The trade no longer relies on conventional building materials like brick, steel, timber, and concrete. Resin is fast becoming a popular alternative in construction, recognised for its role in improving longevity and overall performance.
With global authorities turning to sustainable resin harvesting, it could play a vital part in shaping the industrial future. Whether you’re refreshing your inventory or auditing suppliers, it’s always worth knowing about materials that might previously be overlooked.
What is resin?
In chemistry, resin is a solid or extremely viscous substance that can be converted into polymers. Resins can be of plant or synthetic origin, but they’re usually mixtures of organic compounds.
In material production, synthetic resin is a composite blend that’s typically moulded into strong and malleable products to mimic other types of materials. It can be colourful, clear, or decorated with other materials. Resins can also be used as adhesives and waterproofing agents, amongst many other integral purposes.
Where resin is produced in any commercial environment, employees must know how to work safely with chemicals and dress in the appropriate protective gear.
Using resin in construction: Purpose and application
- Epoxy resin
Epoxy resin is a smooth, often transparent material. It can be used to strengthen concrete structures, increase load-bearing capacity, and enhance the aesthetic appeal of certain surfaces.
In building and construction, epoxy resins are used across multiple manufacturing processes. These include the making of adhesives, paints, primers, and sealers, along with floor coatings and other related products. In flooring, epoxy resin can produce striking decorating results, often created with the addition of contrasting quartz aggregate or colourful vinyl chips.
Within the industry, most of the adhesives known as ‘structural’ adhesives are forms of epoxies. They can stick to metal, stone, glass, wood, and even some plastics. Epoxies are also more heat-resistant than many other glues.
- Polyester resin
Polyester resin is one of the most widely used polymers in the world. They’re generally used as a thermoset resin, used for waterproofing across various applications including flat roofs, storage tanks, pipes, and crucial high-specification industries like aerospace and marine engineering.
Glass reinforced polyester (GRP) is made using polyester resin. Also known as glass reinforced plastic, this is a composite material produced by mixing woven glass fibres with synthetic resin. With high-strength properties and resilient plastic, GRP is weather and corrosion-resistant.
Due to its durable and hardy properties, polyester resin can be used on its own or within GRP for applications including boat building, car manufacture, cladding panels, helmets, and secure cabinets. Many of these commodities play a vital role in construction itself too.
- Polyurethane resin
Polyurethane resin is primarily used as an insulation material. It can significantly enhance energy efficiency within buildings, reduce heat loss, and offer sound insulation. Polyurethane resin is also visibly glossy, so it’s used for durable high-gloss coating within vehicle manufacturing and within industrial applications for floorings and wood coatings.
In construction, this type of resin is used to refine thermal performance and allow the creation of more sustainable structures. And polyurethane injection resins can stop leaks in their tracks, even with high hydrostatic pressure or flow.
Overview: Resin for any eco-friendly toolkit
Resin’s place in construction has become increasingly clear through its eco-friendly characteristics. By offering recycled materials, low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions, and reduced waste generation, resin is contributing to a minimised environmental impact across the sector.