A high temp epoxy is a type of thermosetting polymer that can withstand hot conditions once it has hardened. This heat resistant quality can make high temp epoxy well suited to a variety of different applications. Some types of high temperature epoxy may require heat to set, while others are designed to harden at room temperature. This can allow two components to be bonded in normal environmental conditions before being exposed to a high temperature environment. As with other epoxy-based materials, high temperature epoxy is composed of a resin and a hardener, which can be mixed together to form a structural adhesive.
All epoxies, or polyepoxides, are copolymers that are made by combining two chemical substances. The resin, or epoxide, typically makes up the bulk of the material and is able to form strong, covalent bonds with the polyamine, or hardener. A variety of characteristics that the final epoxy possesses may be determined by the chemical makeup of the resin and hardener. The ratios that they are combined in can also have an effect. Epoxies can typically be obtained with different tensile and structural strengths, hardening times, and resistances to external factors such as heat and corrosive chemicals.
Chemical and heat resistance often go hand in hand in epoxy material. A high temp epoxy will often also be resistant to corrosive substances such as sulfuric acid. This can be useful when a high temp epoxy is applied to components that will later come into contact with strong caustics. Other types of high temp epoxy may be well suited to automotive applications or use in the encasing of electronic components that can become quite hot during operation. High temp epoxy is a structural adhesive so if mixed in the correct ratios, it may also be used to bond certain load bearing or weighted components.
Some high temperature epoxies may require heat to cure properly, or might cure faster when heated. If this is the case, a heat gun may be used to facilitate the curing process. Other high temperature epoxies cure better at ambient room temperature, and may even fail to harden properly if the local environment is too hot. This is also true with excessive cold, as many epoxides and polyamines will fail to form the proper covalent bonds if the temperature is below a certain level.
High temperature epoxies are often used in manufacturing and industrial applications, though they can usually be obtained for repair jobs as well. A number of different suppliers offer a range of high temp epoxies that can typically be obtained to repair components or structures that have become broken. When mending something that may be exposed to heat, using a high temp epoxy can help ensure the repair does not fail.