For the best application experience and satisfaction from an epoxy project, it is very important to use the appropriate epoxy for the application. Not all epoxy products have the same working properties, cure times, or cured properties. This article will highlight a number of different application or cured properties, and it is up to you to select the most applicable epoxy for your application. Compare the properties of each epoxy to find the one that works best for an application. Though the mix ratio of of epoxies seems like it would give a trend in epoxy properties, it's better to investigate the actual working and cured properties of the epoxy.
Epoxy Type: Not all epoxy products are designed for the same type of application. Some are designed for high strength, and some are designed for flexibility, saturation and penetration into a substrate. Others are used as coatings, such as on a table top. Stiffer, harder epoxy products may delaminate from softer, more flexible materials such as wood or plastics. Always use an epoxy that is designed for a desired application.
Compatible Substrates: Not all epoxy products are designed to work with all substrates (e.g., wood, concrete, metal), so choose an epoxy product that clearly states that it will be compatible.
Viscosity: Viscosity is a working property that can make a big difference during the epoxy application process. Thinner, lower viscosity epoxies can be great for penetrating into a porous material, while slightly more viscous epoxy is commonly used for wetting out reinforcement fabrics such as fiberglass; thicker epoxy products are also better for holding in place, or on vertical applications.
Cure Speed: All epoxy products will have specific cure times, and this is something to keep in mind for working time / pot life, as well as achieving a full cure. Some epoxy products have different hardener speeds available, which can give longer working time for applications that require it, or shorter working time and a quicker cure for applications, when that is a desirable property.
Strength: Epoxy products have a wide range of strengths that they are tested for. Tensile strength, flexural strength, hardness, compressive strength, and tensile adhesion.
Color: The color of cured epoxy can make a big difference when used in a cosmetic application. When it is important to have a clear epoxy material, there are epoxy products that specify that they cure to a clear material. Other epoxies commonly cure to an amber or slight yellow color.
Blush: Some epoxy products create what is called an amine blush on the surface when they cure. This material can be washed away easily with mild soap and water, but the surface that is left behind is not perfectly smooth. When a smooth, glassy finish is required, a non-blushing epoxy product is recommended.