Definition - What does Resin mean?

Resin can refer to a yellow or brown sticky substance produced by plants that is used to make various products, or to an artificial substance that is similar to natural resins that is used to make plastics.

Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives and food glazing agents.

Corrosionpedia explains Resin

Resins are any natural or synthetic organic compound consisting of a noncrystalline or viscous liquid substance. There are two types:

  • Natural resins - Are typically fusible and flammable organic substances that are transparent or translucent and are yellowish to brown in color. They are formed in plant secretions and are soluble in various organic liquids but not in water.

  • Synthetic resins - Comprise a large class of synthetic products that have some of the physical properties of natural resins but are different chemically. Synthetic resins are not clearly differentiated from plastics.

In modern industry natural resins have been almost entirely replaced by synthetic resins, which are divided into two classes:

  • Thermoplastic resins - Which remain plastic after heat treatment
  • Thermosetting resins - Which become insoluble and infusible on heating

The term "resin" encompasses a great many synthetic substances of similar mechanical properties (thick liquids that harden into transparent solids), as well as shellacs of insects of the super family Coccoidea. The word "resin" has been applied in the modern world to nearly any component of a liquid that sets into a hard lacquer or enamel-like finish. An example is nail polish, a modern product which contains resins that are organic compounds, but not classical plant resins.

The hard transparent resins, such as the copals, dammars, mastic and sandarac, are principally used for varnishes and adhesives, while the softer odoriferous oleo-resins (turpentine, copaiba) and gum resins containing essential oils (ammoniacum, myrrh and scammony) are more largely used for therapeutic purposes and incense.

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