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What Is Epoxy?

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You might have heard of epoxy when you are looking at ranges of adhesive. If you’re not sure what an epoxy is or what it can be used for, then this is the article for you.

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What Is an Epoxy?

Epoxy is usually meant as shorthand for an epoxy resin, which is a type of adhesive that cures into a very solid bond. Epoxy actually refers to the chemical structure of one of the ingredients. It’s an organic compound made up with chains of molecules made from carbon and oxygen. These chains are able to form very strong bonds with other substances. Epoxy adhesives tend to be made of two parts, which when mixed ‘cure’ to form a strong bond.

Why Are There Different Types of Epoxy?

Epoxy type adhesives are useful for a wide range of applications. Manufacturers are able to develop different recipes of adhesive using different ingredients, and these are suitable for use under varying circumstances – for example, to bond with metal, plastic or other substances.

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Choose the Right Epoxy

Because there are different types of epoxy, it’s important to make sure that you choose the right one for the job. The packaging will tell you which bonds that particular product can make most easily. For example, a metal bonding adhesive, like those available from http://www.ct1ltd.com/product-applications/metal-to-metal-adhesive/, is specially manufactured to adhere to the sheer surface of metal.

The difference in the types of adhesive is due to the substrate – the ingredient that mixes with the epoxy to form the bond. This could allow for some movement when that is needed for the structure. Using metal bonding adhesive, for example, creates a bond as solid as riveting but at a fraction of the cost in terms of time and money.

Not Just Adhesive

The same epoxy technology is used for other uses, such as to make flooring which can be poured as a liquid but will set to a solid finish. Two-part modelling materials are also available which are pliable until they cure, at which time they become permanent; these can be an alternative to modelling clay, as they don’t need firing.

The British Adhesive & Sealants Association (BASA) works to represent companies that manufacture these materials.

Now you know! Epoxy is a catch-all term for a form of adhesive that sets when mixed with a substrate.