The Universal Selection Source: Adhesives Ingredients

Epoxy Resins for Adhesives and Sealants

This guide is designed to introduce you to epoxy resins used in adhesives and sealants. Epoxy resin based adhesives are probably the most versatile family of adhesives because they bond well to many substrates. Also, they can be easily modified to achieve widely varying properties. This selection guide will familiarize you with the fundamentals and various types of epoxy resins for adhesives and sealants. This guide will endeavor to direct the formulator through the process of selecting an epoxy resin, or combination of resins of which many are available for a specific adhesive or sealant formulation and end-use requirement.

Epoxy Resins

Epoxy Resin Facts

Epoxy resins offer a unique combination of properties for adhesive and sealant applications and as a result have found wide applications in the automotive, industrial, and aerospace markets. Epoxies are probably the most versatile family of adhesives because they bond well to many substrates and can be easily modified to achieve widely varying properties. This modification usually takes the form of:
  1. Selection of the appropriate epoxy resin or combination of resins of which many are available,
  2. Selection of curing agent and associated reaction mechanism,
  3. Simple additions of organic or inorganic fillers and components.
Epoxy resins represent only one major ingredient in the formulation. They gain their ultimate performance characteristics when reacting with curing agents and additives or modifiers.

Epoxy Resins Curing


The epoxy resins are capable of reacting with various curing agents or with themselves (via a catalyst) to form solid, crosslinked materials with considerable strength and adhesion. This transformation is generally referred to as curing or hardening. This ability to be transformed from a low viscosity liquid (or thermoplastic state) into a tough, hard thermoset is the most valuable single property of epoxy resins.

This transformation or conversion is accomplished by the addition of a chemically active compound known as a curing agent or catalyst. Depending on the particular details of the epoxy formulation, curing may be accomplished at room temperature, with the application of external heat, or with the application of an external source of energy other than heat such as ultraviolet (UV) or electron beam (EB) energy.

Epoxy resins curing is initiated once the resin is mixed with a curative. The cure of epoxy resins is an exothermic process where heat is generated as a natural result of the chemical reaction. Success in using most epoxies is dependent on handling the product in the correct way in order to avoid premature cure and unwanted side reactions.


Structural Epoxy Adhesives Formulation

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