Properties such as strength and durability are used to describe various types of resins' physical and chemical characteristics. Resins are generally known for having superior strength and exceptional durability under various laboratory and environmental conditions. In addition, some types of resin can have variable adhesive and mechanical properties. Synthetic resin has properties similar to those of natural resin, but they are chemically different.
Engineering applications use chemical resin to produce a product that is resistant to both impact and fatigue. Other important resin properties for engineering and chemistry purposes include insolubility and fire resistance. Resin products are designed to encompass all of these properties, because the products undergo extreme conditions in terms of water abrasion, temperature changes or direct impact. Some common chemical resins include polyoxymethylene, also known as Acetal; polycarbonate; and tetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon TFE.
Products made with chemical resins can include centrifuge ware, safety shields and filter ware. These products are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and aqueous chemical environments. Acetal is especially resistant to organic solvents and may be reinforced with glass fibers. Polycarbonate is a type of clear thermo-plastic that is non-toxic and extremely rigid. Tetrafluoroethylene products have superior chemical resistance.
For composite materials, the adhesive and mechanical resin properties are considerably beneficial. The adhesive property relates to the binding strength and the mechanical property relates to tensile strength and stiffness, and both properties are directly related. A reduced or insufficient adhesive property leads to a reduced or insufficient mechanical property. Slight differences in the chemical structure produce variations in these properties. Examples of common composite resins are polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy.
Polyester resin has low adhesive and mechanical properties. Vinyl ester resin has more adhesive and mechanical qualities than polyester. Epoxy resin ranks as having the greatest adhesive and mechanical resin properties of the three examples. Laminate products that require bonding with fiber are often manufactured with an epoxy resin.
Natural resin such as tree sap, amber and balsam come from organic sources in nature. These plant or animal secretions are insoluble in water but are soluble in some organic liquids. They have remarkable strength, durability, adhesive and mechanical properties, as do synthetic resins. Tree sap is a viscous liquid secreted from trees, amber is found in fossil stones, and balsam is an all-natural aromatic resin; each is chemically different.
Synthetic resins have been manufactured to mimic natural resins in many ways. The adhesive, mechanical, strength and durability resin properties may be similar in natural and synthetic resins, but the main differences are found at the chemical level. Structural differences at the chemical level make each and every resin different; however, every resin can be compared in terms of these general resin properties.