Polymer Resin: What is it?

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Polymer resin is a liquid plastic that hardens to create a glossy, durable coating used on furniture and in arts and crafts. It consists of a liquid resin and catalyst that are mixed together, poured onto a surface, and left to cure for up to 72 hours. Bubbles can be removed with heat, and the cured resin can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

Polymer resin is a clear liquid plastic product that hardens to create a thick, durable, glossy coating. Once cured, it is fade and water resistant. This type of resin is commonly used on furniture to seal finishes and create a strong, glass-like surface, and is also used in many other arts and crafts when the artist desires a thick, glossy finish.

A liquid plastic resin and a liquid catalyst are the two parts of a polymer resin. The liquid resin is activated by the catalyst, which starts the hardening process. The user mixes the two parts, usually equally, for a period of time until they are completely combined. It is normal for the resin to heat up during the mixing process due to the chemical reaction between the resin and the catalyst. Once mixed, the liquid can be poured onto the surface the user wishes to coat. In liquid form, the resin is self-leveling, meaning it flows and forms a level surface as it hardens.

Once the resin is poured, it begins to harden or harden. Polymerization is the term for the chemical reaction within the resin that allows it to change from a liquid to a solid form. During curing, bubbles may form, but these can be removed with heat. For small projects, hot breath can bring bubbles to the surface where they will burst naturally. For larger surfaces, lightly running a blowtorch over the top of the resin will heat it enough for bubbles to form.

Depending on the brand, polymer resin can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours to fully cure. While curing, it’s a good idea for users to cover their projects so the powder doesn’t fall into the liquid and get trapped, ruining the glossy finish. Small projects should not be handled while curing because fingerprints will remain in the resin while it is still soft.

Once the resin has fully cured, it can be cleaned normally with water and a little mild soap on a damp cloth. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean the resin after it has cured as they may damage the surface. Small scratches on the surface can be erased; frictional heat causes the scratched resin to melt slightly and flow back into an unbroken surface.

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