Epoxy resin is a type of liquid plastic that is used in many industries, including the aerospace, electronics, and automotive industries. This synthetic material is made from a mixture of two chemicals, resin, and hardener.
Epoxy resin has many benefits, including its strong bonding properties, high resistance to heat and chemicals, and low shrinkage.
But why does epoxy resin smell bad? The downside of epoxy resin is its strong smell. The pungent smell is from the fumes that are released are known as Volatile organic compounds or VOCs for short.
What does Epoxy resin smell like?
So what exactly does epoxy resin smell like?
Some people say it smells like vinegar or nail polish remover, while others say it has a sweet or floral scent. Regardless of how you describe the smell, there’s no denying that it can be quite overpowering. If you’re working with epoxy resin, be sure to wear a respirator like this one.
A good respirator not only protects you from the smell is prevents any harmful fumes from entering your lungs while working with epoxy resin.
Be sure to purchase a respirator that filters vapor/gas as well as solid particles. However, wearing a respirator will only protect you from the smell it will not get rid of it.
The best way to get rid of the smell is to work with your epoxy resin in a well-ventilated area or use a fume extractor in your work area.
Ventilation will circulate the air loaded with bad-smelling fumes and replace it with fresh air. The best option is to use a combination of both options a respirator and ventilation to get rid of the bad-smelling fumes.
What causes the smell of epoxy resin?
Epoxy resin is a thermosetting polymer meaning that when the hardener is added to the resin it creates a chemical reaction that will change the resin from liquid to solid.
The mixture produces heat and fumes as a by-product of this chemical reaction.
Smell is created when the resin begins to harden. The fumes that are released will be stronger when the epoxy resin is first mixed and will decrease as the mixture begins to harden.
The smell can vary from mild to strong depending on the brand of epoxy resin used. Some brands are stronger smelling than others.
Also, the smell can also vary depending on the amount of hardener used this will also be a factor of the brand of epoxy you choose as many brands of epoxy that use a 1:1 mix ratio. there are also brands that advertise low-odor options. there are also resins where the curing process is activated by UV light
How long does the epoxy resin smell last?
If you want to know how long it takes for epoxy to stop smelling? The answer is that the epoxy smell will last for as long as the epoxy is curing. This can last from a few hours to a few days. Eventually, the smell will also be noticeable on the clothing you wear when working with resin.
How to get rid of the epoxy resin smell?
Want to know how to get rid of the epoxy resin smell or even reduce the strength of the smell? Well there are several ways to reduce the lingering epoxy smells, these are
- wear a respirator
- work in a well-ventilated room
- Use a fume extractor
- Use an air purifier
- Purchase epoxy brands that ate formulated to be low odor
- Wear disposable protective clothing
You could also try to reduce the room temperature of the work area as the amount of bad-smelling fumes that are produced is directly related to the temperature of the curing resin the warmer the room the more fumes that are produced adding to the epoxy smells.
This method also has its drawbacks as the epoxy resin will take longer to cure meaning the fumes will be produced for a longer time.
Does resin smell go away after curing?
Generally, there is no resin smell after curing.
Cured epoxy resin is stable and odorless and will not produce a foul smell.
If your epoxy resin project smells after curing, your project may not have fully cured properly meaning you may have to wait a bit longer for the chemical reaction to finish.
the other reason may be that you may not have mixed the resin properly and there are pockets of uncured resin scattered throughout the project.
If the resin has been proven to be fully mixed and cured and your project still smells try mixing baking soda and water in a bowl. Dip a cloth into it and wipe the surface of your project with it.
Is the epoxy resin smell dangerous?
Is epoxy smell toxic? No, while the smell may be irritating to some people is not toxic however the fumes that cause the smell are very dangerous and with prolonged exposure can cause various symptoms like skin irritations and respiratory problems
Inhaling the fumes will eventually make you very unwell and could cause asthma the fumes will also cause irritation to the lungs throat and nose.
Also while cured resing doesn’t smell, you may need to finish the resin by sanding and polishing it this will create fine dust that can smell and can cause respiratory problems if inhaled.
If you think your health may be affected in any way by the fumes or smell leave the work area immediately and when you feel better you can continue working just make sure to wear a mask and protective clothing and try to avoid breathing the fumes.
Creating epoxy resin projects can be rewarding there is also an element of danger, through exposure. This should not stop you from using epoxy as it is a fantastic medium to work with as long as you take the right precautions and always follow the manufacturer’s directions and make sure that you always understand what could happen if you don’t take precautions