If you have ever wondered what is the gel time of resin, you are in the right place! The gel time of resin is just one step during the curing process, but it is an important one.
Why is resin gel time important?
If you are creating a resin project in layers and want to minimize the lines or seams between layers, you want to apply the next layer of resin while the previous layer is in the resin gel phase. While you can let your resin completely cure, then add another layer of resin on top, when you look at your resin project from the side, you’re going to see a line between layers.
When does the gel time of resin happen?
Before we talk gel time, you need to know a resin’s pot time. You may also hear this called open time or work time. This is the amount of time you have to use the resin mixture once you mix it with hardener. This time varies from resin to resin and should be included with your kit instructions. Gel time should occur shortly (relatively speaking) after a resin’s pot time expires.
For example, the Resin Obsession super clear resin‘s pot time is 20 to 25 minutes. Its gel time occurs between 30 and 40 minutes after mixing. Once again, though, the time to a resin gelling varies from resin to resin.
What does resin in the gel phase look like?
Once you mix your resin and hardener, you should notice a gradual thickening of the resin. There will come the point where the resin is very thick and very slowly returns to its expected shape when disturbed. When the resin is thick and doesn’t flatten out again, this is a resin’s gel phase. Towards the end of the gel phase, the resin will become stringy when trying to stir it. Eventually, the resin mass will solidify and fully harden.
When a resin is in this phase, you will notice it feels warm, especially if you have it in a thick pour. This warmth is typical and is what helps the resin to cure. You mustn’t disturb your resin project once it enters the gel phase. You can introduce bubbles that are difficult, if not impossible, to remove at this point.
What should you know if you are going to apply another layer of resin to one that’s in the gel phase?
The heat is additive. The heat from your first layer is going to combine with the heat of your new layer. You need to be aware of how hot your resin could get so that it doesn’t overheat and cure too quickly.
What’s the best way to know what is the gel time of resin?
The more you work with a particular formula of resin, the more you’re going to find out exactly how it behaves. Take plenty of notes detailing how you used it along with its pot time. That will give you a starting point to know when a resin’s gel time can happen.
When creating your resin project, keep some mixed resin in your cup. You can check the resin in your mixing container to see if it’s in the gel phase without disturbing the resin you poured.
Have more questions about what is the gel time of resin? Watch this video where I show you how the Resin Obsession super clear resin changes as it goes from completely fluid through the end of its gel time.
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Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC