An epoxy is a type of epoxide polymer that polymerizes when it is mixed with a catalyzing agent. This property allows it to be used as an adhesive. Epoxies are usually produced from a reaction with epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A. They are commonly used in chemical industries including laboratory studies and the semiconductor industry.
An epoxy adhesive is what is known as a structural adhesive. It is a high performance adhesive that is used to manufacture a number of different equipment, such as snowboards, golf clubs, bicycles, automobiles and even aircrafts. Adhesives exist for metal, glass, stone and wood, as well as plastics. These adhesives can be developed for the purpose of almost any application necessary. They can also range from fast setting to slow setting, rigid to flexible, and transparent to colored.
In comparison to other adhesives, epoxy adhesives are much more resistant than their more common counterparts. They have a very high tolerance for not only heat but also for chemicals. It is commonly understood that an epoxy adhesive that is cured with heat will be more resistant to heat, as well as more resistant to chemicals. An epoxy adhesive that is merely cured at room temperature will not be as resistant.
Epoxies can also be modified in many ways. One can add mineral filler, such as silica, a colorant, a thickener, and many other such modifiers. By adding an adhesive promoter an epoxy adhesive can be formed. These are used for cost reduction, process convenience and improvement in performance.
Epoxy-based materials have multiple different applications, adhesives being only one of them. They can also be used for coating, composite materials, reinforcement, and more. The chemical values of an epoxy and its variations of curing ensures that a huge variety of different epoxies can be produced. They are well known for adhesion, heat and chemical resistance, mechanical properties and insulation.