When it comes to using epoxy resin, the measuring and mixing of the components are one of the most important steps. If this is done wrong, then the epoxy resin will not cure properly and would really ruin the project you are working on.
Luckily, the epoxy resin mixing ratio is fairly easy to follow, but you just have to be very precise with the measurements and your mixing to get it right.
What is the right epoxy resin mixing ratio? Different epoxy resin products will have their own mixing ratio, but generally, this ratio is 1:1 or sometimes 2:1 with the resin and the hardeners. Almost all epoxy resin products will have the ratio instructions on the packaging, and these need to be followed precisely.
Mixing the resin and hardener together starts a chemical reaction between both, which if measured and mixed properly, will cure properly.
Keep reading to find out more about the right epoxy resin mixing ratio, to ensure your project goes smoothly!
The Correct Epoxy Resin Mixing Ratio
The ratio of resin and hardener needed to make epoxy resin does depend on the product you are using, and every different product should have the ideal mixing ratio stated on the packaging.
However, the most common ratio to use for mixing epoxy resin is either 1:1 or 2:1 resin to hardener.
There can be more complicated ratios for certain types of epoxy resin too, which usually is around 100:45, so it is so important to check the product guidelines before mixing. Without following the ratio exactly, the epoxy resin will not cure, and it would be wasted.
So, if you are using an epoxy resin that has a 1:1 ratio, you would mix equal parts resin to hardener. If the epoxy resin you are using calls for a 2:1 ratio, you would use double the amount of resin that you would hardener.
For example, if you were making 150 ml of epoxy resin, then you would need 100 ml of resin and 50 ml of hardener.
|Epoxy Resin 2:1 Ratio|
|Total Epoxy Resin (ml)||Resin Needed (ml)||Hardener Needed (ml)|
|100 ml||66.66 ml||33.33 ml|
|150 ml||100 ml||50 ml|
|200 ml||133 ml||67 ml|
|300ml||200 ml||100 ml|
|400 ml||266 ml||134 ml|
|500 ml||333 ml||167 ml|
|600 ml||400 ml||200 ml|
|700 ml||466 ml||234 ml|
|800 ml||534 ml||266 ml|
|900 ml||600 ml||300 ml|
The Best Way To Measure Epoxy Resin
When mixing epoxy resin, it is best to measure it by volume instead of weight. This is because the density of the resin and the density of the hardener might be different, so you would not be able to get the most accurate measurement.
It is best to use a measuring cup or similar that has a very precise measuring scale for you to work with. Once you have poured either the hardener or the resin into the cup to be measured, give it a little time to settle and level out before taking the final volume measurement.
For smaller volumes of epoxy resin mix, find a measuring cup or jug that has small increments, so that you do not have to use any guesswork when measuring out the right amount.
Tips And Tricks For Mixing Epoxy Resin
Once you know the perfect ratio to use for the epoxy resin you are working with, it would come time to measure, mix and then use the epoxy resin.
Using the epoxy resin is something you would want to get right the first time, so a few tips and tricks will definitely come in handy!
Here are some things to keep in mind when mixing and using epoxy resin, to ensure you get the best results:
Keep Temperature In Mind
The temperature of the room you are using the epoxy resin in is so important to take note of. Epoxy resin is temperature-sensitive, and it will not cure if the temperature is not right.
Here is how different ambient temperatures might affect how the resin cures:
Ambient Temperature Below 68°F
At below 68°F, the resin will cure very slowly. There could also be a waxy layer that develops on the surface of the resin too. This waxy layer can stop the resin from curing more, so it needs to be removed, and that can be difficult to do.
If the temperature drops really below 68°F, then the resin might begin to crystallize, and then it would be nearly impossible to cure it properly from there.
Ambient Temperature Above 68°F
Resin will begin to cure quicker with temperatures above 68°F. However, temperatures that are too high could cause the resin to cure too quickly, which could lead to it curing unevenly. If you are using epoxy resin at a high temperature, look for one which has a longer curing time to try and even it out.
The Ideal Curing Temperature
The ideal temperature to cure epoxy resin is between 75-85°F. Slightly warmer than room temperature is ideal, and this temperature range allows the epoxy resin to cure evenly and at the right rate too.
This makes curing epoxy resin outdoors trickier, as the temperature might drop during the night, causing the epoxy resin to not cure evenly, and this can have a negative effect on how it turns out in the end.
The curing time of the epoxy resin is halved by each 50°F increase over the ideal range.
Use The Epoxy Resin At The Right Temperature
The room you are working in needs to be at the right temperature for the epoxy resin to work, but the actual epoxy resin mix needs to be at the right temperature too.
The epoxy resin needs to be between 75 and 85°F to be easy to work with and to be able to cure properly when applied to a surface too.
To achieve this, you could leave the epoxy resin to sit at the ambient temperature for up to 12 hours, and once it reaches this temperature range, then it would be ideal to use.
If the epoxy resin does not reach this temperature range and it is too cold, then there might be streaks or bubbles present as it cures. When warmer, the epoxy resin will flow better and be easier to use.
So, the room temperature and the epoxy resin temperature should be within the 75 -85°F range, but the surface it is going to be poured on needs to be within this range too!
