Why did my epoxy resin crystallize, turn cloudy, or become chunky?
Did your epoxy resin crystallize or have you noticed chunks in your epoxy?
Epoxy resin users may occasionally encounter a puzzling phenomenon – the presence of chunks or the solidification of epoxy resin in the container or cloudiness. This article delves into the reasons behind epoxy resin crystallization and presents practical, easy-to-follow solutions to help users overcome this challenge. Before diving in, we do want to point out that epoxy crystallization is easily resolved and does not pose any serious concerns.
Why Does Epoxy Resin Crystallize?
Epoxy resin crystallization is a common occurrence of many different types of epoxy resins. Here are the most common causes:
Temperature changes play a significant role in the formation of chunks in epoxy resin. For optimal performance, epoxy resin is ideally maintained within a stable temperature range of 65-85°F (18-30°C). When exposed to colder temperatures, or fluctuating temperatures (hot to cold, cold to hot), the resin may undergo a physical transformation leading to crystallization or what appears to be epoxy resin chunks in the container.
Storing epoxy resin for extended periods can result in resin crystallizing or epoxy resin becoming solidified. Improper sealing of the container or storage in a cold environment may cause the epoxy's chemical structure to change, making it more prone to crystallization.
How to Easily Resolve Epoxy Resin Crystallization
Gentle Heating of the Epoxy Resin
To dissolve epoxy resin crystals and restore the resin to its original liquid state, apply gentle heat. Immerse the container in a warm water bath, ensuring the water level remains below the resin level in the container. Gradually increase the water temperature to 120-140°F (49-60°C) and stir the resin occasionally. Continue this process until the crystals dissolve and the epoxy returns to its liquid form. Be sure that the container is tightly sealed and prevent any water from getting into the epoxy resin.
Preventing epoxy resin crystallization begins with proper storage. Keep containers in a warm, dry place away from direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. Tightly seal the containers to minimize exposure to air and contamination. Adhering to the manufacturer's guidelines for storage conditions will help maintain the resin's stability and performance.
Read our blog post for more information on how to store epoxy resins.
Final Thoughts on Tackling Epoxy Resin Crystallization
By understanding the factors contributing to epoxy resin crystallization, users can effectively prevent and resolve this issue. Employing gentle heating methods, such as a warm water bath, can dissolve crystallized resin and restore its original liquid state. Proper storage conditions and purchasing high-quality epoxy resin from trusted suppliers are crucial in minimizing the risk of crystallization and ensuring optimal results in various applications. Epoxy crystallization is nothing to be concerned with and once it is returned to a liquid state you can expect the product to perform as normal.