self doming resin

Chemistry of Forming Water-based Polyurethane Dispersions

Chemistry of Forming Water-based Polyurethane Dispersions

Chemistry of Forming Water-based Polyurethane Dispersions

Water based polyurethane dispersions have urethane polymer particles dispersing in water, and self-dispersing ionomeric PU prepolymers is one of the most common techniques. In this process, Dimethylolpropionic acid (DMPA) is a moiety that is often used to react into a PU prepolymer for synthesizing ionomeric prepolymer for water based polyurethane dispersions.

The chemistry of forming water based polyurethane dispersions is reacting stoichiometric excess of isocyanate with hydroxy groups and a moiety. Depending on the final application and requirements of water based polyurethane, structures of polyol and isocyanate in PUD prepolymers can be very varied. For example, typical water based polyurethane dispersions are isocyanate terminated; however, hydroxyl-terminated prepolymers are used to formulate two-component water based polyurethane.

Before the water-dispersing process, the carboxylic acid groups in the prepolymer have to be neutralized with a strong base to convert the acid to the carboxylate, which makes the urethane particles to disperse and stabilize in water. After base neutralization, the aqueous dispersion process must follow immediately. During the aqueous dispersion process, chain extender, such as primary or secondary polyamines, is added to the water based polyurethane dispersions to converse the remaining isocyanate groups to the final polymer within the particle. The reason of using primary or secondary polyamines as chain extender is because they have higher reactivity toward isocyanates than water. After all the reactions are completed, ionomeric prepolymer and residual monomeric isocyanate are formed as the final products of the reaction.

There has been exponential growth in the study of the formulation and application of water based polyurethane dispersions (PUDs). The driven force of innovation and adoption of water based polyurethane technology is the environmental and occupational safety and health regulations to reduce exposure to organic solvents. Today, water based polyurethane coatings and adhesives are widely stably used on products for footwear, automobiles, textile fibers, leathers, fiber glass, floor polishesetc. Especially in the well developed countries, such as countries in North America and European Union, the use of solvent-based coatings and adhesives are phasing out. Solvent-based products are replaced by water based polyurethane, which are solvent free, harmless to human s health and eco-friendly, but keep all the properties of the solvent based polyurethane systems.

Sonnenschein, Mark. Polyurethanes Science, Technology, Markets, and Trends. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey. 2015.

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Where can I buy ICE Resin products on your site?

Click here to view all of our ICE Resin products.

How is ICE Resin® different from other craft resins then?

Our resin formula is jewelers grade two-part epoxy resin that dries permanently and will not fade or yellow. It remains ice-clear with a glasslike finish. You can even store it in a glass of water and it wont be damaged.

Absolutely. Please see our article on casting with ICE Resin®.

If you are trying to create a dome, its not a good idea to move it after pouring. We use trays to work on. If its poured low or used on paper, you can safely move your project. During the drying time it will be tacky to the touch and your fingerprints will stay so try not to move or touch during this time.

Can I use it on my sculpture pieces?

You can use ICE Resin® on anything that is dry or oil based.

Can my project be saved if I didnt mix correctly?

Most likely. You can always mix another batch of resin and add another layer to your project. If youve domed your bezels (meaning the top looks like a perfect little dome) you can roll a small piece of paper towel into a cone and use the tip as a paintbrush to carefully paint a thin layer of resin to the top of your project.

Does ICE Resin® come in a matte finish?

No, but ICE Resin® is easily altered. Once it is set up you can use a fine sandpaper and buffing cloths to get a matte finish. You can also carve it and drill through it.

Yes, if you put the mixed resin right under your nose there is a slight smell, but its nothing egregious.

A nice warm room makes it easier to mix and allows the bubbles to dissipate. After mixing, let the ICE Resin® sit for 5 minutes before working with it. You can also put it under a warm task light if you wish to further help the dissipation process. You can poke any remaining bubbles with a toothpick or piece of wire. Bubbles arent usually a huge problem. Please, do NOT: wave a flame, or use a heat gun on mixed ICE Resin® in an attempt to release any bubbles. A little but of patience works the best.

