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What is epoxy resin used for?

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Quick Answer

Epoxy resins are commonly used as laminating resins and, being valued for their strong adhesive properties and water resistance, are applied on aircraft and boats. They have been used as a primary construction material, a sheathing applicant for hulls or a replacement for polyester resins or gel coats that have been damaged by water, commonly for high-speed boats.

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Full Answer

Epoxy resins have a brown or amber color and are useful for their highly curable nature. They can stick and dry in any temperature from 41 to 302 degrees Fahrenheit. They also shrink minimally during the curing process, which helps to prevent internal stresses. Not only are they strongly adhesive and resistant to water, but they resist damage from many chemicals and insulate from electricity extremely well.

Epoxy resins get their name from its chemical origin. The word "epoxy" is actually a term for types of molecules where an oxygen atom has bonded to two carbon atoms that were already bonded together. The simplest epoxy molecule is "alpha-epoxy" which has a three-ringed molecular structure. Epoxy resins, however, are formed from a much longer-chained molecule that is very similar to vinylester, with reactive sites on each end of the molecule's chain. Unlike vinylester, however, these reactive sites are formed from epoxy groups, not ester groups, which allows them to have much better water resistance.

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