Art Resin FAQs & Troubleshooting Guides
The shelf life is 12 months in opened or unopened bottles. In reality it will last far longer than 1 year but over time the hardener will oxidise (turn slightly yellowish) and also the accelerators in the formulation will lose reactivity. Thus the resin will take longer to cure after a few years of storage.
There is a difference in viscosity between the resin and the hardener meaning the ratio end up with one component being slightly heavier than the other. However there is a margin for error built in, meaning using 1:1 by either volume or weight gets perfect results. Some resin's have a slightly different weight ration - check instruction on the bottle.
Add multiple coloured resin in layers in one container, give a gentle ¼ stir, then pour into the centre of a level surface and allow the resin to flow. Resi-BLAST can also be added to a couple of the layers.
Resin-compatible pigments, pastes or tints can be used in conjunction with our range of epoxy resins. Small amounts of acrylic or inks which are water based can be used, but ideally water and resin doesn't mix well and resin pigments and pastes are designed to be used with epoxy resin. However resin can be poured on water based art e.g. acrylic painting, once completely dry.
Important: Do not incorporate more than 10% pigment to resin ratio by weight, as this will affect the curing process. Normally you would much less than this to get a full colour.
With a broad-edge tool or spatula. Be sure to be thorough and scrape around the sides and base of the mixing jug to make sure there is no un-activated material. Mix slowly to avoid drawing too much air into the mix, creating bubbles. Most bubbles will either dissapate or can be removed with slight heat applied. Advisable to pour resin mix into another cup(s), in case resin on sides and bottom not completely mixed. See troubleshooting section.
Canvas, wood, metal, strong card and concrete. Plastic and glass can be used as well, but if put under sheer loading, de-lamination is possible. When using glass, do some trials first to see if the resin adheres after it has cured.
Canvasses should be supported in the middle to avoid slumping. E.g. Foam board can be fitted either temporary or permanently under a canvas. Check that there are no bumps or hollows.
I followed the mixing ratio exactly, but I am left with extra resin or hardener in the bottle afterwards?
This is normal when you mix by volume. The reason is that the viscosity and density (specific gravities) of the resin and hardener differ.
We formulate our resins to have a built-in margin of error so even if you don’t measure an exact 1:1 or 2:1 ratio the resin will still cure perfectly.
Any excess resin or hardener can be accumulated until you have enough to require more of the other component.
The application of heat from a low speed heat gun will draw air out of the resin when it is still wet. Small items such as coasters and jewellery can be heated with embossing tool heat guns. Larger panels may need to be lightly torched with a flame to pop the bubbles. Chef's torch can be used for this.
Do not use naked flame on mould projects as it may distort and melt the mould.
For more TIPS, see Trouble with Bubbles under Blog/Tips & Articles
It is either too cold for the chemical reaction to take place, the mixing ratio used is incorrect or the mixing itself was not thoroughly enough.
This may be due to Amine Blush or Blooming.
Most epoxy resins that have a long working time may be prone to blush or blooming. Due its long open time, UltraCast XT is susceptible to Amine Blush1 and Polymer Bloom2 under the following usage conditions:
- high humidity
- low ambient temperature (15°C or below)
- draughty or windy conditions including air-conditioning.
To avoid this effect from occurring it is recommend the resin component (Part A) is pre-warmed before mixing with the Hardener. The temperature and humidity of the working area should be kept as consistent as possible while the resin is curing.
1 Amine Blush is a sticky, waxy or oily appearance on the surface of cured epoxy. It can also be spotty, milky or salt-like. This deposit is water soluble and can be wipes/scrubed away with warm, soapy water.
2 Polymer Bloom is caused by the segregation of additives from the polymers which migrates to the surface.
Do not use solvents like acetone or mineral spirits to remove the blush. Using a solvent may worsens the problem, spreading the blush around and possibly embedding it into the cured resin.
Blush can prevent additional coats/layers to stick to your work. See removal above.
UltraCast XT resin system needs 14-21 days to reach maximum cured properties and temperature resistance. And even longer would be better.
The addition of pigments (inks, powders and pastes) as well as other resin additives (resi-BLAST, silicone, lubricants, alcohol or solvents) will lower its temperature resistance, this is because pigment substances themselves have a very low temperature threshold.
The addition of alcohol inks in particular can cause problematic surface finish due to its effect of lowering the viscosity (diluting the resin and impacting its density). It can result in cloudiness, dimples and other surface blemishes. The alcohol content in these inks will nullify the resin’s non-flammable properties. When alcohol inks or any other solvent is added, special care should be taken when heating the surface with an open flame blowtorch or butane gun.
The more pigments and additives added or mixed into UltraCast XT, the more the thermal withstand properties of the cured mass is lowered and compromised.
In this case, we recommend a final clear topcoat of UltraCast XT is applied on top of the pigmented layer to bolster its resistance against hot objects placed on it. Ensure resin is well mixed before application according to instructions.
Disclaimer: FAQ articles are offered as a guideline and possible solutions to problems encountered. It is up to the end user to determine the suitability for their specific task or application and no warranties or guarantees that it would work is implied. Refer to the TDS & SDS where available for manufacturer guidance. To determine the suitability of any recommendation or tip, a small scale test is suggested before applying on a larger scale.