It’s important to note that the need to shake and heat epoxy resin is not specific to a particular brand or type; it is a common requirement for all. Regardless of the brand or formula, temperature and agitation are essential parts of the process to ensure uniform colour and prevent tonal issues.
Epoxy resins are sensitive to temperature. Heating them is a crucial step in achieving uniformity in colour and texture.
In the following, we will discuss why this process is critical:
- Preventing Pigment Sedimentation:
Over time, the pigments used in epoxy resin can settle out. When this happens, the colours are not homogeneous, and the resulting resin can have areas of uneven colour.
- Preventing Resin Crystallization:
Some types of resins, at low temperatures, may crystallise, i.e. we can observe that the resin has thickened and shows some opacity, due to the appearance of particles or crystals in suspension.
- Maintaining Proper Viscosity:
Epoxy resin often has a specific viscosity that aids in its application for various projects. Heating the resin helps maintain this viscosity within desired parameters, crucial for smooth application.
- Facilitating Mixing:
- Facilitate the removal of air, thus avoiding the formation of air bubbles.
Epoxy resin requires a catalyst to cure. At lower temperatures the resin can become more dense and difficult to mix. Heating helps to reduce this viscosity and facilitates uniform mixing of the catalyst.
There are various ways to heat epoxy resin to ensure pigments are dispersed and colours remain vibrant:
Using an oven
A common method is to heat epoxy resin by placing it in a oven at a temperature between 50°C – 60°C. Ensure the oven is clean and free of contaminants. Place the ESMALTEX in its original container and allow it to heat in the oven. Gentle heating will help to disperse the pigments correctly.
Placing Them on a Enamelling Table
Another technique is to place ESMALTEX containers on a warming table with a heated surface to maintain the resin at an appropriate temperature, preventing pigment settling.
Warming in a Water Bath (Bain-Marie)
Fill a container with warm water (not boiling) and place the ESMALTEX container in it. This allows the resin to heat gradually. After a few minutes, remove the resin container from the warm water and stir it again following the same steps mentioned earlier.
Regardless of the chosen technique, maintaining a constant temperature during resin work is important. This ensures pigments do not settle again while working. The use of precise thermometers or thermostats can help effectively control the temperature.
In summary, heating epoxy resin is a crucial step when working with pigments to achieve colour and texture uniformity. It prevents sedimentation, maintains proper viscosity, and avoids pigment compacting.
At Coniex, we provide ovens and enamelling tables for successfully carrying out the recommended actions.
Shaking is another essential factor in the epoxy resin mixing process.
It is essential to shake the resin before mixing it with the hardener. Epoxy resin stored for some time can lead to component separation. This means that pigments, the agents that colour the resin, tend to settle at the bottom.
Failure to shake before mixing can result in unevenly coloured resin. Therefore, stirring the resin in its original container is a crucial step to ensure uniform colour.
Before proceeding to mix ESMALTEX+HARDENER, start by homogenizing the epoxy resin mixture with pigments. Follow these steps to ensure pigments are distributed evenly:
Shake the resin in its original container consistently for at least five minutes, either manually or with an automatic shaker.
Remember that each brand and type of epoxy resin may have its own mixing recommendations and mixing proportions, so it’s essential to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
By following these tips, you will achieve a vibrant and brilliant-coloured ESMALTEX, along with ease of use during application.