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What is Bio-Renewable Epoxy?

What is Bio-Renewable Epoxy?

 Bio-renewable Epoxy, of the type offered by Canadian manufacturer, EcoPoxy Inc. is a line of engineered, industrial grade, 2-part epoxy resins, which use agricultural based plant materials, as the feedstock for creating their prepolymers and resins.

Traditional epoxies, use petrochemical sources, such as refinery byproducts, to create their epoxy chemistry.

Bio-based epoxy is about being greener and cleaner on the production and manufacturing side of the process. Using renewable and sustainable feed-stock materials, rather than traditional hydrocarbons. 

While Ecopoxy's resins are among the safest industrial-grade resins, that's due to their engineering and design, and not solely a result of the "Bio" label.

Are Bio-based Epoxies products "Safer" or "Healthier"?

Many products on the market make claims about Health and Safety; using phrases like on "Zero VOC's", or "Low Odor" or "Solvent Free". This makes it confusing for customers, and adding a "BIO" label often confounds things further.

Customers need to be aware that ALL Epoxy resins are industrial products and have potential hazards associated with their use.

In their unreacted forms, epoxy resins are generally classified as non-toxic and hardeners are classified as low toxicity.

Further, some customers want to know if Bio-Epoxies are safe for children to use, and we do not recommend that young children use epoxy products, cases vary and some customers do supervise older children with epoxy resins. ITs important to note that many children will lack the awareness to avoid eye or skin exposure or may not have the discipline and training to use properly fitting PPE. However, epoxy resins and hardeners do not inherently pose any additional health risks to children in comparison to adults. We caution that using epoxies are a more advanced project material. There are better suited resins for children to build-up their skills while working with.

To work with epoxy products safely, always wear proper PPE (gloves, glasses) and work in a well-ventilated area. Avoid eye and skin exposure. Do not ingest. Once fully cured, the epoxy is non-toxic. When finishing cured epoxy, use of PPE is still recommended to avoid dust exposure or inhalation. Always consult the product’s Safety Data Sheet for complete health and safety information.

Are Bio-Renewable Epoxy products food safe?

FDA or Food-Safe compliance is a material standard, and must be verified with each manufacturer's product. Just because a product is "Bio-Based" or makes an "Ecological" claim, does not mean the product is compliant for direct contact with food.

How is Bio-Content verified?

Ecologically responsible resins vary greatly in the overall percentage of content from renewable sources and should be tested for bio-based carbon content by a third-party tester to recognized international standard, such as ASTM D6866. This test method evaluates the percentage of carbon content from bio-based sources relative to total organic carbon content in the system. Bio-content varies across the a product range and can be found in a products’ Technical Data Sheet.

Be cautious when evaluating resins which are not "domestically manufactured" as their content claims may be unsupported or over stated.

"Domestically Produced" vs. "Domestic Manufactured" what's the difference?

There are many, many companies which make claims to be domestic producers of casting resins. This does not mean they manufacture their own resin nor does it mean their resin feedstock is manufactured in Canada. This is important to consider, because the vast majority of "low cost" or "consumer direct" epoxies are mass-refined in overseas factories, and then repackaged and re-labelled un facilities without verifiable quality standards.

It is very important that you verify with your brand, that they manufacture and produce their resins domestically to a registered quality standard, such as ISO. A good rule of thumb, is if they just show images of warehouses stocked with packaged products, they may not walk the talk. 

Reputable Canadian manufacturers, such as EcoPoxy Inc., are very transparent in promoting and validating their domestic production and laboratory facilities.  

Are Bio-Epoxies biodegradable or recyclable?

During the curing process, epoxy resins and hardeners form crosslinks that cannot easily be broken. Technologies are being developed to break down these types of plastics for recycling, or via other biodegradation methods, but none are readily accessible. Practically, this means that all epoxy resin systems, including bio-epoxies, are neither biodegradable nor recyclable.

To browse our collection of bio-renewable epoxies for woodworkers and artists, click here.

For more information on the use and safety of Bio-Renewable Epoxies, you can contact the folks at EcoPoxy Inc. Canada's only domestic manufacturer of bio-renewable epoxy resins from agricultural-based sources.

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