We had previously explained How To Use Acrylic Water With Silk Flowers
and many of our customers have since enquired about the differences between our acrylic water and the polyester resin sold by hardware stores.
Below we will elaborate on the main differences between the two products, and discuss some frequently asked questions.
1. Understanding the product names
There is a lot of confusion behind the term acrylic water. Acrylic water should not be mistaken for polyester resin.
Acrylic water has specifically been developed to be used with artificial flowers and is also called: fake water / faux water / floral water resin / epoxy resin.
Polyester resin can also be called casting resin, and is mainly used in the repair of fiberglass and plastic products.
2. What are the main differences between acrylic water & polyester resin?
||Acrylic Water / Epoxy Resin
||Acrylic water is less toxic than polyester resin, and holds no smell.
||Polyester resin is highly toxic because of the catalyst used in the formula (Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone-Peroxide). It also has a strong styrene smell.
||Acrylic water is expensive as it is a high quality product.
||Polyester resin is not very expensive, due to its cheap nature.
|Shrinkage & Evaporation Rate
||Once solidified, the evaporation rate is low.
||Once solidified, the evaporation rate is high, resulting in noticeable shrinkage.
||Acrylic water is not likely to be affected by natural conditions (humidity, light, etc.)
||Polyester resin is very likely to be affected by natural conditions (humidity, light, etc.)
||Acrylic water has adhesive properties.
||Polyester resin does not have adhesive properties.
|Glass Transition Temperature
||Transition from a "glassy" state to a "rubbery" state is between 40-300 °C.
||Transition from a "glassy" state to a "rubbery" state is between 40-110 °C.
To summarise, acrylic water is more expensive, inherently stronger, crystal clear and has a longer shelf life. Polyester resin is a cheaper product that may not always remain crystal clear and that can be hazardous to one’s heath. Although we strongly recommend using acrylic water to display artificial flowers, we recommend applying polyester resin for other such as surfboard & boat repair, filling holes and custom jewellery.
3. Frequently asked question on acrylic water
a. I can see that acrylic water has date stickers on the bottles. How long can the product last?
The date stickers on the bottles actually display the manufacture dates.
From our experience, as long as the liquid is clear in the bottles, the acrylic water should perform well and look crystal clear when cured beyond one year after the manufacture date. If you have an aged solution that starts to become yellow in colour, they acrylic water will not look crystal clear and may not cure properly.
b. I have used polyester resin to display my artificial flower bouquet. How can I take it off without damaging my flowers so I can replace it with acrylic water?
Unfortunately once the acrylic water and the polyester resin are set, there is no coming back and you cannot take out the fake (acrylic) water easily without damaging the flowers stems and possibly the flower vase.
c. I can see tiny bubbles in the acrylic water and the water does not look crystal clear. How can I fix it?
A couple of tips that might help:
- The time you take blending the product is important, as a couple of minutes at least of gentle stirring is needed to fully blend the ingredients. Any bubbles will slowly disappear as the mixture sets.
- Make sure your container has been thoroughly cleaned before you pour the acrylic water in.
d. Crystals have formed in the resin. Can I still use the acrylic water?
Crystals can form in the resin if exposed to cold temperatures. If crystals have formed, it is advised to heat the resin bottle (white cap) in warm water (about 50 degrees Celsius) until crystals dissolve.
e. I have spilt some resin on the vase while pouring. How can I remove the resin drops from my vase?
We recommend you use a lanolin-based cleaning wipe (for instance a baby wipe) as long as the acrylic water is still in liquid state. Unfortunately, once in its solid state, the product is very difficult to remove.
f. I did not use the full amount of resin and hardener. Can I use the left over quantities later?
The resin and the hardener may be saved and stored for future use as long as they are not combined. Simply seal the caps tightly and store in a cool dry place.
4. How much acrylic water do I need for my arrangement?
Vases come in many sizes and shapes. We recommend about 3cm to 5cm of acrylic water to fill the bottom of the vase.
As an indication, our full 473ml pack will be enough for one 10cm diameter cylinder vase.
Easy calculation for square & rectangular vases:
Multiple (Vase Length * Vase Width * Desired Height of water) to know the acrylic water quantity required in mL.
- Example for a square vase of 15cm that we would like to fill up to 5cm:
- Volume of acrylic water required = 15 * 15 * 5 = 1,125 mL
Easy calculation for cylinder vases:
Multiple (Vase Radius * Vase Radius * 3.14 * Desired Height of water) to know the acrylic water quantity required in mL.
- Example for a cylinder vase of 15cm that we would like to fill up to 4cm:
- Volume of acrylic water required = 7.5 * 7.5 * 3.14 * 4 = 706 mL
Easy calculation to gain a rough estimate:
For any shaped vase, the most efficient way to gain a rough estimate is to calculate by weight. You can pour water into the vase so you can clearly see how much water you need, and then weight the water. 1000g water = 1000mL, from this you can work out how many millilitres of acrylic water to mix.