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Last updated date: 14th Apr 2024
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Introduction to Resin

Resin is a material that is extracted from the secretions of plants and trees. In this article, we are going to understand Resin, its types, properties, uses, and more. Students will get to know about Resin and its concepts. The industry experts have designed it in an easy to understand manner. So, without any further ado, let us understand what Resin is in the coming section.

What is Resin?

Secondary metabolites are organic compounds that are produced by bacteria, fungi, and plants. These molecules do not control growth, development, and reproduction directly. They are generally called specialized molecules. These molecules mainly exist as toxins, secondary products or natural products. Resin is a type of secondary metabolite. In this article, we have covered all the important points like Resin definition, the structure of Resin, and its composition. 


Let’s come to the main question, what is Resin? Resins are solid or semi-solid amorphous products of complex chemical nature containing many carbon atoms. The word “Resin” is also used to refer to the high-viscosity liquid or semi-solid produced by the polymerization of Resin acids. Resin is created in various forms. It can appear in a solid, powdery, or liquid form. The most common Resin types are copal, dammar, mastic, and shellac.


Definition of Resin

Resin: “any of various solid or semisolid amorphous fusible flammable natural organic substances that are usually transparent or translucent and yellowish to brown are formed especially in plant secretions are soluble in organic solvents (such as ether) but not in the water, are electrical nonconductors, and are used chiefly in varnishes, printing inks, plastics, and sizes and medicine.”

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Types of Resin

Resin can be divided into two types, depending on the nature of synthesis. Resin is of two types:

  1. Natural Resin

  2. Synthetic Resin

1. Natural Resin 

These types of Resin have a natural source. They are obtained from nature. Mostly they originate from the plants. Therefore, it is known as plant Resin. It can be isolated by the whole plant, specific part, or exuded by plants because of injury/incision. Rarely, some natural Resin is obtained from the animal. 


Examples of plants from which Resin can be obtained-: Benzoin, ginger, podophyllum, asafoetida, and capsicum.


Examples of the animal from which Resin can be obtained:- Shellac or lac, and fossils 

2. Synthetic Resin

These types of Resin are produced in the industry. Synthetic Resins are produced by the curing of the rigid polymer. When they undergo a curing process, they contain reactive end groups like epoxides or acrylates. It can be of various types:

  1. Thermoplastic Resins

  2. Epoxy Resins

  3. Casting Resins

  4. Epoxy Resins

  5. Ion exchange Resins

  6. Acetal Resins

  7. Acrylic glass


Resin Chemical Nature 

What is in Resin is the most commonly asked question in the polymer Chemistry branch? The answer to this question is, Resin chemically is a complex compound. It is formed by a mixture of various compounds. These are a mixture of essential oils. It can be a mixture of oxygenated products of terpenes (oxygenated hydrocarbons) or it can be a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, acid, ester, and alcohol.


They are amorphous or semi-crystalline solids that can be converted into plastic. These chemicals usually have a polymeric or semi-polymeric structure and are either natural or (semi-)synthetic in nature. Before being pelletized, extruded, and moulded into different shapes, they are frequently treated with plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, antioxidants, and other additives.

Resins are a diverse group of compounds with a vast range of properties. So, let us now look at the different properties of Resin in the coming section.


Properties of Resins

  • These are transparent or translucent solid or semisolid.

  • The specific gravity of Resins is more than water. Therefore, these are heavier than water.

  • They generally become soft at heating. On further heating, Resins will be melted.

  • Resins generally occur in an amorphous state.

  • These are insoluble in water.

  • These are soluble in organic compounds like alcohol, volatile oils, and chloral hydrate.

  • These compounds are highly enriched with carbon.

  • Resins are deprived of nitrogen and oxygen.

  • Resins undergo a slow oxidation process in the atmosphere and become dark in color.


How is Resin Made?

Based on their formation:

  1. Physiological Resin

These types of Resins are formed by the normal metabolism process.

Example - cannabis, podophyllum, and ginger.

  1. Pathological Resin

These types of Resin are formed by the result of the wound, injury, or abnormal circumstances. 

