Application of the month

You probably remember this from your school chemistry lessons: “chemical substances exist as solids, liquids, gases or plasma.” Teachers also made us memorise the periodic table of elements, the epitome of things we learn and never remember. But what they probably did not say is that chemistry can also be used to unleash our creativity to make the world a bit funkier.

Epoxy is one of the most versatile substances, as it can be applied to a myriad of everyday items to improve their performance. Two of the best known applications are construction and boats. Kurt Hughes, a boat designer with three decades of experience, must have remembered this when he built a 250-square-foot white hexagonal hut, modelled after a lunar lander. Hughes applied his expertise in structural stability to honour the era of wonder and space exploration, and covered the floors and walls with epoxy paint to render the space dry and mould-free. Just like on the moon!

And speaking of the moon: you could easily travel a distance, equivalent of there and back, on the Banatti Green Falcon motorcycle. This bike, made with bamboo from the Philippines, has a double-layered structure laminated with marine epoxy which fully covers the batteries and electric motor, making it weather resistant and long-lasting without compromising its respect for the environment.

If motorbikes aren’t your thing and you are more into music, you could also use epoxy resins to make your guitar a bit more hip with a river canyon, like YouTuber Burl Arts’. He tweaked his guitar by mixing our favourite resin with blue micro powder, which is then poured into a cavity formed between two slabs of quilted maple. You could also create your own guitar from scratch with epoxy and inexpensive, accessible items, like crayons or mega jawbreaker candies!

If these are too advanced for your DIY skills, don’t worry, you can always use epoxy resins on easier tasks like jellyfish lamps, preservation of your wedding flowers or to give a second life to your broken vases. With epoxy, the sky’s the limit.