How long do I have to use my mixed ICE Resin® ?

It depends on the warmth of the room but usually 45 minutes to 1 hour. The container will start heating up when the pot life is over

How long does ICE Resin® take to harden?

It takes about 6 hours to set up enough to work with it.

How long does it take ICE Resin® to cure?

Three days for cure time. Dont put in an airtight container before it is cured or it can cloud. You can work with or wear it before its fully cured.

Dont mix less than half an ounce. The mixing cup that comes with the kit is a full ounce.

Dont mix less than half an ounce. The mixing cup that comes with the kit is a full ounce.

My Part A Resin is thick and doesnt pour very well.

It has gotten too cold in transit or storage and needs to be warmed. Place the bottle in a sink of very hot tap water for about 40 minutes and it will warm up, be runny and wont have bubbles.

We always keep some vintage papers or dictionary paper close by and use any leftover on it. Please see our tutorial on making ICE Resin® paper for more information.

Another benefit of ICE Resin® over some of the other brands on the market today is that its self-doming. This mean that it naturally prefers to create a dome shape when you pour it into a bezel. If you drip it in, it looks like a drop of water and will hold its drop shape unless you add too much and over pour your bezel.

The easiest way to achieve a good dome is to pour the bezel almost full, let it dry for six hours and then mix up a new batch and let the last little fill drip in like a drop of water. If its a large bezel, its much better to fill it in this kind of 2-step process. The pressure of resin in a large bezel will cause it to overflow if you try to dome all in one step. We hate cleaning up overfilled resin, so we always fill in layers.Back to Topwhat is the difference between ICE Resin® and the other products I find in my craft store?There are multiple paper products on the market that look similar to a resin. Most of them are not really waterproof and not really meant for a jewlery applicaiton. ICE Resin® is a jewelers grade epoxy resin and will not yellow or breakdown under normal use. I have run it through my dishwasher for weeks at a timewith soap and dirty dishesand it looks exactly the same as when I first made it. It is also self-doming and clear enough that if you put crystals in the bottom the light will reflect off of them.Back to TopWhat is the shelf life of my unmixed ICE Resin® package?ICE Resin® is pretty unlimited, but the hardener has about a year plus shelf life. Store in a cool dry place. As it ages, the hardener will turn more amber but still dry clear.Back to TopWill it yellow or fade?Not usually, it will remain clear with normal use as jewelry. If its drying slightly yellow you are using too much hardenerits a fine line! You have to have enough hardener to attach to each molecule of resin and its always a good idea to have an extra drop, but too much will cause yellowing. Also, overheating ICE Resin® before it dries will cause yellowing, do not use a torch, heat gun or heat lamp to expedite the drying time if you want it to remain crystal clear. It is not meant to be put outdoors in the sun other than being worn as jewelry.Back to TopWill you be able to dent it with a fingernail after its cured?No. Not if you measured correctly (1 part resin to 1 part hardener) and thoroughly mixed it. If resin is still sticky or soft after 24 hours, it was not mixed properly.Back to TopContact Us

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Susan Lenart Kazmer is an internationally-recognized mixed-media jewlery artist, silversmith and teacher. Shes developed many cold-join techniques over the years to transform found objects into Talisman works of fine art.Susan first began using resin in her mixed-media jewlery more than decade ago. Searching for an safer alternative to the harsh chemicals found in many commerical resins, Susan developed ICE Resin, a crystal clear jewelers grade resin thats environmentally safe, self leveling, self doming and self healing.

Susan Lenart Kazmer Demonstrates ICE Resin® End Caps & Leather Adhesive

To purchase the supplies used here, check out our website:Show MorePublished at 2018, May 23Thanks for watching!

