How Can I Make Epoxy Resin Cure Faster
Once you’ve mixed the components and put them in the mold, you have to wait for some time before you can finally take your beloved art out of the mold. As much as you hate waiting, you have to give your resin time to cure properly.
Continue reading this article to know more about curing, how long it takes for a resin to cure, and other tips related to resin curing
What is Curing?
If we were to give you a one-word explanation for curing, that'd be 'hardening'. Curing is the drying process of a resin, during which it changes from a liquid to a solid state. Proper curing of your epoxy resin necessitates taking the resin and the hardener in the right proportion and thoroughly mixing them.
Once the resin and the hardener are combined, it triggers a chemical reaction that changes the liquid ingredients into a gel state before finally transforming them into a solid form. The time taken by a resin for this transformation is termed the curing time for that resin.
How Long Does Resin Take to Cure?
There's no standard or specified time when it comes to curing time for epoxy resins. The curing time for resins varies from brand to brand. Most of the resins, however, take 24 hours to cure. There's still a possibility that your resin is not completely hardened and is still flexible after 24 hours. In that case, you can take out your resin project from the mold, but it'll take some 24 - 48 hours more to cure properly.
Depending on the thickness/consistency of your resin, it can either be completely cured in 24 hours, i.e., fast curing, or take up to 48 -72 hours, termed slow curing.
Resins from IntoResin are designed in such a way that they always take 24 hours to cure. To make the resin resistant to heat and scratch, you will have to give it around 72 hours to ensure complete curing. We specialize in several epoxy resins as well as silicon molds to enable you to capture your life's best moments in the form of art.
How to Make Resin Cure Faster
Ever in a rush and want to speed up the curing process? Worry no more because we've included different ways you can do so in this article.
Some of the ways of hastening the curing process of epoxy resins are:
Increasing the temperature – Using heat is one of the easiest and most basic methods to cause the resin to dry faster. Increasing the temperature can speed up curing whether it is used before mixing the resin and hardener or after that. In winters, however, maintaining a warmer room temperature is necessary to ensure proper curing. Increasing the temperature by 10 degrees Celsius can speed up the curing time of your resin by 50%.
We have listed here for you some ways to achieve that desired 10-degree rise in temperature:
- Hair Dryer – If you’ve got a hairdryer, then you’re good to go! You can speed up curing simply by directing the warm air from the dryer to your resin art. Care must be taken not to use excessive warm air as that could result in melting the resin.
- Electric Warming Lunch Boxes – Your electric warming lunch box has more benefits than you know! One of the benefits is using your lunch box to get the much-anticipated results faster in your resin art.
- Insulated Food Carriers – They work the same way as electric lunch boxes to decrease curing time, but an added benefit is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining a constant temperature for proper curing.
- Craft Ovens – These are your perfect partners for resin art. All you have to do is just put your project in the oven and wait for the magic to happen!
A vital precaution in using heat to speed up the curing process is that you must maintain an even temperature till the resin has fully cured. Care must be taken when it comes to the intensity of heat as well as the duration for which the resin is exposed to heat, as overheating can put all your effort in vain (excess of everything is bad, right?)
Now Here Comes A Game Changer: Resin Curing Machine – With this, you can have your resin craft cured within 2~3 hours by simply clicking the buttons, which make the resin cure 12 times faster! Just turn on the switch and you can adjust the time and temperature of the machine by yourself. The 360° cycle heating makes your epoxy resin get cured.
What Not to Do to Make Resin Cure Faster?
When it comes to curing resins faster, we’re often deceived by the name ‘hardener’. The name may suggest that adding more hardener will speed up the curing, but that is not the case. Increasing the ratio of hardener to the resin not only increases the time taken by resin to cure but also disrupts the curing process resulting in a resin that remains gummed even after cure time for that resin is over. Avoid doing that at all costs for the love of your resin project!
How to Avoid Improper Curing of Resins?