Do Not Expose The Epoxy Resin To Too Much Humidity
Epoxy resin is not only temperature-sensitive, but it is sensitive to humidity too. If the humidity in the air is above 65%, it might have quite an effect on the epoxy resin, or even the hardener if it has not been mixed yet.
If you are not able to work at a humidity lower than this, then make sure to keep the bottles of the resin and hardener closed when not in use, so that they do not become exposed to too much moisture.
You should also keep the bottles closed as much as possible, and only open them where necessary, because each time the bottle is opened, it will be exposed to oxygen, and this reacts with the hardener and causes it to become thicker. Done too often, and the hardener might not be okay to use.
Mix The Epoxy Resin Thoroughly
The resin and the hardener need to be mixed thoroughly and fully before being used. If this does not happen, then there could be spots and sticky areas when the epoxy resin cures. It could also lead to varying hardness levels across the epoxy resin.
You need to make sure that all of the components are mixed together completely, so there are no parts left unmixed and separate.
When mixing the epoxy resin components, the right tools go a long way to helping them mix properly. Use a mixer with straight sides that will help to pick up any material that sticks to the bottom or the side of the container, so all is mixed together.
A stirring rod is suitable for larger quantities of resin, and for smaller quantities, a little spatula works really well.
You can also find special epoxy resin mixing sticks which can be used over again, and they are designed to not let too much air into the mixture, reducing the chance of bubbles.
Use Compatible Pigments
If you are wanting to color the epoxy resin you are using, then you should only use compatible pigments and colorants. The brand you are using will likely have some information on the colors you can use.
You should only ever use suitable coloring agents, pigments, and color additives for the epoxy resin you are mixing up. Using the incorrect one could really mess with the reaction between the resin and hardener and possibly cause the epoxy resin to fail and not cure evenly.
Step-By-Step Guide On Mixing Epoxy Resin
Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to mix epoxy resin properly:
Step 1 – Get Your Equipment Ready
When mixing epoxy resin, you will need the following:
- Protective gloves
- Eye protection
- Mixing containers
- Clean resin mixing sticks
- Measuring cups (disposable is best)
Make sure that all of the equipment you are using is completely clean. Work in an area that is covered with protective sheeting or similar, and make sure to wear latex or rubber gloves and eye protection.
Step 2 – Check The Mixing Ratio
Once you have chosen the epoxy resin that you are going to use, you will need to check the mixing ratio. This mixing ratio of resin to hardener needs to be followed precisely to get the best results.
Step 3 – Measure The Components
As measured above, it is best to measure the resin and the hardener by volume, so you achieve precise results.
You will need to work out how much resin and hardener you need. Try to make as close to the amount you will need as possible so that you do not have much waste. You can always make more if needed.
Pour the resin into a container and place it on a flat surface. Give it time to settle, and then check the measurement. If there is a curve on the surface of the liquid, called a meniscus, then use this to measure against the line you are pouring to.
Once you have measured out the right amount, you can pour in the hardener to complete the system. How much hardener you need will depend on the ratio of resin to epoxy.
Step 4 – Mix The Epoxy
Once you have measured the resin and the hardener correctly, it would be time to start mixing them.
- Start by pouring the two components into a suitably sized container and mix them together with a suitable mixing stick for around 3 minutes. Larger quantities of resin will require a longer mixing time.
- Keep scraping down the sides of the container as you mix, to ensure that the hardener and the resin are properly mixed together evenly, and there are no uneven spots left.
- If the mixture has streaks or bubbles, or it just does not have an even consistency, then you will need to keep mixing it until it does.
Step 5 – Apply The Epoxy Resin
How you go on to apply the epoxy resin will depend on the surface you are applying it to, and the purpose of the epoxy resin.
Just be sure that the ambient temperature of the room, the temperature of the resin, and of the surface, are suitable so that it is given the best chance to cure properly.
There will be guidelines on the packaging of the epoxy resin you are using as to how long the epoxy resin needs to be left to cure, so make sure to follow this and any other guidelines. This is also true if you plan to pour your resin into a mold.
Epoxy Resin Mixing Ratio
It is vital to follow the correct mixing ratio for epoxy resin because if you don’t, the resin will not cure and it will be a complete waste.
Most epoxy resin mixing ratios are either 1:1, 2:1, or 100:45, but this is not something you can guess, and you will have to look at the packaging of the epoxy resin you are using to find out the correct ratio.
Take a read through the above guide on all things you need to know about the correct epoxy resin mixing ratio, as well as some other tips on mixing epoxy resin, and a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
Mixing epoxy resin for the first time can be intimidating, but if you follow each step correctly, it should turn out fine!
What happens if you put too much hardener in an epoxy resin mix?
Placing too much resin or hardener into an epoxy resin mix will change the chemical reaction between the two, and the mixture will not end up curing properly, so it will be left sticky, soft, or even too hard in some places.
Can you overmix epoxy?
You can overmix epoxy by being too vigorous with the mixing. This could trap air bubbles in the mixture, and it could give it a very foamy appearance.
What causes epoxy not to cure?
There are a few things that could cause epoxy to not cure properly. This could be that the temperature is too low, or the proper ratio was not used.