To purchase the supplies used here, check out our website:

And for inspiration from our Creative Team, check out our blog, the ICE Queen E-Zine, here:

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Where resin crafting is more than a passion, it is an OBSESSION

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originally published August 2014.  Updated April 2018.

Lots of you have asked me what resin to use for resin jewelry and crafts.  Part of the fun of learning resin is experimenting with different items and finding what works for your specific situation.  I do understand, though, that it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating not knowing which product to use or using the wrong product for a project.  Today, Im going to walk you through the resin products I use WHEN and WHY.

Note:  These are my experiences.  Please use this article as a guide and feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below if something different has worked well for you.

If Im working with molds, and I need a clear casting, I like to use theResin Obsession super clear resin.  The super clear resin is designed for molds and also casts very clear.  The super clear resin also has its own line ofresin colorants, so its easy for me to color and cast the resin as well.

See how I used the super clear resin in thisresin petri earrings tutorial.

For doming resin projects, like using it in a bezel, I will use theAlumilite Amazing Clear cast epoxy resinorEnvirotex jewelry resin.  Both can be colored and have their owncolorantsas well.  The Alumilite Amazing clear cast also comes in handy for the times I need a food safe resin.

See how you can use a doming resin tomake resin rings.

If I am making something that can be a solid, opaque color, theAlumilite Amazing Casting resinworks well.  It is a quick cure polyurethane resin that cures opaque white, but can be colored with coordinatingliquid colorants also by Alumilitethat are specifically made for coloring polyurethane (and epoxy) resin.  It  also cures hard, making it a good choice for high impact items like rings.

You can see how I used it to make resin dice:

For the projects that need to have the brightest, shiniest surface possible, thats when I pull out theCastin Craft polyester resin.  This resin is hard enough when cured that it can be polished on a buffing wheel with compound.  I have found that is the best way to get a very glossy surface.  If you want to try polyester resin, read this article first:polyester resin facts.

I used polyester resin to make thisdoll parts bangle bracelet.

For the projects where I need a glossy surface on something,TotalCastorAlumilite Amazing Clear Cast resinworks well for this.  Both work well for creating a glossy surface no more than 1/8 inch thick.

You can see how I used Alumilite Amazing clear castresin to coat the surface of a tile.

If I only need to mold a small item, say 1 1/2 inches in diameter or less and not very thick, I will use theAlumilite Amazing mold putty.  Because you only have a limited amount of time to mix and form the putty around the model, I only like to use it for small items.  I will also use this if I want to cast a food item, as the mold putty is FDA designated food safe.  For larger items that you need to make a silicone mold from, any of the Alumilite silicones will work fine for flat items.

In the cases of casting larger items with lots of twists and turns (and subsequent undercuts), thehigh strength 3is the best choice.  Thehigh strength 2is the better choice if youre making a two part mold because the cured silicone will be stiffer.

If you are new to moldmaking altogether, theComposimold reusable molding materialis a great choice.  You can use the mold a couple of times, then remelt and pour again to make a new mold.  Great for those times when you make a mistake!  (and its food contact safe as well)

For plastic molds, theCastin Craft mold releasewill do just fine.  TheUltra 4 parafilm mold releaseis better suited to silicone molds.  ThePetrolease universal mold releaseworks on both, and for me, is my go to mold release all the time.  It may be overkill on the majority of plastic molds, but for deep molds, like the bangle bracelets and domes, I have found it makes demolding so much easier.

If youre making a two part silicone mold, or will be casting silicone into a silicone mold, theAlumilite rubber to rubber moldrelease is a good choice.

I preferliquid colorantsoverpowder colorantsif everything else is equal.  I find Im challenged with creating lumps with the powder sometimes, although this technique shown in a video on the Resin Obsession youtube channel works well to keep that from happening.How to mix powder pigments into resin.

