There are times when you may find yourself asking how to cool down resin. Before we get into that, let’s talk about resin and why resin gets hot to begin with.
In the case of two-part epoxy resin kits, there is a Part A bottle, the resin, and the Part B bottle, the hardener. The two chemicals don’t do anything by themselves, but when mixed together, the combination builds heat. This heat is what causes the resin to cure or harden. Feeling your resin get warm is perfectly normal.
If heating up is so important, why would you want to cool down resin?
If resin overheats or gets hot too quickly, there are several unwanted side effects to this.
The resin can cure too fast
Resin reactions are mass-dependent. The more that is mixed together, the more heat is produced. That heat builds upon itself and can heat up more quickly than expected. The resin may harden before you have a chance to pour it into your mold or coat your artwork surface.
The resin can crack
After the resin and hardener mixture warms up and the resin solidifies, the mixture will start to cool. If the resin heats up too much, it will cool off too quickly. Resin can’t move and shift with the quickly cooling temperature and will crack to release the tension.
The resin mixture can start a fire
While rare, if resin gets too hot and is mixed in something other than mixing cups for resin, it can melt the container and possibly start a fire. It’s always a reasonable safety precaution to have a metal can and a fire extinguisher nearby if your resin overheats and starts smoking.
What steps should you know about how to cool down resin?
The first thing you should do is to take steps to avoid resin overheating. Resin that overheats rarely produces a positive outcome. That means not mixing more than the manufacturer’s recommended maximum mixing amount, making sure your room is at the appropriate temperature, and making sure your resin kit components are warm but not hot before you mix them.
Experienced resin creators know there are times when you need to anticipate that a resin mixture might be at risk of overheating. Resin projects that require large volumes of resin poured in thick layers are the most prone to this. Projects like this include resin river tables, giant paperweights, dense sculptures, and other deep pours. For these times, you want to use a slow-curing, deep pouring epoxy casting resin. These epoxy resin formulas take days instead of hours to cure, allowing the heat to build up slowly.
Other ways about how to cool down resin involve finding a way to move the heat away from the resin.
There are several ways to do this.
Elevate the resin surface
By lifting your resin mold or surface so that air can circulate on all sides, the heat will escape much easier, making cracking less likely to happen.
Use a fan
Once you elevate the surface, use a fan to push air away from your resin. This is the same concept as when you blow your breath over food that is too hot. The air moves the heat out and allows the resin to stay cooler.
Set your resin on a cooling surface
If the resin feels like it is warming quickly, you can try putting the resin and container combination in a water bath. Be careful here, though, as water and resin do not mix. Literally! The resin will not cure if extra water is added.
What else should you know about how to cool down resin?
Should you find your resin has heated very quickly and is starting to smoke, you do not want to inhale those fumes. Speedily and safely put the hot resin cups in a metal container. Carry them outside if you can safely do so, otherwise open windows to allow fresh air to the room. Do not touch again until the resin has cooled off and the smoke disappears.
Want to learn more of the basics of creating with resin?
Then you will want to get a copy of my book, Resin Fundamentals. I’ve condensed my fourteen years of resin experience into something newbies can read in an afternoon and feel confident trying their first or next resin project. Buy the ebook now, and you can download it to read in only a few minutes!
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