What Is Epoxy?

by Nov 16, 202017 comments

We get tons of questions about PurEpoxy products. In an effort for our customers to better understand the product they are about to purchase, we’ve put together a few hot topic questions about epoxy in general. We hope this information gives you a better idea of how excellent of a product epoxy really is.

 

  • What is epoxy made of?

  • What is epoxy used for?

  • How long does epoxy take to dry?

  • Is epoxy toxic?

  • Is epoxy waterproof?

  • How to remove epoxy?

What Is Epoxy Made Of?

Epoxy is a liquid chemical that is usually mixed with a hardener. Mixing the epoxy with the hardener creates a chemical reaction, which turns the epoxy from a liquid into a solid through a process called curing. The chemical reaction creates a favorable mechanical bond to whatever the epoxy mixture is applied to. In addition to having a great mechanical bond, epoxy also becomes a high thermal and chemical resistant.

Basically, without all the chemical and scientific language, epoxy is a plastic.

What Is Epoxy Used For?

The uses for epoxy are wide. It can be used for coatings, adhesives, and making composite materials, such as fiberglass, and carbon fiber products. Two part epoxies were created for heavy duty use on metal products. The epoxy provides a tough, long-lasting coating, with extreme hardness. You can find these epoxy coatings on appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and driers.

Epoxy can also be used as an adhesive. Epoxies make up a major part of a group of adhesives called structural or engineering adhesives. These epoxy adhesives are used in the manufacture of aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, skis, and any application where high strength bonds are needed. Some epoxy adhesives are especially made for wood, metal, glass, stone and some plastics. Epoxy adhesives perform better in the category of heat and chemical resistance than most common adhesives.

Other applications for epoxy are in industrial tooling. Epoxies are used to make molds, master models, laminates, castings, fixtures, and other production aids. Epoxy is also used in wind turbine composites. Mixed with carbon fiber fabrics, epoxy creates an extremely high strength to weight ratio for the turbines blades.

Epoxy resin is used in the electrical and electronics industries as well. Epoxy is used in motors, generators, transformers, and basically anywhere to prevent short circuiting, dust and moisture. The boating industries also use epoxies in the manufacture and repair of marine vehicles.

And of course, we use pigmented epoxy made by PurEpoxy on floors in homes, offices, and commercial buildings. The appeal of epoxy floors is growing in all three areas.

How long does epoxy take to dry?

Using PurEpoxy PE-100 floor epoxy as an example, here are the drying times during the process of epoxying a floor:

Before Applying PE-100 Over Primer

Floor Temp

Minimum

Maximum

> 50ºF (10ºC)

24 hours

3 days

> 68ºF (20ºC)

12 hours

2 days

> 86ºF (30ºC)

6 hours

1 day

Before Applying Second Coat of PE-100

Floor Temp

Minimum

Maximum

> 50ºF (10ºC)

30 hours

3 days

> 68ºF (20ºC)

24 hours

2 days

> 86ºF (30ºC)

16 hours

1 day

Curing Details

SUBSTRATE TEMPERATURE

FOOT TRAFFIC

LIGHT TRAFFIC

FULL CURE

> 50ºF (10ºC)

30 hours

5 days

10 days

> 68ºF (20ºC)

24 hours

3 days

7 days

> 86ºF (30ºC)

16 hours

2 days

5 days

Temperature plays a big role in drying times. Use this chart to be sure when it’s the right time to move to the next step in your project, when using PE-100 epoxy. We provide a Technical Data Sheet (TDS) for each of our PurEpoxy products on our website, on each product page.

Is epoxy toxic?

Epoxy in its liquid state is a mostly classified as an eye and skin irritant. Liquid epoxy is also toxic to aquatic life. However, solid epoxy resins are classified as non-hazardous. Exposure to the liquid epoxy overtime can induce an allergic reaction. Sensitization, or becoming overly sensitive to a substance usually occurs due to lack of protective equipment, like a respirator. Allergic reactions to liquid epoxy is often visible as dermatitis, around or on the hands and forearms.

When it comes to fully cured epoxy for counter tops or home floors, epoxy is non-hazardous, and food safe (in accordance with the FDA guidelines for epoxy). The FDA says, “…epoxy resins may be safely used as articles or components of articles intended for repeated use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food …”

Is epoxy waterproof?

Once fully cured, epoxy is extremely tough, resistant to wear, cracking, and damage from chemical degradation. And yes, It is also waterproof.

How to remove epoxy…

If the epoxy is not cured (still liquid or soft) you can use isopropyl alcohol or acetone. Use a rag and soak the epoxy with either. The wipe away the epoxy. This may need to be done several times.

Cured epoxy needs harsh chemicals in order to loosen it up. Grinding is also an option if you have epoxy floors. Several grades of grinding and sanding may be needed to remove fully cured epoxy from floors.

If you have any questions about epoxying your floors, please give us a call,

808 280-0410

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