Amino resins are versatile adhesives used in a variety of industries. There are two types of amino resins: solvent-based and water-based. Each type has unique properties that make it better suited for certain applications. Here, we will take a closer look at the difference between solvent- and water-based amino resins.
Difference Based on Application
Solvent-based resins are generally more popular in the adhesives industry because they offer increased flexibility. In contrast, water-based resins tend to be more common in the sealant industry for their high strength and resistance to chemicals.
Both solvent-based and water-based amino resins consist of melamine, urea, and formaldehyde. Both begin as a powder mixed with water and heated to form a solution or resin. The difference between solvent-based and water-based amino resins comes from the different solvents used in each. In other words, solvent-based resins use organic solvents while water-based resins use water.
Difference Based on Strength
The type of solvent used in the amino resin influences its strength. Solvent-based resins are known for their high strength, while water-based resins are typically stronger than other water-based adhesives, such as PVA and hot glue, but not as strong as solvent-based, such as silicone or epoxy. Since solvent-based resins use organic solvents, they are less prone to water breakdown. On the other hand, water-based resins are more sensitive to water, making them ideal for applications where exposure to moisture is likely.
Difference Based on How They Are Produced
Solvent-based amino resins are created through a free radical reaction that entails combining a resin and a catalyst for between 1 and 72 hours. The free radicals generated from mixing the ingredients cause additional molecules to chemically bond together in a chain reaction that continues even after all the ingredients have been consumed.
Water-based amino resins are created through a condensation reaction that occurs when molecules combine to form larger molecules with the loss of small molecule fragments. Water-based resins ferment over time, giving them a less than ideal shelf life, so they must be used quickly once they are produced.
Difference Based on Shelf Life
The shelf life of solvent-based and water-based amino resins varies greatly. Solvent-based amino resins typically have longer shelf lives than water-based resins, but this depends on the specific resin’s grade and producer. Typically, solvent-based resins can be stored up to two years before they begin to suffer from discoloration and degradation. Water-based amino resins typically have a shelf life of 8 to 12 weeks.
The difference between solvent- and water-based amino resins may be based on the type of solvent used in production, how long it can be stored before degradation begins, appearance, and strength.
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