Gave resin its proper curing time and still ended up with messed-up results? You’re not alone because we are here to your rescue. For proper curing of resins, giving it its curing time is not enough. Several other factors can contribute to improper curing of your project. Some of these factors are:
- Inaccurate Measurement - One of the main reasons for improper curing is that users sometimes do not pay much attention to the measurement of the epoxy and the hardener. An approximated measurement of either the epoxy or the hardener can result in a disrupted mixture ratio leading to improper curing. To avoid that, you have to be fairly precise when it comes to measuring epoxy and hardener, be it in volume or mass. You need to know the amount of resin you’ll need beforehand to ensure that you’re neither too wasteful nor too thrifty with your resin.
- Too Much Colorant - A resin and its hardener are not enough for your resin art and craft. You will need additional stuff such as colorants to experiment with your art. Several colorants are available in the market, giving you varying results, from a metallic finish to a more holographic glittery finish. However, you need to be very careful with the amount of colorant you take. Adding too much colorant can disrupt the resin to hardener ratio, which can hinder the proper curing process.It is recommended to add no more than 6% of color from the total volume of hardener and resin together.
- High Humidity – Epoxy curing is greatly affected by the humidity in the environment. For proper curing of the resin, the recommended humidity levels are below 85% (ideally within 50%-60%). The thing about humidity is that its effects are not apparent until the curing has been completed. For this reason, you have to observe the humidity levels throughout the curing process carefully; otherwise, you’ll end up with a resin that has a bubbly and sticky finish.
- Cold Weather – If increasing the temperature favors curing, then what do you think will be the effect of colder surroundings? Yeah, you’re right. Cold weather interrupts the regular curing process by absorbing the heat released upon mixing resin and the hardener. Without this heat, the resin takes quite a lot of time to cure. Even after the curing has been completed, it doesn’t give you the desired result.
What to Do if the Resin isn’t Cured?
If your resin didn’t cure properly, then all is not over. Life always gives you a second chance *wink wink*
Poor resin curing can result in one of three conditions. Having any of the three in your final resin art can be quite distressing but worry not because we have the solution to all three of these (second chance, remember?). Check our passage how to harden your sticky resin.
Tips and Tricks to Ensure Proper Resin Curing
As intimidating as it may seem, working with resin is not that scary. Resing curing is a very crucial point in the formation of resin art. Following certain tips and tricks about proper resin curing can take you a long way.
Here we’ve listed some of these tips for you to make sure that you don’t end up with a failed resin art:
- First and foremost, read the instructions carefully. This can’t be stressed enough. No matter how familiar you’re with using resins, youhave to read the instruction for every new resin brand you try because the curing time of resins varies from brand to brand.
- Warm up the resin and hardenerin warm water before using them to avoid bubbling the constituents.
- For proper resin curing, you have to pick a spot that will remain undisturbedfor the entire curing period of the resin as curing takes a long time (minimum of 24 hrs.).
- Mix thoroughly but slowly because vigorous mixing can cause bubbles to form, and if you really love your resin art, you should avoid that at all costs.
- Once the constituents are mixed up, you need to get things done quickly, or else your resin will cure without those lovely colors and glitters.
- Rainy weather and curing don’t go well together- Rainy weather increases moisture which can cause the resin to form bubbles in it, resulting in improper curing.
- Besides humidity, another important external factor in curing is the temperature. Higher temperaturefacilitates curing, whereas lower temperature prolongs the time taken by resin to cure.
Failed your first resin project? Let’s admit we’ve all been there, so don’t give up just yet.
Working with resin can be tricky at times, but if you carefully follow all the instructions, the chances of you failing your project are greatly minimised. Once you’ve taken proper measurements of the resin and the hardener and ensured proper curing conditions, you’ve gotten a card up your sleeve. Give your resin its required curing time to have the results you’ve in your mind.
With that said, go and start working on your first resin project!
Are you a beginner, and things seem a bit too complicated? We’ve got you covered. Download our resin PDF guide to have the answers to all your questions.