For the times I want to get a glossy finish on a small surface, I will coat with another layer of the same resin I used to create the piece.  If its a large item, I will use theresin gloss sealer spray.  I like the wet to the look finish another layer of resin gives, but find it can be tedious to accomplish on a large surface, especially if it has multiple sides.  When I dont need a super glossy finish, but just need to shine it up a bit, I will use theNovus polishing compounds.  You can see the difference between all of them in this video on the Resin Obsession youtube channel.A comparison of different polishing options for resin charms and jewelry.

What else do you want to know on what resin to use?  What has worked for you?

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Tags:beginnermold makingpolishingresin castingtypes of resin

I just completed my first ever resin casts. I embedded plastic buttons into some of my moulds, the buttons have faded. Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?

@Amanda, glad to hear the super clear resin works so well for you!

@Sam, Ive never had that problem before with buttons in resin. I would suggest trying a different brand of buttons.

Great article, I have worked with both Super clear resin and Easy cast for the plastic molds. Hands down my first choice for a clear and quicker work time is Super Clear resin, with Easy cast I have to heat it up 8-10 minutes before use and some times has a yellow hue. As a working mom, I dont have much time, but its fun just sit down for a few seconds to pour your next great creation.

I LOVE working with resin. Still learning though. I poured a few pieces last night, and have a couple issues with one piece. I forgot to cover it while it hardened, and it looks like a small piece of link floated in also, same piece, I put a little piece of dried lilac in the piece and part of it is still sticking out. Im not sure I can add more resin to cover it. My thought was to file or sand the resin and then pour another very thin coat of resin to fix it. Would that work? What should I use to file/sand the resin?? I used Ice Resin Thx!

@Joyce, this video on our you tube channel will show you hand to sand your piece down for another application of resin:

I have been working on some coasters for quite some time now. Im having problems finishing them after sanding them down. I currently have a smooth, but cloudy surface. I have tried using the resin gloss sealing spray, and also tried a thin layer of resin. The resin gloss spray was not very smooth feeling or glossy. The resin was too sticky for coaster use. Any suggestions on finishing coasters?

@Erin, were you using polyester resin by chance?

Unfortunately, I used the EasyCast epoxy. Which apparently is harder to polish??

@Erin, the Easy Cast epoxy is relatively soft resin and can be hard to polish. What is the finest grit sandpaper you finished with on the surface?

Clearly, I am new to the resin game :/ I used 400 grit and it made it smooth, but left the surface cloudy.

@Erin, 400 grit is still too coarse to get a shiny finish. Go over it again with 600, 800 and finish with at least 1000. You can get 1000 grit and higher sandpapers at automotive supply stores.

Thank you sooo much! I will definitely try that.

@Susan, will the resin surface be exposed to the elements?

I am very keen to make a resin screen with green leaves embedded in it to fit onto a window looking out onto an unattractive outdoor scene could you you advise me what resin to use? I saw this many years ago and have always remembered it.

Hi, I was wondering if you were aware of a way when casting a tarantula to avoid or minimize color loss. I plan on using easy craft resin.

@Shane, you should try sealing the tarantula with a layer of our resin gloss sealer spray first. You can find it here:

Hey, Katherine thank you for the quick response. I checked out the link and that sounds like it might just work. Im also going to cast in multiple thin layers to minimize heat so hopefully my beloved pet of ten years will stay as natural looking as possible. Thanks again for the quick response

I am hoping you will be able to answer my question. Ive searched on the Net and found nothing!

We have a glass patio table that we glued colored gems too and are going to apply resin for a clear finish. This table will be going outside so we need to know if it will need a sealer to protect it and which kind.

Thank you so much for your time and I really like your website and product lines!

@jane, I would suggest using a resin that can coat the table and is suitable for outdoor use.

Hi Katherine, thanks for being so dedicated to helping others. I have a few questions that I hope you can help me with.

