Over the years, I’ve heard many arguments supporting both sides of the battle between UV resin or epoxy resin. and which one is better and where? As a beginner, you may have heard of these two types of resin and are having a hard time choosing the best type of resin for your resin artwork, however, things aren’t that complicated, though!
Before we head on to solve this puzzle, let me just give you a simple note; “Epoxy” and “UV are just two small parts of a greater “Resin” family.
Polyester resin and polyurethane resin are also widely used in industry and hobby areas as well
UV resin or epoxy resin what’s the difference?
While epoxy and UV resin will perform similar tasks, there are some noticeable differences. Understanding how they vary will help you choose the ideal type of resin for your project.
Luckily, distinguishing between them isn’t that hard. And I’ve even made this even easier with this in-depth breakdown;
Is UV Resin Better Than Epoxy Resin?
The quick answer is NO UV resin and epoxy resin are just different. They are different resins suited for different purposes.
While working with Uv resin can be easier for beginners to start because you don’t need to mix chemicals taking the stress out of resin artwork, this also reduces the creation of more air bubbles that you need to deal with, epoxy is a much better product to learn to use due to its versatility.
UV resing is fantastic for certain practical uses, due to its fast curing time you can batch out pieces very quickly and reuse molds without long wait times.
UV resin has more of a tendency to yellow over time however this is not an issue if you are adding a color pigment like mica powder to the resin.
The short curing time is also useful when resin casting as a thin layer can be pored and cured quickly before adding the item you wish to cast and a second layer poured over the item and the first layer you don’t have to wait 24 hours between pours like you would with epoxy resin.
on the other hand, epoxy resin is more versatile than UV resin as apart from a shorter curing time, epoxy resin can do everything UV resin can do and more.
Epoxy resin is a far better adhesive and is the better choice when opting to cast wood into your project which is a ver common practice these days.
Epoxy is also far stronger, more durable, and less brittle, making it more suitable for larger projects.
It is also very hard to provide enough UV light to the entire surface of a large project like a countertop for instance.
The Key Differences Between UV Resin and Epoxy Resin
How They Look
The simplest way to distinguish between epoxy resin & UV resin is by looking at their packaging. Epoxy resin usually comes in 2 separate bottles a resin and a hardener which are mixed together to begin the chemical reaction, whereas UV resins are available in a single bottle. and require a UV light source such as a UV curing Station or UV torch which has a UV led is UV Resin Better than Epoxy reinstalled in them.
How They Work
UV resin involves a photochemical reaction to cure. It’s ready to pour onto the mold and needs some kind of ultraviolet light treatment to set. You might use a UV Lamp or, put it under direct sunlight to start curing.
Epoxy, on the contrary, does not require any light treatment with a UV-led light. It can cure even at room temperature since the hardener in it triggers a chemical reaction beginning the curing process.
As we’ve mentioned above, an epoxy resin comes in 2 separate parts; a hardener and a resin. Therefore, for the chemical reaction to take place, you must combine these components in a certain proportion. The manufacturer defines this measurement. Some could be 1:1 or even some products require mixing in other ratios.
However, this is not the case with UV resin. It comes in a single bottle containing already mixed and ready-to-use material. You don’t have to go through the time-consuming mixing process. Instead, you can instantly jump into making beautiful DIY craftworks.
UV resin and epoxy resin are very different when it comes to durability UV rein is generally softer and has a more gel-like finish once it has been cured with a UV lamp. This means that it will be susceptible to surface scratches and gouges. If you want a harder more durable finish then epoxy resin wins here.
Epoxy resin tends to have a longer curing time than UV resins since they take about 24 to 72 hours. For this reason, epoxies are not ideal for urgent applications.
On the other hand, UV resin can cure for as little as 2 minutes. So, if you’re in a rush, they are the perfect option for you.
Small products like jewelry that need to be made in large batches will benefit from using UV resin
When it comes to versatility, epoxy resin is more suited for a wide range of applications. You can make coasters, bookmarks, Pens, keychains, and shaker charms, or even use them to finish coating your kitchen or bathroom countertop. So epoxy is suitable for tasks like casting in molds, craft decorations, surface protection, and so on.
The same cannot be said for UV resins, though! They are more like to be designed for specific applications. It’s actually polymerized by ultraviolet lights to use for coating, bonding, or sealing surfaces.
As for the cost, UV adhesives are more costly than epoxies. Besides, if you live in areas where natural sunlight isn’t strong enough, this cost may go up further. That’s because you may be forced to buy a UV light, which is necessary to promote the curing of UV resins.
Lastly, UV resins have a shelf life of about 6 months. Contrarily, if epoxies are stored properly, they can last for a year. This clearly says that UV-made products are more long-lasting than its counterpart. So consider that and make sure you pick the best version for your art projects.
Both UV resin and epoxy have benefits and drawbacks. However, regardless of the differences, they’re both effective and perfect in their own applications.
And hopefully, I was able to bring up their differences to you. I also hope that now you know what kind of resin to choose for your craft works and take on this fun hobby to the next level. You can try out both types without getting confused.
If you’re learning things, as you go, I encourage you to try out both of these types of resins. That’ll help you get acquainted with their properties and give you a clearer idea of where each type of resin is more suitable