Safety Precautions When Working With Resins

Resin is a commonly used material for making different types of casts. It is fun to work with especially when making artistic jewelry and other casts. However, some safety measures are needed.

Resin is a viscous material that slowly hardens and sets solid in the form of a plastic. It comes in various types – like epoxy, polyester and polyurethanes. Resin casting is very popular among professional artists and novices alike.

The uses are varied ranging from artistic jewelry and faux metal casts to small parts in manufacturing industries to 3D printing to even gluing things together.

While resin lends itself well to many a use, the artist has to handle the material carefully and keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Some resins are considered volatile chemicals and should not be allowed to come into contact with the bare skin. Even the catalyst can prove to be risky. Always wear protective gloves when working with resin. Use a plastic apron to avoid ruining the clothes with spilled resin.
  • It is better to wear safety goggles and use a respirator when working with large quantities of resin. This will help shield against the noxious fumes.
  • The work area should be properly ventilated with open windows and an exhaust fan.
  • It is better to spread some wax paper on the work surface before using resin. As resin will not stick to the wax paper, it will be easy to clean. The dried resin can be simply peeled off from some materials; else it can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol.
  • But never use the alcohol or other solvent in case the resin comes in contact with the skin. Try to wipe it off immediately with baby wipes. Sticky resin can be scrubbed off with soap or a pumice stone.
  • Maintaining the ideal environment is crucial when working with resin. 70°F is considered the standard temperature as the resin fails to cure properly if the studio is hotter or cooler. Therefore, an air conditioner or heater may be required.
  • The resin and hardener should be measured accurately using measuring cups. Do not go by ballpark approximations as it can again affect the curing of the resin.
  • The materials should be mixed carefully and thoroughly using stir stix for a couple of minutes to ensure a uniform mix. However, overmixing can also introduce air bubbles into the casting material.
  • Some air is bound to get trapped into the resin and will show up on the surface of the cast. This can be popped with a needle or heat gun. Casting in a pressure pot is ideal for eliminating the air bubbles.
  • The resin is likely to attract dust or animal hair while it cures and will end up ruining the resin casting. Keep the studio clean and cover the cast with a clear dome while it cures.
  • Above all, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions to the T.

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