Im in college and making a 2ftx8ft beer pong table topped with beer caps, but in order to ensure that the beer caps (each is .25 of an inch in height) are fully submerged, I plan to use 3 gallons of resin (the amount of resin per square footage calculates out to a height of about .30 of an inch). I was very fixed on buying 3 gallons of envirotex lite, but after reading some posts on your website Im having some reservations.

1.) Is the depth of resin Im shooting for too deep for envirotex lite? Should I be looking into a different brand or product perhaps?

2.) The table will have ping pong balls bouncing on it at times and will be exposed to wet conditions much of the time as well people that may scratch it with everyday objects. This makes me think that a poly resin may be the way to go, but Im not sure where that would put me price wise if Im looking for 3 gallons.

3.) If you still feel that envirotex lite is the avenue I should be exploring then where can I get the best price for the amount Im buying? The cheapest I can find ANYWHERE is a wholesale website online that sells a gallon at about $65 each and with shipping my total comes out to around $220 Im from Wisconsin and even with 50% coupons, craft stores cant come close to that. Thats a lot for a broke college kid though still.

Well thanks for any help you can offer me, I would GREATLY appreciate a response to any or all of my questions if you have time.

A total depth of 0.3 inches for the resin will be fine, you will simply need to pour it in two to three layers. The Envirotex Lite should be fine for the surface of the table and all you plan to do with it. By poly resin, do you mean polyester resin? If so, I would not recommend that for your table. It will be difficult to pour a surface that large and get bubbles out of polyester resin before it starts to cure. As for a better price, I dont know of another source for you. Sounds like you have done some intense price comparisons, and the prices you quote are what I would expect for a quantity that large.

I need a resin to use in rings that is scratch resistant, very clear, wont yellow over time, shiny and is doming. What do you recommend? Thank you, TK

HI Tara, I would recommend the Resin Obsession super clear resin.

I think it does well under normal wear.

I paint hard plastic phone cases and have been experimenting with getting the best varnish. Someone recommended resin to me and Ive been using Easy Cast. Ive followed the instructions to the letter but the end product is slightly tacky to the touch and does scratch a bit. Do you have any tips? Should I sand it? Or use different resin?

Hi Ruth, I would recommend reviewing these troubleshooting articles:

Hello, I am beginning a project of making shell rings for Christmas gifts. I am planning to use a bit of resin to fill the inside of scallop shell, then place a gold filled ring in the resin to keep the shell attached to it. I am just wondering if gold filled metal is appropriate to be using with resin and if there is anything I should be worried about using these materials together? Thank you, Tawny

Hi Tawny, gold filled rings will work well with resin.

Im not familiar with paperclay. Is it similar to polymer clay?

Hello, I have some dried pressed flowers from a funeral arrangement that I would like to embed in a flat circular mold with resin and make into a sun catcher. Im having trouble finding a circle resin mold that is big enough (Im thinking 8 in diameter). Can a regular silicone baking mold be used or any plastic? Ideally, I was hoping to find a thi. Bezel type of frame for it, but havent so having the edges be open resin is a compromise. I was thinking of trying the Castin Craft easy resin and using some test flowers since this will be my first resin project. Do you think Ill need the resin gloss sealer spray for this type of project? I am hoping to get everything I need beforehand. Thank you

Hi Jessica, you can use a silicone baking mold for this project, but the surface may come out frosted. You will likely either need to coat with another layer of resin or the resin gloss sealer spray to get a shiny finish.

Hi Katherine, I want to coat an antler carving of a dragonfly wing in resin. It is a curved surface and I am a relative newcomer to resins. Can it be done/ how would you suggest I proceed? I can send photos if it would be helpful (and if you tell me how). Thanks, Jim

Hi Jim, I would suggest using the techniques I talk about in this forum post: dont need to use a food safe resin, but a clear doming resin will be fine. This chart on our blog tells you which ones are doming resins:

Thanks, Katherine, Ill give it a try.

Where can get a supplier for plastic resins