An epoxy is a polymer that cures when mixed with a catalyzing agent or hardener. Epoxies are part of a class of adhesives called engineering adhesives or structural adhesives, which also includes polyurethane and acrylic. Epoxies were first developed and used in industry in the United States during the early 1930’s.
Raw epoxy materials are blended by manufacturers into epoxy systems that can be used for various purposes. The epoxy formulas may be changed in hundreds of ways, depending on their intended use. Epoxy manufacturers may add mineral fillers, thickeners, accelerators, adhesion promoters, and even fiber reinforcements such as glass, carbon, Kevlar, and boron. The curing of liquid polyethers creates epoxy resins, a compound used in a wide variety of applications just like all other epoxy combinations.
In regards to adhesives, epoxy resins are used to create laminating adhesives and conductive adhesives. Even by themselves, these resins are a natural epoxy adhesive used in many homes to fix broken pottery, glass and china as well as fixing up wood and leather. The substance is usually clear, like the epoxy coating or paint, which adheres to various woods, glasses and ceramics to protect these objects from corrosion and UV light.
The epoxy coating is one example of how most multi-compound epoxy adhesives must be mixed together to cure right before application, although the bonding may be instantaneous, take a couple hours or a couple days.
The basic elements of most epoxy compounds are bisphenol-A and epichlorohydrin. These two strengthen the adhering bond and strengthen corrosion and temperature resistance, respectively. Such an epoxy base makes for an excellent mixer. Because their composition can be modified in so many ways, epoxies are useful in many types of construction.
They are used in aircraft, automobiles, boats, bicycles, skis, golf clubs and other applications where high strength bonds and weather resistance are necessary. Epoxies are also used in the electronics industry and are a component of motors, generators, transformers, switchgear and insulators. They can even be used in woodworking, adhering pieces together while also combining with other chemical bases to create varnish.
A varnish is both aesthetically pleasing and imperative to the health of a piece of wood furniture, which must be protected from ageing and environmental elements. Epoxy is vital in making that happen, for wood pieces as well as everything else listed in this paragraph.