Welcome to UltraClear Epoxy's deep pour resin guide for beginners. Here we'll cover the fundamentals of what deep pour epoxy resin is used for. We'll then provide some examples of common epoxy projects that require it before finishing with a frequently asked questions section.
What is deep pour epoxy?
Deep pour epoxy is a type of casting resin, a category of liquid resins often used to create thick blocks of plastic in which objects are typically embedded. It is also what we call the hardened polymer this resin becomes through curing, which we'll explain in the next section.
Because deep pour epoxy resin is a naturally transparent casting resin, anything encased within will be clearly visible in fine detail. It also provides a perfect waterproof seal, preventing moisture damage. These desirable traits are why many people choose it for preserving fragile items intended for permanent display, as well as for a variety of artistic endeavors.
How does deep pour epoxy resin transform from a casting resin into the hardened epoxy form?
Deep pour epoxy is stored as two separate components: resin and hardener. When these components are mixed together in a ratio of two parts resin to one part hardener, they begin curing, which is a chemical reaction that generates some heat and slowly solidifies the combined mixture into an incredibly resilient plastic with a glasslike appearance.
The curing process typically takes three full days to be usable, though the final hardening will persist for about two weeks, at which point the epoxy will be at peak strength, able to withstand heavy impacts without damage.
How is deep pour epoxy different from traditional table top epoxy?
Traditional table top epoxy resin has a higher viscosity than deep pour epoxy; it is a clear resin that flows more like a thick syrup when poured and can self-level; it's also the strongest type of epoxy when cured.
Deep pour epoxy can be poured in thick layers of up to two inches each, while our table top epoxy is limited to thin layers of 1/8 of an inch in order to cure properly. Table top epoxy is not intended for embedding objects. That is deep pour's primary purpose.
However, you can sometimes use deep pour epoxy and table top epoxy together as part of the same project to get the benefits of both.
What kinds of projects use deep pour epoxy?
Aside from its use for permanently embedding objects to display, deep pour epoxy is applied through a number of different ways. Here are a few examples:
- River tables - These are tables that have a deep river-shaped space running through their center. Deep pour epoxy is poured into this space and allowed to cure, giving the illusion of a liquid river. Special pigments can be mixed into the epoxy resin prior to pouring to give the river color, with depth and transparency determined by the amount of pigment added.
- Coasters, candle holders, and similar items - Small useful items like these can be made with premade casting molds. Some people even choose to make their own custom molds to pour epoxy into.
- Jewelry - Deep pour epoxy can be combined with colorful pigments and casting molds shaped like stones, gems, or other shapes to make custom jewelry.
Is deep pour epoxy difficult to work with?
Not at all! But it does require following a set of directions explicitly. Epoxy can only cure under certain conditions, but these aren't generally hard to achieve.
First, you'll need to maintain a warm temperature range for the epoxy project environment for curing; you'll also want to make sure your working space is clean and contains all the tools and supplies you'll be using in convenient locations that won't inhibit your movement as you work through each step of the process.
Because the quality of different brands varies, make sure you use the instructions designed for whichever epoxy you have. Our UltraClear deep pour epoxy is always packaged with a detailed set of directions, but if you're using our resin and don't have them at hand, you can always read them on our support website.
Answers to more frequently asked questions:
Is deep pour epoxy food safe?
Once fully cured, the epoxy is inert and will be food safe. We don't recommend preparing food on it directly, but contact with the epoxy won't be any more of an issue than contact with most other plastics.
Is the epoxy transparent (see-through)?
Yes, if nothing was added to the mixture, and you've cured it under the recommended conditions (listed in the epoxy's instructions), it will have a clear, glasslike finish.
Is deep pour epoxy heat resistant?
Yes, to an extent—once fully cured, deep pour epoxy can withstand temperatures of up to 135°F
Planning a deep pour project? We're here to help!
We at UltraClear Epoxy want to make sure you get the assistance you need. If you'd like help with planning your project, or if you simply have questions that aren't answered here, you can contact us through email or by phone, or text chat with one of our experts online using the help button on the bottom right of your screen.