3 Different Types of Resin: Which Should You Use?

As a beginner, understanding the different types of resins can be filled with a lot of chemistry jargon that everyday people don’t understand. This article aims to clarify the differences between various types of resin to dissipate some of that confusion. Here are three different types of resin and which you should use for your next big project.

Amino Resin

Amino resins are typically used for industrial rather than personal applications. They are thermosetting polymers, meaning the curing process is induced by heat. There are two types of amino resin: Urea Formaldehyde Concentrate and Melamine Formaldehyde. Both are used in everyday products such as cabinets, walls, buttons, and hardwood adhesives.

However, don’t be afraid when you hear the word formaldehyde. Urea and Melamine Formaldehyde resins are safe to use and nothing to be afraid of once cast. So, unless you plan to enter the decorative panel industry, this type of resin might not be for you.

Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin is undoubtedly the most well-known resin type. It is the easiest to obtain and customize and lasts the longest. Epoxy resin can be used for casting or coating, so it’s important to determine your needs before choosing the type of epoxy resin. In addition, its chemical resistance, heat resistance, and adherence ability make it an excellent product for crafters.

Because epoxy resin consists of polymers, it breaks down relatively quickly in UV light, turning the resin yellow. If you’re looking to coat a table or cast a hole, this resin is perfect for you—just make sure not to leave it in the sun.

As a side note, UV resin is very similar to epoxy resin. The main difference is that it needs to be set with a UV light and poured in thin layers.

Polyurethane Resin

Polyurethane resin is mainly used in the automotive industry and, much like amino resins, is set through heat, making products that use this resin flame retardant. It sets quickly, doesn’t shrink much, and is perfect for casting. The downsides are that it emits a powerful and unpleasant odor and needs additives to make it UV resistant.

However, if you need to cast something that will withstand the test of time and weather, polyurethane resin is for you. While not recommended for everyday crafters, this resin is the perfect choice for experienced casters to use in their personal projects.

Regardless of the three different types of resin and which you choose to use, you should always wear protective gear. All resins contain harsh chemicals that can damage the body if inhaled. Remember to have fun and be safe when crafting!