How To Know If There’s Too Much Hardener In Epoxy Resin

How To Know If There’s Too Much Hardener In Epoxy Resin

For the chemical reaction to occur, the epoxy hardener must be thoroughly combined with the resin in the proper quantities. If there’s not enough hardener in epoxy resin, you'll end up with uncured resin. But what happens when there’s too much hardener in epoxy resin?

Let’s find out.

The difference between the epoxy resin and epoxy hardener

When it comes to making strong bindings, epoxy and resin glue are equally capable, but epoxy hardener is superior. The drying time is the fundamental difference between the two glue kinds. Although both epoxy and resin adhesives must be mixed before use, epoxy hardens much faster than resin glue.

Another important distinction between these two chemicals is their intended use. The epoxy coating resin is used to cover surfaces, whereas the casting resin is mostly utilized for jewelry, molds, and figurines.

Can you use epoxy resin by itself?

Epoxy resins are exceptionally stable fluids, having a long shelf life on their own. However, they can only cure correctly when combined with an epoxy hardener. Without the hardener, the resin would stay a near liquid and would not be able to change into a long-lasting coating. Unlike paints, which rely on moisture evaporation to gradually solidify into a thin layer, an epoxy floor coating obtains its high-performance protective properties through a precisely calibrated chemical interaction between resin and hardener components.

What happens if you don't put enough hardener in a clear coat?

If you don't use enough hardener, you'll have to wait a long time for your clear coat to dry. 

The optimal working conditions

The optimal working temperature is 75-85°F (24-30°C) with 50% humidity, although you may operate at any temperature below 80%. Use it best to use wax paper to cover the work area as it will not stick to the resin. Prepare a flat area for drying goods that will not be disturbed. Make sure you have boxes or domes on hand to cover your resin products while they cure.

What happens if you use too much epoxy hardener

Too much hardener makes paint brittle. Adhesion, on the other hand, is a much bigger problem. If you mix too much epoxy hardener, this will just leave you with a sticky uncured hardener. Modern paint formulas are based on “flash times” chemical reactions between layers.

The right way to mix resin and hardener

To use epoxy glue correctly, follow these 3 easy procedures:

​​Pour equal parts of resin and hardener into the measuring cup 

In the graduated mixing cups, measure equal amounts of RESIN and HARDENER and begin mixing the product by hand with a clean stir stick.

Blend them and add your chosen powder colors

Blend them and add your chosen powder colors. It can take anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes of continuous mixing without whipping - depending on the amount you're mixing.

Pour the mixture into a desired shape or surface and let it dry

Allow your projects to cure properly in a dust-free environment for at least 24 hours. The items might take up to 72 hours to dry fully.

How to tell if the resin is cured

Be patient when it comes to the curing process. After around 24 hours, you may begin working with poured 2-part resin components, but it will need approximately three days to fully cure. Each layer of UV resin takes 15-20 minutes to cure under a UV lamp, and many hours to cure in direct sunshine.

Can you melt hardened resin?

Unfortunately, the resin can't be melted down and used again. Unlike thermoplastics, which can be heated and then molded or shaped again, it is impossible to melt hardened resin. Due to the process of polymerization, you won't be able to melt or reshape the resin once it has been cured.

How to harden a sticky resin

Sticky resin indicates that it has set and is no longer moldable.

A sticky resin might be caused by a low ambient temperature in your workspace, and inadequate resin-to-hardener ratio, or a lack of complete mixing.

Remember to consult the product information enclosed in the packaging for specific details on the mixing ratio (usually 1:1 or 2:1). Mixing for at least 3 minutes is recommended so that the resin and hardener can blend properly.

If you’ve followed the rules and your mix still came out sticky, try moving your piece to a warmer spot. The ideal workplace temperature, especially for the first 24 hours, is 75-85°F (24-30°C). If the project still doesn't dry, pour another fresh layer of resin.  

Alternatively, you can try to sand the surface with several grits of wet/dry sandpaper. You could well sand through the top, sticky layer and get to a solid surface underneath it. Another option is to treat the surface using acrylic or resin-based sealer spray.

Wrap up

Epoxy resin is made up of two components: resin and hardener. When you combine the resin and hardeners, they undergo a chemical process that turns them from a liquid to a solid. You must measure precisely and thoroughly to ensure that your epoxy resin dries properly.