Adding catalyst to resins is necessary to prevent overheating and under-curing of the resin. There are two types of catalyst available: liquid and paste. If you use liquid catalyst, it is advisable to add it to the resin thoroughly. If you use paste, you should stir it into the resin. The specific gravity of most catalysts is between 0.97 and 1.14. The working time of most catalysts is between five and eight minutes, while some have a working time of up to 90 minutes.
The ratio of catalyst to resin is usually 1%. This means that if you use a 50-gram bottle of resin, you need to add about 1.2 mL of catalyst to it. If you use a syringe, you would need to add about 3 mL of catalyst. If you want to use a paste, you can add between 15 and 20 grams of catalyst to the resin. For a large project, you can use as much as 15% of the paste.
The working temperature of your resin will determine how much catalyst you need to add. If you are working in a colder temperature, you might need to add as little as 3% of the catalyst. Likewise, if you are working in a warmer temperature, you might need to add as little 4% of the catalyst. If you need to mix resins in layers, you can reduce the catalyst percentage by half.
Most polyester resins are unsaturated and require a catalyst to solidify. If you want to apply resin to a thick laminate, you will need to mix it in stages. Adding too much catalyst will increase the heat of the resin and will cause it to overheat in the mould. This can cause the resin to warp the mould. It also can cause the laminate to be brittle and hard after it is demolded.
Epoxy resins are different from polyester resins, as they do not have to be catalyzed. They can be cured in approximately 30-40 minutes at room temperature, but they will be cured more slowly if they are not catalyzed. You can speed up the curing process by using a 4% accelerator. When using an accelerator, it is advisable to use a plastic container that is able to be decanted. This will help you to control the amount of resin you mix.
If you need to mix resins at a faster rate, you can use a 3% accelerator. This will speed up the process of curing, but it will also decrease the working time. If you need to mix resins at 5% or 6%, you can use liquid catalyst. This will also slow the curing process, but will help you to keep the resin from overheating. When you are mixing resins, you can add a few drops of MEKP catalyst. It is recommended that you add this catalyst based on the weight of the resin and the temperature of the environment.
In order to prevent overheating and under-curing, you should always use a liquid catalyst when you are mixing resins. This will help you to keep the resin from overheating and warping the mould.