Some DIY Resin projects are extremely time-consuming, as well as tricky. Therefore, they require a bit more focus in terms of when it comes to following all resin “Rules of Conduct” or if you are in a hurry, are you able to make use of an oven, to speed up your step by step epoxy cure process?
Shortening the drying time of resin is a true challenge. However, curing the Epoxy resin can be speeded up if done correctly.
The Chemistry Behind an Epoxy Cure
Sometimes, you may find yourself in the situation of where you want or need to speed up the cure time of your epoxy resin project. Cure times for Epoxy resin will vary; however, it is not impossible to rush them a bit.
However, before we get into those suggestions, it is essential to understand the little resin chemistry to know what you are dealing with.
Usually, an Epoxy resin kit comes with a container of Epoxy resin plus a bottle of hardener. These two components are sold together and designed to be perfectly mixed. Imagine they work like a lock and a key, one side completely dependent of the other.
Once you add the hardener to the resin, a whole chemical reaction will take place and make the mixture heat up and eventually harden up.
Without the proper heat production, the mixture will have no chance of getting hard. Likewise, if you don’t establish the ideal surrounding temperature and are not warm enough, the combination you have prepared won’t cure.
The Bonding Process
The ideal Epoxy hardening process relies on making the correct mixture ratio. This could be a 2:1 or even 1:1 ratio, meaning as I always preach, you should follow the manufacture recommended mix instructions. Although adding more hardener might sound a good idea, this is not advised. The result? Resin parts that will not cure properly, some areas that will remain all sticky, not ever hardening or become brittle.
The same will happen if you put some additional elements into the mixture and speed up the curing process.
Speeding Up the Curing Time
Now, the main elements that help the resin cure faster are sunlight and temperature. So, the warmer the Epoxy, the shorter the curing time is. There is a chance you can manipulate the drying reaction.
This implies speeding up the process by adding some more heat. At the same time, you can slow down the curing by making the environment a bit cooler. Once the surrounding temperature is more relaxed, you will extend the time of working with Epoxy.
TIP: It’s important to follow the manufacture’s recommended guidelines including the temperature if you want to have the best outcome when working with epoxy. Once you are outside of that temperature range, tweaking the instructions could end unfavorably
Is The Oven A Good Option?
When it comes to Epoxy curing, yes, you can involve the oven, but make sure the mixture has hardened evenly via the inherent curing process.
The stove might not be a real-time saver; however, this is a great tool to utilize in two-step curing systems. Put the oven in function during the curing process.
If you are passionate about DIY epoxy projects, you should know that most of the non-industrial epoxy resin applications will not require using the oven. Moreover, you should even avoid this step, as extreme temperatures can be detrimental to the curing process.
However, if you still want to use the oven, you should keep in mind that the curing process depends on heat. It is also crystal clear that curing times depend on the type of resin.
Don’t forget to fix the oven at the lowest temperature you can, around 150 F / 65 Celsius. Mix the resin compounds, then place them like normal in the oven for 5-8 minutes.
So, fix the oven to the most moderate temperature. Most of the ovens have 150 F / 65 Celsius as the lowest temperature.
What Happens If You Overheat Resin?
Since we agreed that the curing process is accelerated by heat, let’s see what happens if you overheat the resin.
It is simple: once you leave the Epoxy too much into the oven, the two combined elements, meaning the resin and hardener, can thicken prematurely. In the end, the resin mixture will get too hot and drop some properties.
To answer your question, “Can you put resin in the oven?” You can cure Epoxy resin faster when using the oven; however, you should make sure that you don’t overheat this material.