YOU ASKED: How is our new ArtResin formula better in terms of yellowing?Posted on 21 Mar 22:30
It's been a week since our new epoxy resin formula launched, and we've been asked the same question A LOT (and rightly so): How is this new formula better in terms of yellowing, specifically? Glad you asked. We have a video in production explaining all of this, but I thought it would be helpful to jot down some points here on the blog so you won't have to wait.
UPDATE June 2016
We have non-yellowing test data from Atlas Labs (AZ) demonstrating that ArtResin has the best non-yellowing performance in accelerated UV weathering testing, compared to 16 other epoxy resins currently on the market.
Watch the video:
First, let me explain that the resin that we used to sell was the best on the market—until now. That product, called EX-74, has been around for a long time and wasn't invented or originally intended to be used for art purposes. That said, it had its limitations (although still being the best out there), and we tried for three years to perfect a formula that was safer and clearer for the creative market. We FINALLY perfected that formula, and THIS is the resin we launched this week! We are thrilled because it's so much better than everything else we have ever concocted or sampled from chemists around the world!
For starters, new ArtResin contains new German-engineered (US sourced) technology—an additive called HALS (hindered-amine light stabilization) which is an extremely efficient light stabilizing agent for excellent yellowing protection. Google it! This is in addition to a more standard UV light stabilizer, similar to that contained in EX-74. So effectively the new formula has 2 light stabilizers for double the yellowing protection.
In our very last trial before going to market, we made another small adjustment by cutting down on the accelerator (the agent that causes curing to happen quicker instead of taking days and days). Ironically, epoxy resin accelerators are YELLOW (*eye roll...), so by cutting down we gain about 10 extra minutes in the working time of the product (about 40 minutes total before it begins to cure) AND we wound up with an even clearer hardener than we had already. Great score. On the shelf it is absolutely the clearest hardener you will find--it's water clear, in fact. We were actually shocked at the clarity when we first saw it, because it's just soooo unusually clear!
Watch our unboxing reaction here (starting at 0:06):
You may have seen an old blog or two where we did a comparative test of a bunch of different resin formulas (including EX-74 and Envirotex Lite) by putting them out in the Texas sun for 6 months and monitoring the effects. This was prior to our discovery of HALS, and still ours outperformed the rest in terms of yellowing. I should say that ALL formulas in the test yellowed during that period of time—as we expected—due to being subjected to such undesirable conditions (no epoxy resin is EVER recommended to be purposefully exposed to UV light). After this test we continued our research and development which led to our discovery of HALS for superior anti-yellowing.
In all transparency, this new resin product is too new for us to have years worth of evidence available to share with you. We'll be conducting and recording new longevity tests and publishing the results at regular intervals (i.e. 1 year test results, 18 months, 2 year, 2.5 year.. etc) so you can see for yourself what you can expect from our product. We also have museum conservators running their longevity tests (the resin they use in museums is $1200/gal... we think this is a cheaper close second!). We are always careful not to say that it NEVER yellows, because no manufacturer of epoxy resin can legitimately make that guarantee—at least not without evidence. Like anything on earth, new things look new and older things tend to show age, but still we remain confident in our product performance because of what we know of the chemistry and the high quality of the ingredients involved. Our aim is to have unbeatable non-yellowing protection in our formula for longterm clarity. How long is longterm? As long as possible.. time will tell!
In terms of safety, you can see in our Safety Data Sheet (or SDS) (posted in the links at the bottom left of every page) that this resin is a clean system, meaning everything reacts and there is nothing loose, leftover or volatile that you could breathe in causing you harm. You don't need a respirator for that reason, but common sense should still prevail; don't put your nose right up to the resin and breathe in deeply. We still recommend using gloves because it's sticky stuff! It would be a mess to get it off your skin, and you don't want that.
UPDATE May 2016: ArtResin has been certified non-toxic by an ASTM designated toxicologist, and conforms to ASTM D4236 (safe for home use).
Now then, if you have any further questions, please ask :) We are always transparent with our customers because we are artists too and we respect your work.