What are Eco-resins?

‘Eco-resins’ are a broad, generic group of polymer resins that all have one thing in common; they are non-toxic, renewable or solvent-free (water-based).

Bio-resins, (not to be confused with ‘Bi-resin’, which is a brand of bio-resin) are all based on natural plant and vegetable extracts or renewable resources.

This amazing and sustainable technology is shaping the future of all our casting and mould-making needs.

Already we have seen products like ‘Bi-resin’ making an impact on the use of polyester resins, like Clear casting resin for use in encapsulations and casting.

Jesmonite, although not strictly a ‘bio-resin’, can be used as an environmentally friendly substitute for polyester GP resin. Although it is still a plastic/acrylic polymer, it is water-based and non-toxic to the user making it an ‘eco-resin’.

Bi-resin is a chemically complex resin, but its main constituent ingredients are sunflower seed and soya bean proteins, it is a crystal clear resin with non of the disadvantages that polyester clear resin has, although bubbles can be an issue with various surfaces if not used correctly.

The future is green!

Bio-resins use a variety of production methods depending on the raw material. As well as sunflower seed and soya bean we can use rape seed, potato, corn, tapioca and yam.

Most have little or no smell, no dangerous catalyst, no toxic vapours and can be used safely in almost any working environment.

More importantly, according to recent studies by the University of Wales and Cambridge University, for every tonne of eco-resin produced two and a half tonnes of our CO2 emissions are neutralised!

There is research suggesting up to 7 tonnes of CO2 can be captured with every tonne of resin produced, although these resins are yet to see official release.

Bio-resins will play a dynamic part in helping cut man’s harmful impact on the environment in many ways, in the future.

Bio-resin can even be made from plants like Vernonia (a type of inedible weed), that thrive in particularly poor and dry soil, making the production of these resins a valuable ‘cash crop’ for farmers unable to produce nothing else, local workers and business’s in many developing countries like Ethiopia, potentially helping to reduce poverty.


 

Eco Resins


Bio - Resin


Jesmonite 

Other friendly materials, such as Jesmonite, is not quite as eco-friendly as other eco-resins. Although it is non-toxic and water-based, it uses an acrylic plastic, essentially a petrochemical. It use for large sculptural pieces and capturing fine detail make this material one of the most versatile sculpting materials around today

Eco-Friendly Resins

Bio-resin and hardener bottles

  Painted jesmonite over a sculpted polystyrene foam core

The long road ahead


So what is the down side of these ‘miracle resins’? Well, as it is still an emerging technology, it is very expensive to buy (at around £25 per kilo), and quite difficult to obtain, as there are only a handful of UK suppliers.


As the technology develops and more producers will realise the potential for investment. It would be reasonable to assume the price of these resins will become more afforable and the availability will increase.


The monopoly of the plastics market by cheap and environmentally harmful petrochemical resins like epoxies and polyesters may be coming to an end, it seems.














Prices- Bio-resin costs around £25.00 per kilo,

            Jesmonite costs around £20.00 per kilo

This cost varies depending on how much you buy. Bulk buy’s are cheapest.

One a several types of 2pk bio-resins
          Upholstered jesmonite over a styro-foam core