Aircraft construction, painting, orthopaedic technology, wind energy, electronics and electrical engineering

Due to their outstanding electrical and mechanical properties, epoxy resins are considered to be key materials in the field of electrical engineering, but also in other industries involved in the manufacture of small to very small components. Epoxy resins can also be used in a wide range of sectors in coating systems or for final coating. Epoxy resin systems are generally made up of a resin component and a hardener component, which must be mixed together before use. Manual and automatic working methods can be used.

Epoxy resins are more commonly – though not exclusively – used in the following sectors:

  • Wind energy plants: for the production of rotor blades
  • Aircraft construction: for the production of structural components of aircraft
  • Orthopaedic technology: for the production of orthopaedic aids
  • Electronics and electrical engineering: as impregnation or casting resins or as a component in adhesives for electronic assemblies
  • Surface coatings: when painting or priming liquid coating materials (wet painting)

The information provided with the epoxy resin product by the manufacturer (safety data sheet and technical information sheet) are vitally important in ensuring that buyers and users are sufficiently informed about the potential risks and are able to take the necessary protective measures. The assessment system for epoxy resin products (PDF, 233 kB, non-accessible) (German only) enhances the quality of this information.

The Epoxy Resins working group is continually working towards answering the question of which ingredients are suitable for putting less hazardous products on the market (substitution review).

  • Wind energy plants

    For the manufacture of components for rotor blades, glass fibre-reinforced mats are impregnated with epoxy resin in order to create a solid fibre composite after hardening. The following work methods are available for this process:

    When laminating, the epoxy resin is rolled on to the fibre mats by hand. In the prepreg method (pre-impregnated fibres), the mats are impregnated with epoxy resin, cured and then placed in the mould where they are left to harden. However, the impregnated mats can also be wound onto a mould and hardened through the application of heat. The vacuum infusion process is often used. In this process, two half-shells are lined with glass fibre mats, a vacuum is created, the mixed epoxy resin is applied evenly and then hardened at a higher temperature.

    Contact with epoxy resins can occur as a result of manual weighing and mixing of the components, reworking (laminating, gluing, milling and grinding) of rotor blades and during commissioning and repair work on the the mounted rotor blade or wind tower. In order to improve flaws, e.g. after damage due to lightning strikes, methods such as filling, applying coatings, abrasive cutting, laminating, bonding and grinding are used.

  • Aircraft construction

    Manual and automatic methods are used for the manufacture of parts/assemblies for structural components of aircraft, such as the vacuum infusion process or the prepreg process.

    In these cases, contact can result from manual laminating or as part of set-up work during the automated production processes. A wide range of manual tasks are carried out, including gluing, spraying, laminating, milling, drilling, deburring, grinding, splicing and painting of outer surfaces. These tasks cover both the manufacture of components for internal and external use and the manual reworking/repair or improvement of flaws/inclusions or damage.

  • Orthopaedic technology

    Epoxy resins are even used in the production of orthopaedic aids, predominantly in the design of models and moulds or when fibre composites are used. They are used in casting, laminating, coating, bonding or embedding processes. These processes are carried out rather sporadically, usually by hand and only using a small quantity of epoxy resin. Cold-hardening epoxy resin mixtures are used almost exclusively.

    With the prepreg method, fibre materials that have been pre-impregnated with epoxy resin at the factory are used. These are easy to work with and the quantity of epoxy resin is precisely pre-dosed.

    Laminates manufactured with epoxy resin boast an extremely high resistance, including to dynamic loads. Laminates made this way also have excellent optical quality.

    However, if parts made from epoxy resin are reworked, the grinding and milling dust created during this process can lead to skin diseases, dry skin and respiratory problems.

  • Electronic and electrical items

    Epoxy resins are used as impregnating and casting resins or as a component in adhesives for electronic assemblies, such as electrodes, transformers, sensors, chips, coils, housings, switches, plugs, LED modules, inverters, PCBs, capacitors, battery packs, sockets etc.

    When working with smaller quantities, the resin and hardener components are weighed and mixed together by hand for the casting resins. The casting is then either performed by hand, or when working with larger quantities, automatically in a casting system.

    With regard to adhesives, the epoxy resin usually comes in a ready-mixed form in a carton and can be applied directly to the bonding surfaces.

    Coating processes can be carried out either using a dipping method or a standard application method.

    For the hardening process, the parts can be dried in a furnace. After the hardening/drying process, they are stored on a trolley.

    There is a risk of epoxy resin coming into contact with skin during activities such as manual weighing and mixing of the components, casting, filling, inspecting or cleaning the automatic plant and loading up the oven.

  • Outer surface coatings

    Coatings containing epoxy resin are used for painting and priming. The coatings protect components against damage. The raw materials for the coatings are dosed, mixed and applied either manually or in automatic plants. When automatic plants are used, the paint must be refilled, set-up work must be carried out and the plant must be monitored and inspected.

    Small components (metal formed parts, seals, screw heads, coils, strips or sleeves) and large components (control cabinets, housings, doors, engines, transmissions, fuselage interior or rotor hubs) are either painted on the table, in a paint booth, in a spraying booth or at a spray wall (water wall) depending on their size. After the coating has dried, the painting process can be repeated as required.

    There is a risk of epoxy resin coming into contact with skin during activities such as manual weighing and mixing of the components, application of the coating, filling, inspecting or cleaning the automatic plant and loading up the oven.


E-Mail to the epoxy resing working group: