Frequently asked questions

General

What is the heat resistance rating?


ArtWorks Resin is heat resistant up to 266F (130C). Liquid Diamonds Casting Resin is heat resistant up to 248F (120C). Resins do not reach their full heat resistance until up to 3 - 4 weeks past initial curing process, at which time they also reach their full hardness. Note: Often when manufacturer's mention heat rating, it generally refers to indirect heat, not direct contact. So for example, if you leave a tumbler or keychain in a hot car that reaches over 225F, the tumbler & key chain will be fine. But if you put a hot skillet that is 250F directly on to those resin items, the high heat direct contact might leave marks.




What is the mix ratio for your resins?


ArtWorks Resin uses a ratio of 1:1 by volume (never weight). Liquid Diamonds Casting Resin is a 2:1 ratio mix, and it can be measured by either volume or weight.




Do your resins have VOC's?


No! Both ArtWorks Resin and Liquid Diamonds Casting Resin are no VOC epoxy resins.




Do your resins have UV protection added?


Yes! ArtWorks Resin has UV protection, plus has HALS. HALS = Hindered Amine Light Stablizers, are chemical compounds that are used as UV stabilizers in plastics and polymers. They're used to protect from the effects of photo-oxidation and thermal stabilizers. Liquid Diamonds has added UV protection as well.




Ar your resins FDA Compliant?


Yes! ArtWorks Resin & Liquid Diamonds are both rated FDA 21CFR175.300 = FDA Compliant. In general, once epoxy resins are fully cured, they become an inert plastic. They are fine for incidental exposure to food items. Please note, the FDA Compliant rating is only a guideline for coatings to be safe for food-contact surfaces. This does not equal the same as food safe certification. FDA certifies food & consumables (which epoxy resins are not a consumable). So the FDA Compliant rating is simply a guideline, that all epoxy resins (that are solid system resins) fall under. There are no epoxy resins being used in our artwork in North America, that has their very own special FDA food safe certification rating unique to their brand only. ***All solid system epoxy resins (including ArtWorks, Liquid Diamonds & other popular brands), that we are using in our art and table tops, & various projects are rated the same with the exact same "FDA Compliant" guidelines. Here's the link... https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=175.300 The biggest concern is when functional items created with resin, are warmed or heated, or alcohol touched, or foods repeatedly cut on, resins become vulnerable and can potentialy leach chemicals into food or drinks. Also note: The FDA Compliancy is only valid for resin that is unaltered. It is no longer FDA Compliant once colourants, glitters, paint, pigment powders, micas, etc are added. This applies to all resins being used in artwork. Some people will add a final clear resin top coat over their coloured resin to bring their item back to FDA Compliancy, however that still does not equate food safe in many peoples opinions. FDA Compliant means safe for incidental food contact, which if food touches something made from epoxy and then you put it in your mouth, it won't make you sick. Many people interpret this in a variety of ways. We prefer to suggest safe usage, and always err on the side of caution on where you putting any epoxy resin, if to be used in combination with functional art items for use with food or beverages.




What is the work time (pot life) of your resins?


The work time (pot life) of ArtWorks Resin is 35-40 minutes (depending on environment in room, additives and additional heating added. With ArtWorks, it is recommended to get this thicker resin out on to surface as soon as possible to get best work time/pot life. ArtWorks can not be left to sit in mix cups, as the longer it sits in cups, the quicker it will heat up and significantly reduce your work time/pot life. The work time (pot life) of Liquid Diamonds is 50-60+ minutes, depending on environment & usage. We often suggest with Liquid Diamonds to let it sit in the mix cup to degas for about 5 minutes before pouring in to moulds. When creating petri effects in Liquid Diamonds, you need to let the Liquid Diamonds sit in the coaster (or smaller) mould for about 90 minutes up to 2 hours, before dropping the alcohol inks for best effects.




How long does it take your resins to cure?


ArtWorks Resin is a fast curing resin. It takes 8 to 12 hours (temperature & humidity dependant). Liquid Diamonds Casting Resin, takes 24 hours to demould time, depending upon mould size, shape, inclusions & room temperature. Cures best at room temps over 72F. Machinable (lathe) at 24-48 hours at room temperature of 78F. Smaller shallower moulds will take longer to cure, as will cooler rooms. Epoxy resins are temperature sensitive materials. Ideally keep resin and hardener stored between 70F - 80F (21C - 27C). Colder epoxy will get thicker and too viscous to properly release air. When it gets too hot, it thins out more and can set faster then it is designed to, causing it to potentially overheat, yellow quicker and become brittle. Best cures result from even steady warm temperature throughout cure process.




What is the return policy for items from ArtWorks Resin Canada?


We no longer accept returns unless it is an error on our part. We do not take any returns on old product. If there is an issue we must be notified within a week of receipt from post office date of delivery notification. There will be a 10% restocking fee on any returns unless the reason for return is an error on our part. The postage for returns will be at customer expense. Please use the Contact Us page to let us know if you need to return or exchange any product. We do not accept returns for change of mind, or misunderstanding of type of product required for projects.




Which resin should I use for my project?


For people who are unsure about which resin to use or the differences in the two resins, please see the blog post on our page showing the condensed list of the differences & features of these two resins. Keep in mind these two resins are developed for very different applications. They can be used in other applications, just keep in mind they will perform best for the applciations they are designed for. ArtWorks Resin is a top-coating resin. It is developed for artwork and coatings. It can be used for wall art, tumblers, cheeseboards, trays, table/counter tops & more. Although it is not a casting resin, some people do use it in very shallow castings under 1/4", or do in several shallow layers curing between each layer. Liquid Diamonds is a casting resin. It was designed for the crafting industry. It is most often used for things like jewellry, casting in moulds, floral castings, pen turning, knife handle making, dice making, memory pieces, etc. Please see our instagram page for a quick view of the numerous applications this resin is used in. All resins start with a similar basic chemical makeup, then each brand adds different chemicals to give them their unique features for their usage (which also gives their pros & cons depending on your needs & preferences).




Can I use epoxy resin indoors?


Epoxy resin is not toxic. It not like other types of industrial resins such as, polyester, or polyerethane or alkyd resins. However, it is still important and recommended to use epoxy resins in a well ventilated area.




What is needed to create epoxy resin projects?


This depends entirely on type of projects you want to create. However some of the basics are: . Correct type of epoxy resin for type of project. . If using colourants, they must be resin friendly (nothing water based). . Mixing Cups (to mix part a and b together), to suit size of project, plus additional cups for any coloured resin you may want if using colours. . Stir sticks (enough for each colour as well if using colours) . Protection for work surface ( plastic sheets over work area). . Heat source such to pop bubbles. On larger surfaces you can use a propane torch (I like a wide angle tip), or butane chef's torch (be careful with it's pointier flame), or on smaller pieces in moulds I prefer a barbecue lighter (ideally with adjustable flame). Some people like to use a heat gun for bubbles, but be careful not to overheat resin when using. . Nitrile gloves (not vinyl, latex or rubber since they are not chemical resistant) . PPE (personal protective equipment) if not using in a well ventilated area (respirator with organic vapour cartridges, and if it's not full face, then add safety glasses as well). . Paper towels or rags . Isoprophyl alcohol 99% is best (acetone or denatured alcohol can be used to wipe surfaces if needed). If creating casting projects, you will need moulds in desired shapes. If moulds are not shiny, your project will not come out shiny, so if you'd like the shiny resin finish, be sure your mould has a shiny finish. If creating on wood substrates, wood can be porous, and they may need to be sealed and primed with wood sealer/primer a few days before starting projects. Other substrates may need priming days ahead as well if they are porous. The priming must be not just dry to touch, but fully cured all the way through, before adding resin (resin will not cure properly if any moisture is underneath).




How do I dispose of epoxy resin?


Never pour either Part A resin or Part B hardener down sinks, toilets or drains. If you have small amounts, mix them together so they can solidify before disposing following your local regulations where you take your trash. If it is larger amounts not mixed, take to your local waste management centre for directions.




What is the hardness level of your resins?


ArtWorks Resin and Liquid Diamonds Resin are both very hard curing resins. They will not go pliable or bendy in heat, like some of the softer curing resins can. ArtWorks Resin has a shore hardness rating of D83. Liquid Diamonds has a shore hardness rating of D78 (although it does seem harder than some of the others rated the same).




Is your resin scratch proof?


No resin is scratch proof, however due to these being hard curing resins, they are scratch resistant.





Trouble Shooting

Can I still use resin if it has frozen or crystalized in the bottle?


If your resin has frozen, you can let it come to room temperature naturally, and then it can be used. If your resin has crystalized, it may appear cloudy or grainy. It can occur with any resin randomly and is difficult to predict why. To de-crystallize, just heat up the container in a hot water bath. Be sure it is tightly sealed, and do not fully immerse the container. Keep it upright. You may need to shake it a bit now and then, and set back in the hot water bath again, until it is fully de-crystallized. Then allow it to come to room temperature before using normally. Here is a blog about frozen or crystallized resin.




Surface still has tacky spots?


There are many factors that can come into play with this. Inaccurate measurements, under mixing the two parts together, temperature, moisture, additives, etc. If the entire surface is hard, but just slightly tacky in areas, you can re-coat with another layer of resin and it should dry hard assuming all steps are followed properly.




Uneven curing on surface


There are a variety of factors that can cause uneven cures. If the project is not levelled, resin will move to where it can self level. If there are ripples, it can be from moving during cure process, or air flow during cure process, or overheating from heat guns or torches. If using a heat gun, be very careful not to overdo it, you can actually cause top outer resin section to begin curing too soon, while resin under is still trying to set, and it can ruin what would other wise be a nice finish. If there is any type of blowing air, such as a fan, air conditioning, heater or heat duct by curing resin, it can effect your finish.





Colourants

What is the best ratio of colourant to resin so cure is not effected?


Our resin manufacturer typically recommends mica powders, pigment powders, concentrate/solvent-based pigments. When adding colours to your epoxy resin, ensure you start with just a small amount, and only add more as needed. Liquid Diamonds resin manufacturer suggest that colourant does not exceed 5% ratio of total mixture. With most colourants, the ratio should never exceed 6 to 10% colour to resin for ArtWorks Resin as well. If you add too much colourant, it can cause your resin to go in to pre-mature exotherm, and/or not cure correctly. If you add too much alcohol inks to your resin, it will also effect cure negatively & possibly leave a film. Glitter is not a colourant, so it does not follow the same ratio rule.




Can I use acrylic paints in resin?


In some cases acyrlic paint can work in resins, but in some cases it does not mix or cure well. Many epoxy resin companies don't recommend acrylic paint since it is water based (and each acrylic brand has different amounts and other additives that may not react well with resin). They can get clumpy and even leave a weird film on the finished product. If going outside of recommended products, test on small projects first. Mica powders and pigment powders work well with epoxy resins, as do epoxy pastes and liquid pigments developed for resin.




What colourants are ideal for best results in epoxy resin?


Epoxy resins are all a bit different in their chemical make ups. But majority suggest for best results, to use mica powders, pigment powders, and there are also transparent tints, liquid pigments & epoxy pastes developed for use with resins. Alcohol inks are often used for certain types of effects. Just be aware they are not lightfast, and if too much is used, it will effect the chemical balance throwing off the cure.




Are Mica Powders the same thing as Pigment Powders?


No, they are not one in the same. There are mica powders, and mica/pigment powders, and pigment powders. Straight mica powders are minerals and often pearl, shimmery or sparkly, and ususally more transparent in nature. Pigment powders are often mixed with mica powder to add more colour to the mica. Mica powders are often added to pigment powders to add pearl, sparkle and shimmer effects. This blog ( Pigment Powder & Mica Powders) explains a bit more detail about the different types of powders, and how it effects the transparency and opaquness levels, so you know what to look for when creating projects.