What is Resin?

Secondary metabolites are organic compounds that are produced by bacteria, fungi, and plants. These molecules do not control the growth, development, and reproduction directly. These are generally called specialised molecules. These molecules generally exist in the form of toxins, secondary product 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 min question, what is resin? Resins are solid or semi-solid amorphous products of complex chemical nature containing a large number of carbon atoms.

Resin Structure

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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, known as plant resin. It can be isolated by the whole plant, specific part, or exudes by plants as a result 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 oil. 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.

Properties of Resins

  • These are transparent or translucent solid or semisolid in nature.

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

  • They generally become soft on heating. On further heating, resins will be melted.

  • Resins generally occur in an amorphous state.

  • These are generally 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 generally undergo a slow oxidation process in the atmosphere and become dark in colour.

How is Resin Made?

On the basis of 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. 

  1. Oleo Resin- 

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 a flavouring agent.

  • 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.

The Occurrence of Natural Resins

Resins are secreted in specialised 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 (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question: What is Resin?

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

Question: Name the different types of Synthetic Resin Polymers.

Answer: The different types of synthetic resin polymers are given below:

  1. Thermoplastic resins

  2. Epoxy resins

  3. Casting resins

  4. Epoxy resins

  5. Ion exchange resins

  6. Acetal resins

  7. Acrylic glass