Epoxy resin is the first choice for any application that demands great water resistance and high strength. That’s why it is widely used in manufacturing and repair of very demanding structural applications, and is used to bind or hold together other high tech composite materials (fibrous, core, etc.) Epoxy resins are polymeric or semi-polymeric materials. The epoxy content also known as epoxide number of an epoxy resin is described as the number of epoxide in 1 kg of resin. This number is used to calculate the equivalent amount of hardener during curing process.
The curing process improves mechanical, chemical and heat resistance properties of epoxy resins. Curing can be achieved when epoxy reacts with itself or a hardener. During curing epoxy which is initially at a liquid state, passes through a gel state, to a hard, solid mass which does not melt or dissolve in solvents. The curing rate depends on temperature and type of hardener. There are epoxies that are easier to cure, for example epoxies that react to light and cure very soon and others that need higher temperatures (up to 150oC in order to cure.) Regardless the type of epoxy (faster or slower), cure will eventually come. If curing process is very slow and/or needs to be accelerated, small quantities of accelerators can be added.
Today manufacturers develop different types of epoxy resin (e.g. different blending, use of additives, fillers, and pigments) in order to fit more needs, achieve or improve desired properties, expand fields of application and reduce cost. Fibermax Composites epoxy resin is compatible with all types of fiber including fiberglass, carbon, aramid/Kevlar, Vectran and Diolen. It can also be used in every method of composite manufacturing including filament winding, pultrusion, resin transfer moulding (RTM), compression molding, vacuum infusion, prepreg and autoclave. When used to impregnate fibrous materials such as carbon, aramid or glass, the reinforced epoxy exhibits a much higher strength to weight ratio, (higher than other materials like aluminum, steel or titanium alloy.