Whether you are using epoxy resin for a large or small project, it is safe to assume that you want the project to last for years to come. Knowing how to effectively handle epoxy resin before and after curing is essential to ensuring its longevity. With that, is resin something that breaks easily?
Once cured, epoxy resin is highly resistant to general wear and tear as well as corrosion and damage from the natural environment. Depending on how thick the product is, epoxy resin can even undergo extreme pressure before breaking. Interestingly, it is not UV resistant.
Still, if you are using epoxy resin to adhere two different types of products together, you will want to remember that using it as an adhesive could render the product slightly more breakable than if durable resin is used as the base for the entire product. For example, resin jewelry that is not properly adhered could break at the point of fixation (ex. metal earrings breaking off from the epoxy), even though the resin itself may not break. Let’s take a closer look.
Does Epoxy Resin Break Easily?
There are different types of resin out there that are used for a variety of purposes. Before you begin working on your project, large or small, you should review the quality of epoxy resin (ideally using high-quality epoxy like EcoPoxy Flowcast) that you plan to work with, as not all types of epoxy are equally effective. There are even differentiating types such as deep pour vs. table top epoxy.
If you are using high-quality epoxy resin, and you have effectively followed the instructions for preparation, pouring, and curing, then your hardened epoxy resin is not prone to breaking or cracking. Ineffective pours can lead to cracking, but there are ways to prevent this.
Specifically, if you are working with an epoxy resin and allow it to overheat (typically a result of the exothermic reaction taking place in an environment that is already too hot, heat being added, or pouring at a depth outside of the product range), then you may see negative results in the hardening process including cracking and bubbling. However, if you follow the instructions and pour your epoxy resin with accuracy according to the product description, then your hardened epoxy resin should not break easily.
Of course, this implies that you know how to effectively pour epoxy resin and allow it sufficient time to cure. The curation process, when working with epoxy resin, is critical to your end product’s longevity, as ineffective use of the product could create a less sturdy epoxy project.
For example, if you are crafting epoxy resin jewelry and do not allow the epoxy resin to harden and effectively adhere to the clasps that you will use to put on the jewelry (ex. necklaces, earrings, bracelet clasps, etc.), then you may find that the clasps and the resin break apart from each other sooner than you were hoping for. This is assuredly disappointing.
The same could be said if you were making an epoxy resin river table and you do not use thinner layers when pouring (or do not use a deep pour epoxy resin). If you are not careful in pouring the resin and allowing it to effectively cure, then it can be prone to bubbling, cracking, and becoming damaged in the long term.
However, this is only the case when used ineffectively. When you use epoxy resin as its specific product descriptions recommend (including the temperature range for pouring and storing, product pour depth, and more), then epoxy resin can be one of the most durable materials for finishing off a product. It is water-resistant, not prone to cracking, peeling, or other damage, and it is a highly durable material that will not break easily or shrink once hardened.
Can Resin Crack When Dropped?
Let’s say that you are working on a smaller project, something that you have delicately handled from the pouring stage to the hardening stage. Obviously, you should be proud of the efforts that you have taken to prevent the product from undergoing any damage. However, if your young niece or nephew gets a hold of your project and accidentally drops it, what can you expect to happen to your resin masterpiece?
Fortunately, epoxy resin (once hardened) is not prone to cracking or other damage. The fibers that make up the product are extremely durable and create a long-lasting product when combined with the hardening agent during the pouring/curing stages. Thin resin pieces may bend but are not likely to crack.
Even if you are making small epoxy resin bookmarks that you expect to bend and fidget with when you are deep into your favorite novel, you can expect the material to last and to even withstand quite a bit of bending and pressure before it is likely to break. Once the epoxy resin has effectively cured, it would take a considerable amount of pressure to break it- even with projects that use thin pours.
So, whether you are carrying a heavy epoxy resin load or you accidentally knock off an intricate epoxy resin project from your bookshelf, you can expect the project to withstand damages when dropped unless a significant amount of pressure is added to the piece. Fortunately for you, this means that you can show off your latest epoxy resin projects to all of your friends and family without having to worry about their mishandling the product leading to any likely misfortune.
How Long Does Epoxy Resin Last?
Now that you are aware that epoxy resin does not break easily, is not prone to cracking (even when dropped), and can withstand a wide array of general wear and tear, you might be wondering how long the product lasts. After all, resin will not last forever, will it?
Products made from epoxy resin have an unlimited lifetime unless the product undergoes extreme pressure or exposure to UV rays. UV rays will not damage epoxy resin’s durable nature, but they could discolor the product. Uncured epoxy resin shelf life varies based on quality and appropriate storage.
This goes back to the importance of effectively reading and following the product description on the resin that you are using. Other types of resin (not-epoxy) may have a much shorter shelf-life, but epoxy resin tends to have a long shelf-life as long as it is effectively stored in an airtight container at an appropriate temperature (and not exposed to sunlight).
Even epoxy flooring is long-lasting, too, although this specific use will obviously undergo much more wear and tear than general purposes, so you may need to refinish your epoxy resin floors every 2-3 years in high traffic areas. Still, as you prepare your next epoxy resin project, know that you can count on the product to last for years to come as long as you effectively follow the product recommendations.