UV Resin vs Epoxy Resin: What’s the Difference?


When selecting the best resin for your projects, you will likely come across UV resin and epoxy resin. While both of these options are similar in many ways, there are several significant differences between these two resins. From their mixing process and curing time to their durability and quality, there are a number of things to be aware of when choosing between UV resin vs epoxy resin.

There are multiple differences between UV resin and epoxy resin, ranging from the mixing process and cost to the curing time and quality. Understanding the differences between UV resin and epoxy resin is essential when selecting the best resin for you.

If you’re unsure which resin to choose from, you have come to the right place. Here, we’ll dive into the details of UV resin vs epoxy resin and their main differences. By understanding the differences between UV resin vs epoxy resin, you can be confident when choosing a resin for your projects.

Which is Better: UV Resin or Epoxy Resin?

Before we dive into the details of UV resin vs epoxy resin, it’s important to understand how these two resins work. UV resin is produced by using a UV torch or lamp to harden the mixture. Epoxy resin, on the other hand, is a two-part mixture composed of resin and hardener. Unlike UV resin, which requires no mixing, the epoxy resin must be properly mixed before it can be used.

UV resin and epoxy resin have unique features which make them each better in specific scenarios. The primary differences you will find include: mixing, cost, durability, and curing process.

While both of these resins are often used for the same types of projects, there are many significant differences between them. Below, let’s take a closer look at the differences between UV resin vs epoxy resin.

Mixing and Curing Process

Perhaps the greatest difference between UV resin and epoxy resin is the mixing and curing process. As we’ve previously explained, epoxy resin is a two-part mixture containing two liquids: resin and hardener. By mixing these two liquids together, a chemical reaction occurs, causing the mixture to harden. As a result, the resin becomes solid with a glossy, transparent surface.

In contrast, UV resin is a one-part resin that is instantly ready to use. There is no measuring or mixing required when working with UV resin. Instead, the resin must have exposure to a UV lamp or torch to harden. Unfortunately, this form of application limits the type of projects to use UV resin on since a UV lamp cannot cover large surfaces.

Curing Time

Because UV resin is formed using a UV lamp or torch, its curing time is extremely short. In fact, UV resin will cure in a matter of minutes, unlike epoxy resin that requires several hours or even days. Thus, if you’re working on an urgent project, UV resin may be the best option for you.

Types of Projects

Although UV resin is often used on the same projects as epoxy resin, not all projects are suitable for UV resin. Because UV resin cannot cure without a special lamp, it is not ideal for large projects such as flooring. UV resin is mainly recommended for small, flat projects, including items such as jewelry.

Additionally, UV resin has a different maximum layer thickness than epoxy resin. While epoxy resin can have layers of up to 5cm thickness, UV resin’s maximum thickness is 1mm. If you need a resin to pour in a large, deep mold, the epoxy resin may be the best option for you.

Cost

When searching for the most cost-effective resin, epoxy resin is likely to be the best resin for you. Not only is epoxy resin less expensive than UV resin, but you won’t have to buy additional equipment such as UV lamps. Furthermore, epoxy resin is available in large containers, whereas UV resin typically comes in smaller volume bottles.

Besides comparing the initial costs of UV resin and epoxy resin, consider the longevity of these two products. UV resin is not only more expensive than epoxy resin, but it has a shorter lifespan. Depending on where you place your UV resin projects, you may need to repaint them every six to 12 months. Epoxy resin, on the other hand, is highly durable and long-lasting.

Durability

Another difference between UV resin vs epoxy resin is the product’s durability. Although UV resin develops a solid, hard surface within minutes, it is not resistant to heat or scratches. Even simply exposing the UV resin to sunlight may cause the surface to flake off or blister. Additionally, because UV resin must be applied in thin layers, it lacks the strength and durability of epoxy resin.

Generally, epoxy resins are much higher quality than UV resin. Because they are more durable, they have a much longer lifespan. Of course, epoxy resin requires regular maintenance in order to maintain its solid, aesthetically appealing appearance. Creating a regular cleaning routine can aid in prolonging your epoxy resin’s lifespan and quality.

Shelf Life

Using resin before the expiration date is crucial for ensuring the durability of the project. Unfortunately, UV resin has a very short shelf life of only six months. After six months, the physical properties of UV resin will change, making the resin unusable.

In contrast to UV resin, epoxy resin has a relatively long shelf life of two to three years. Even after being opened, epoxy resin has a shelf life of six months. Keep in mind that the hardener is generally more sensitive and must be used within one year.

UV Resin vs Epoxy Resin: Which Product is Best for You?

As you can see, there are several differences between UV resin and epoxy resin. When choosing the best resin for you, consider the type of projects you’re working with. If you’re looking for a resin for small, flat projects such as jewelry, UV resin may work well for you. However, if you need to cover a large surface such as furniture or flooring, epoxy resin is likely your best option.

Another consideration to ponder is the cost and durability of the resin. If you’re looking for a high-quality yet inexpensive resin, consider using epoxy resin products. Not only is epoxy resin highly durable, but it has a longer shelf life and will last for many years after application.

Taking the time to choose the best resin product for you is incredibly important. By selecting a resin that best suits your needs, you can rest assured your projects will remain aesthetically pleasing for years to come.

Jedediah Arnold

Jedediah has been working with epoxy resin for a couple of years. When he started, he wanted to share everything he learned as he learned it which continues.

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