If you have ever asked what is UV resin then you have come to the right place. Here we explore what UV resin is and how it is used. you may even be inspired to try creating some resin art yourself using UV resin.
UV Resin is a liquid polymer resin that cures when exposed to ultraviolet light (UV light) from a UV resin curing light such as a UV lamp, UV torch, or even the sun, it does not require a hardener or catalyst to be added for the UV resin to cure.
This makes UV resin unique to other resins like epoxy resin.
UV resin is used in a variety of applications, such as automotive repair, woodworking, jewelry making, art and craft 3D printing, and even in dentistry.
It is ideal for small projects that require a fast cure time. This article will explore what UV resin is and how it works, and why this versatile material is a must-have for any maker/craftsperson.
How Does UV Resin Work?
When exposed to ultraviolet light (UV light) UV resin undergoes a bonding process called a photopolymerization reaction. This chain reaction converts the resin from a liquid state to a solid state. UV resin is a unique single-part liquid that dries into hard, transparent material as the UV resin cures.
What is UV resin? Benefits and Disadvantages of Using UV Resin
Fast Curing Time
While there are many factors that determine a fast curing time for UV resin such as the size shape and color of the project, the cure time can be achieved relatively quickly over different types of resin such as epoxy resin which will take several hours for a similar project.
Long working Time
working time otherwise known as pot time is not a factor to consider as there is no need to add additional chemicals to start the cure of UV resin.
UV resin will remain in its liquid form until it is exposed to ultraviolet light to start the resin cure.
Cures at Any Temperatures
Ambient temperatures do not have any effect on the curing of UV resin. Other resins that require a hardener will need their mix ratio changed depending on the air temperature. The curing process for UV resin will occur as long as there is an ultraviolet light source.
No Mixing or Measuring
UV resin is bought as a 1 part system in a single container there are no other additives required to cure the resin, and there’s no need to calculate precise measurements.
Mixing also poses a problem with other resins, if they are not mixed correctly the resin will not cure correctly or you could find pockets of uncured resin in your project. This does not happen with UV resin.
Less Bad Smelling Fumes
UV resin cures without the use of mixing additional chemicals and will release fumes during the curing process making it less toxic to work with.
Short Learning Curve
UV resin is a great place to start for beginners it easy to use, projects are generally small not many beginners start out trying to make a resin table for their first project. It produces fewer fumes and doesn’t require mixing or additional chemicals.
Due to the need for exposure to ultraviolet light, UV resin can only be applied in thin layers generally 1/8 to 5/32 of an inch (3mm to 4mm) thick. to make a project thicker a new layer will need to be applied.
While each layer is relatively quick to cure applying several layers will be time-consuming with each layer needing to cure individually.
Short Shelf Life
unlike epoxy and other resins, UV resin has a short shelf life of about 6 months. So if you find that you’re having trouble getting your resin project to cure you might need to check the best-before date on the packaging.
Propper care and storage will help keep your resin usable for longer. good practices like replacing the container lid after use and storing the rein in a cool dark area are essential to avoid spoiling.
After the curing process UV resin has a softer surface than other resins making it more susceptible to everyday wear and tear.
Size of Projects
Projects are limited in size as each required layer needs to be exposed to UV light especially if you are using a UV light station
High cost of resin
The cost factor is a key consideration when purchasing resin for a project meaning generally the higher purchase price makes UV resin unfeasible with many makers opting for lower-cost alternatives when deciding on which resin to choose.
How Long Does it Take for UV Resin to Cure?
When it comes to curing UV resin, there are two factors to consider: how long the exposure to UV light needs to be, and how strong that light needs to be.
Generally, you can expect UV resin to cure in about 30 minutes when exposed to direct sunlight. If you’re using a UV flashlight, you may need to expose the resin for a bit less time – up to an hour or so. The strength of the light also plays a role in curing time; a stronger light will cure the resin in less time.
How Can I Cure My UV Resin Faster?
One way to speed up the curing process of UV resin is to use a UV lamp. UV lamps emit high-wavelength ultraviolet light which causes the resin to harden faster.
The drawback is that they have a small working area and are a costly investment for what you are getting. The amount of time it takes for the resin to harden will depend on the intensity of the UV light and the type of resin you are using.
You can also cure your resin in direct sunlight, but this method is very unreliable and you may get sections of resin that do not cure. however, it will work if you are in a pinch.
Another method is to use a torch with a UV bulb, you can then do larger projects and move the torch around the project as it cures. Keep in mind that this method is labor intensive because you have to be present to hold the torch
If you want to speed up the curing time of your UV resin, try using a UV lamp with a high wavelength.
Can I Use UV Resin as a Glue
UV resin can be used as glue, but it is not as strong as epoxy resin adhesive.
It works by curing when exposed to ultraviolet light, so it can be challenging to control the amount of glue that is dispensed.
UV resin is also not as forgiving as other adhesives – if you make a mistake, it can be difficult to fix. For these reasons, we recommend using UV resin only for small projects or repairs.
Can I mix in colors and materials to create different effects?
Yes, you can mix colors and materials to create different effects with UV resin. For example, you can add glitter or mica powder to create a sparkly effect. You can also add food coloring to create a unique color.
If you want to add a three-dimensional effect to your UV resin project, you can add beads, buttons, or charms. You can also embed small objects like leaves or flowers.
By mixing in different colors and materials, you can create endless possibilities with UV resin. So have fun and be creative!
Is UV Resin Toxic?
It is important to note that there are no current studies that link UV curing with long-term health problems, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from the potentially harmful effects of this process.
The first thing you should know about UV resin is that it can be harmful to your skin if it is not handled properly.
The resin dries very quickly, so you must always wear nitrile gloves when using it. If the resin gets on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
If you experience skin irritation, itchiness, or burning when working with UV resin, you should seek medical attention immediately. Also, if you are pregnant or nursing a child, do not use this product without talking to your doctor first.
Conclusion: The Best Way to Start Using UV Resing
When it comes to crafting with UV resin, there are a few things you need to know in order to get started.
First, you need to understand what UV resin is and how it works.
Second, you need to gather the supplies you’ll need in order to start working with UV resin. And third, you need to have a basic understanding of the crafting process.
Now that you know the basics of working with UV resin, it’s time to get started! The best way to start using UV resin is to but a UV resin kit and trying out some simple projects.
UV resin kits come with all of the items you will need like a special UV lamp or UV torch liquid resin molds and any other specific pieces you may need.
Once you get the hang of working with this material, you’ll be able to create all sorts of amazing pieces. So what are you waiting for? Get crafting!