Definition - What does Hardener mean?
A hardener is a component of certain types of mixtures. In some mixtures a hardener is used simply to increase the resilience of the mixture once it sets. In other mixtures a hardener is used as a curing component. A hardener can be either a reactant or a catalyst in the chemical reaction that occurs during the mixing process.
Corrosionpedia explains Hardener
Hardeners are almost always necessary to make an epoxy resin useful for its intended purpose. Without a hardener, epoxies do not achieve anywhere near the impressive mechanical and chemical properties that they would with the hardener. The correct type of hardener must be selected to ensure the epoxy mixture will meet the requirements of the application. Research should always be done on both the resin and the hardener to make sure the final epoxy mixture will perform satisfactorily. Common examples of epoxy hardeners are anhydride-based, amine-based, polyamide, aliphatic and cycloaliphatic.
Hardeners are used to cure epoxy resins. However, simply adding a hardener to an epoxy resin may not cause the epoxy mixture to cure quickly enough. If this is the case a different hardener may be required. Also, hardeners with certain additives can be used. These hardener additives serve as catalysts that speed up the curing process.