Example - benzoin, asafoetida, and guggul.


Classification of Resin

Classification of Resin is based on the nature of occurrence with other secondary metabolites. They are classified as below:

  1. Oleoresin- 

These are naturally occurring Resin, which is a mixture of Resin and volatile oil. Examples of such types of Resins are capsicum, ginger, and copaiba.

  1. Gum Resin- 

These types of Resins are associated with the gum. Examples of such types of Resins are colophony and cannabis. 

  1. Oleo Gum Resins- 

These types of Resins are a mixture of volatile oil, gum, and Resin. Examples of such types of Resins are guggul, asafoetida, and myrrh.

  1. Balsams Resin- 

These types of Resin are a mixture of benzoic acid and cinnamic acid or esters of these acids. It can occur in free or combined form. Examples of such types of Resins are benzoin, tolu balsam, Peru balsam.

  1. Glyco Resin- 

This type of Resin occurs in combination with sugar. These Resins are linked with the sugar molecule by the glycosidic linkage. Examples of such types of Resins are jalap and podophyllum.


Natural Resin Uses

  • These are used as flavoring agents.

  • Natural Resins are used as a carminative agent.

  • It is used as an expectorant.

  • It is used as a stimulant or diuretic agent.

  • It is used as an anticancer drug.

  • It shows a cathartic property.

  • It is used as an anti-inflammatory property.

  • It is also used for bow treatments for instruments like cellos and violins.


The Occurrence of Natural Resins

Resins are secreted in specialized structures. It can be either in the internal part or on the surface of different parts of the plant.

  1. Resin Cell - Ginger

  2. Glandular Hair - Cannabis

  3. Schizogenous or Schizolysigenous Duct or Cavities - Pinewood

  4. Induced at a Site of Injury / Incision - Benzoin


Did You Know?

  • Resins are generally distributed in Spermatophyta (seed plants) plants.

  • Some Resins can be obtained from the Pteridophyta.

  • Resins are considered the end product of metabolism.

FAQs on Resin

1. What is Resin?

Resin is a chemical compound, isolated from plants or animals in nature. It can also be obtained from the chemical process of polymerisation.

2. Name the different types of Synthetic Resin Polymers.

The different types of synthetic resin polymers are given below:

  • Thermoplastic resins

  • Epoxy resins

  • Casting resins

  • Epoxy resins

  • Ion exchange resins

  • Acetal resins

  • Acrylic glass

3. What is Resin, and where is it present?

Resin is a solid substance that is isolated from plants or of synthetic origin. They are reactive substances that produce high molecular weight compounds when polymerized. Resin is present in most plants, but usually in small quantities. Plants produce Resin as a defence mechanism against insects or to heal wounds.

4. What are the uses of Resin?

Resins can be used in many ways. It is used to make plastics and other materials that are useful for a variety of applications. The most common use for the Resin is in making varnish and coatings. It can be also used to seal cracks and make furniture. One of the uses of Resin is less known; it can be used as a glue to create a strong bond between surfaces. 

5. Does Resin catch fire?

Resin is flammable; it catches fire easily. It will even catch fire much easily if the Resin has been treated to make it waterproof or if it has been processed to create plastic. Precautions should be taken while using Resin. 

6. What are the properties of Resin?

There are many properties of Resin. Some of them are:

  • Resin is soluble in various liquids but insoluble in water. 

  • They become soft on heating.

  • When ignited, they burn with a smoky flame. 

  • Resins are hard and amorphous solids; they are heavier than water.

  • They are used as adhesives, varnishes, also used in incense, etc.

  • They are non-nitrogenous compounds.

7. What are natural Resins?

Natural Resins are flammable and fusible organic compounds that are transparent or translucent and range in colour from yellowish to brown. They're made up of plant secretions and are soluble in a variety of organic liquids, but not water. Most natural Resins are produced by trees, particularly pines and firs.

8. Resin is made of plastic. Is this true?

No, they're entirely different substances. Resins are natural or synthetic substances that can be converted into polymers. Resin is not the same as plastic, even though they have a lot of similarities in terms of look.

9. Does Vedantu provide free study materials?

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