on the surface).

As for the type of resin to use, you'd want to use an epoxy resin for coating things, not a polyester resin.  
Epoxy resins can't be thicker than about 1/8" per fully-cured layer or pouring (in a mold), but you could coat the piece multiple times if you waited that long between coats.  Epoxy resin can be brushed on for a thick coating, or the item can be dipped in it for an even thicker coating (but there are some things to know about dipping**).
A "regular" epoxy resin would be good (Envirotex Lite, Ultra-Glo, Crystal Sheen, etc), but some of the epoxies are tweaked and will have some disadvantages compared to those--like Easy Cast which will get a somewhat softened surface if exposed to body heat or higher and if thin will become somewhat flexible (though unlike regular epoxy resins, it can be cast more deeply).  I researched ICE epoxy resin awhile back but can't remember its dis-advantages...maybe just that it's more expensive?

The other resins you mentioned in the list are polyester resins, not epoxy resins (which are mixed one-to-one btw), and those aren't good for coatings unless you'll be putting something on top of them, or you don't mind sanding off the tacky surface that results on any side of the cured resin from its curing in the presence of air (polyester resins are often called "casting resins" because they're often used inside molds, or they're used between layers of fiberglass cloth where their tackiness is an advantage, etc.).

Epoxy resins aren't UV resistant though so will yellow with long exposure to UV light, but any resin can be given a topcoat of clear gloss polyurethane that is UV-resistant (like the brand Varathane).
All resins are water-proof in most senses of that word.
Resins may shrink a bit (noticed mostly on the surface edges of castings in molds) but you wouldn't notice anything like that when used as a coating around something.
Tackiness can result from different things... using a polyester resin (on any side facing the air), insufficient mixing, too low a temp during any point or too high humidity, resin too old, wrong amount of one part to the other--esp. polyesters, etc.

(And btw, releases aren't necessary for resins IF molds made from the right materials are use.  And also, "custom mold making" can be easy and quick with some materials like 2-part silicone putties for example for many things.)

As for the "sealant spray," I assume you're thinking of a polyurethane, or "acrylic" spray or artists' fixative, etc.  Those won't be good for getting a nice thick clear and even coating, but brushing or dipping into a regular liquid polyurethane will give a coating like that (and can be done repeatedly, and won't take nearly as long to do as resin).  We do that kind of thing for polymer clay items --brushing and/or dipping-- and also use various kinds of clear finishes on it when needed, so you can find info about the types, brands, dipping, etc., on this page at my site if you're interested (stick to the Varathane category if you want the thickest, strongest, and also least expensive finish):
** http://glassattic.com/polymer/finishes.htm

And if you want much more in on resins (types, brands, mixing, applying, curing, coloring, etc), check out this page too:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/other_materials.htm
This previous post of mine summarizes some of the characteristics of the resins too:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=275238.msg3112408#msg3112408

HTH,
Diane B.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2011 10:28:54 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
ifeelthecosmos
« Reply #1649 on: March 01, 2011 02:49:39 PM »

I'm having a problem with my resin stuff for the first time ever.  ;O; 

I cast pendants using Castin' Craft polyester resin, and coated them with envirotex lite epoxy resin to make them shiny and non-sticky except only the top part cures completely while the sides remain a little soft.  If I scratch it, it leaves a mark and even fingerprints show up.  I used a craft heat gun to pop any bubbles.  I've coated polyester pieces with epoxy resin before and this has never happened.   

It's also not the batch because using the same batches I tried coating the other pieces with, I cast some more pieces and they came out perfectly ok.  Those cured in a few hours.  Does anybody have any advice for me, please?
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