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What Is Plastic Epoxy?

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  • Written By: E. Reeder
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Plastic epoxy is a strong adhesive material that has multiple uses. A plastic epoxy is a thermosetting resin that can go from a malleable state, sometimes liquid, to a plastic that is molded into its final form. This change, or cure, can be accomplished by applying high heat or through a chemical reaction, such as with a two-part epoxy. Epoxy is sold in general purpose stores, hardware stores and specialty businesses such as arts and crafts stores.

After plastic epoxy cures, it maintains a very strong seal between the materials that have been bonded together. The plastic that results from curing epoxy also has many purposes and is used in a variety of industries. It also is useful for individuals around the house. This material is generally stronger and lasts longer than household glue.

In industrial settings, epoxy is used for certain tooling applications, such as producing fixtures, laminates, molds and models. Traditional materials such as metal and wood can be replaced by plastic tooling or epoxy, which generally improves efficiency and lowers the cost for various industrial procedures. The production of composite parts or fiber-reinforced parts is another way in which epoxy is used.

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Adhesive is another use of epoxy in many industries that require bonds of high strength, such as in the construction of boats, golf clubs, automobiles and other objects. Epoxy can be used as the basic bonding agent for materials such as stone, wood, metal, glass and certain types of plastics. This type of durable plastic generally is effective at resisting heat and chemicals that would weaken other adhesives. It is susceptible to weakening if exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, however.

There also are various marine applications for epoxy. It is used for the industrial and commercial manufacture of parts that require a high strength-to-weight ratio. Another area in which it is used is in boats and other marine applications to fill in gaps or bond parts because of its excellent adhesion properties.

In the electronics industry, epoxy is used in generators, switchgears, motors and insulators, among other parts. Plastic epoxy provides excellent electrical insulation. It also protects components of electrical devices from problems with moisture, dirt or short-circuiting. Integrated circuits and transistors use epoxy as their primary resin in over-molding.

There are multiple other consumer uses of epoxy as well. It can be used as a painting material when combined with pigments. Jewelry can be made from epoxy. This material can even be used as a protective coating on crafts or decorative tables.

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