By Roderick Kabel
As the seasons begin to change and get cooler, it’s the perfect time to tackle those big epoxy projects that you've been planning to get to all year. It’s nice to stay inside the workshop where it's warm away from the sub-zero temperatures.
However, when your portion of the country begins to feel the grip of Old Man Winter and transitions into freezing temperatures, epoxy delivery could be held up by the weather.
Ideally, epoxy should be kept as far away from the cold as possible but with all of the holiday craziness and shipping schedules, we all can't always be there to pick up our UPS deliveries. This means our epoxy order may end up sitting outside in the cold, whether we like it or not.
First of all, do not despair, frozen epoxy isn't ruined! Although both your resin and activator are capable of freezing, it's very easy to return them to a usable liquid state.
Initially, you should simply bring your epoxy inside and let it warm up to room temperature slowly. Most often as the epoxy temperature warms up, your epoxy will return to normal and it will work fine without any adverse effects. Remember, optimum working temperature is between 77 F and 85 F.
It is possible that the resin side of your epoxy could crystallize when it freezes, though. This is due to the molecules bonding together naturally when they condense in the frigid temperatures. When this happens, it may appear cloudy all over or you may see clumps of particles floating in the liquid, even after it returns to room temperature.
In this case, submerge the entire bottle of resin in a tub of hot water (85F-100F) up to about mid-handle area only. (Do not fully submerge. The temperature difference from outside the bottle to internal could draw water into the container around the lid.) This extra water bath heat will cause the epoxy crystals to slowly break up and return to their clear liquid state and you can carry on using your epoxy for your river table project or fold coat.
That's it, simple as that. We hope this helps to set your mind at ease about getting your epoxy delivered in the winter months and helps you keep your project schedules on-track through the holidays and beyond.
What not to do
We have heard that placing epoxy bottles in a black garbage bag and setting them in the sun, will thaw them. Typically the sun is not a good option and may only prolong the thawing process.
Likewise, heating the epoxy material in a microwave is not recommended because, well, it’s epoxy and microwaves should be used for heating food.