Epoxy is the family of basic components or cured end products of epoxy resins. Epoxy resins, also known as polyepoxides, are a class of reactive prepolymers and polymers that contain epoxy groups. The epoxy functional group is also collectively referred to as epoxy. The IUPAC name for an epoxide group is oxirane.
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Being an important part of the electronics industry, epoxy resin is used in the production of insulators, motors, transformers and generators. Because epoxy resins are fantastic insulators and offer protection against dust, moisture and short circuits, it remains one of the main resins used in circuit creation as well. Epoxies were modified in a variety of ways. They were reacted with fatty acids derived from oils to produce epoxy esters, which were cured in the same manner as alkyds.
A product comprising more repeating units (n%3D 2 to 30) is at room temperature a colorless solid, which is correspondingly referred to as a solid epoxy resin. Epoxies are also used in decorative and high-performance floors, such as terrazzo floors, chips and colored aggregates, and can enhance the aesthetic appeal of materials such as marble. Although casting and coating epoxies exhibit similar characteristics, it is important to select the epoxy resin that best suits the material and application. Curing with phenolic compounds to make drum liners, cure esters with amine resins, and pre-cure epoxies with amino resins to make resistant topcoats.
Because aliphatic epoxies have a lower electron density than aromatics, cycloaliphatic epoxies react less easily with nucleophiles than epoxy resins based on bisphenol A (which have aromatic ether groups). Epoxies can be used to finish drawings, photos and images and protect art from ultraviolet light. This makes them ideal for joining aircraft and automobile components, recreational equipment such as skis and golf clubs, and other products that require a durable, waterproof bond that withstands heavy use. However, if used in higher proportions as reactive diluents, this often leads to reduced chemical and thermal resistance and poorer mechanical properties of cured epoxides.
Glycidylamine epoxy resins are higher functional epoxies that form when aromatic amines are reacted with epichlorohydrin. Many properties of epoxies can be modified (for example, silver-filled epoxies with good electrical conductivity are available, although epoxies are typically electrical insulators). Electric generators, connected via transmission to the rotor blades, convert mechanical wind energy into usable electrical energy and rely on the electrical insulation of epoxies and high thermal resistance properties. In principle, any molecule containing a reactive hydrogen can react with the epoxy groups of the epoxy resin.
The reaction of polyepoxides with themselves or with polyfunctional hardeners forms a thermosetting polymer, often with favorable mechanical properties and high thermal and chemical resistance. Epoxies contribute to a variety of products and technologies that help improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.