First of all what is curing?
Curing is the process that epoxy resin goes through to go from a liquid to a solid. Your coasters, for example, would be pretty useless if they stayed in a liquid form, so you need to ensure that your resin mix does cure in order for your projects to function as they are created to.
Craft Resin’s cure time is about 24 hours (depending on the thickness of your project). This is the time the resin and hardener mix goes through the chemical reaction to form a solid.
After 24 hours it still might not be completely solid, and can be slightly flexible. But at this point it should be hard enough to remove your project from its mold and possibly even hang any art work that’s been covered by resin on the wall.
The curing process will continue over the next 2 days when the project has been resting for 72 hours. Depending on the thickness of your project, you should be able to package your project and send it out to your customers after this point, although some people do like to wait a little while longer just to make sure.
Once Craft Resin is fully cured it is scratch resistant and heat resistant, however to become heat resistant it can take up to 21 days. So if your project will be used as coasters to place hot mugs on then you might want to wait this long before you send it to your customer, or send it before, but advise them not to put hot mugs on it for another period of time.
Pot life/working time:
The pot life, or working time of Craft Resin is the time you get to work with the resin mix before it starts to cure and you are unable to pour it into your mold or over your artwork.
The working time will depend on a few different factors, if you have warmed your resin/hardener first, how much resin mix you have, the temperature of your workspace, but as a rough guide you should have about 45 minutes working time.
The best thing to do to ensure you get all your work poured in time is to work in small batches, and have everything around you ready to go so that you can pour your resin mix straight away. Any delay will eat into this time and you’ll end up rushing your project and potentially it can then create issues.
Curing Craft Resin faster:
Curing resin faster isn’t ideal, but if you are in need of a faster curing time then there are a couple of things that will help and may then allow you to display your projects quicker than you may normally desire to.
To do this you will need to increase the temperature in your workspace, the warmer the temperature the faster your project will cure.
We recommend having your work area between 21-24C or 70-75F, but if you want a faster cure time then increase these temperatures that little bit more and ensure these stay this high for the entire curing time.
Placing your work on a heat mat for example can be a good way to increase the temperature.
This is based on a normal thickness of 1/4” per layer though, if you have more layers, then increasing the temperature will still help, but your cure times will be longer than 72 hours.
Our best suggestion is to factor in longer curing times when speaking to customers, or gallery’s who may want to display your work. If you make them aware that your work takes a certain amount of time to cure then this will take the pressure off having to cure it faster.
Team Craft Resin