April 5, 2024

Is Resin Synthetic or Natural

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Many people wonder if resin is something made by humans or found in nature. Resin can be both synthetic and natural, depending on where it comes from. This article will explain the differences and uses of each type, helping you understand which kind might be best for your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Resin comes in both natural and synthetic forms, depending on its source. Natural resins are obtained from plants or animals, serving purposes like protection or healing. Synthetic resins are made through chemical processes, offering customizable properties for specific industrial uses.
  • Plant – derived resins have been used throughout history for their adhesive qualities and resistance to water. They’re important in traditional medicine, varnish production, and as a sustainable choice due to their biodegradable nature.
  • Animal – derived resins, such as shellac from the lac bug or ambergris from sperm whales, bring unique properties to applications like perfumes and sealants because of their distinct origins and characteristics.
  • Synthetic resins provide reliable quality and can be tailored for special applications making them ideal in manufacturing adhesives, composite materials, varnishes, etc., thanks to their versatility and heat resistance.
  • The production process of resin varies significantly between natural extraction from plants or animals and synthetic manufacture involving chemical synthesis. This difference impacts not just application but environmental considerations concerning biodegradability.

What is Resin?

pouring liquid on resin

Resin, an organic compound, is a solid or highly viscous substance that is typically plant-derived or animal-derived. It can also be synthesized with chemical properties tailored towards specific uses.

Definition of resin

Resin is a solid or highly viscous substance that plants or synthetic processes can produce. In its natural form, it often comes from trees, where it serves as a protective mechanism against predators and injuries.

These organic compounds are complex in structure, featuring many carbon atoms. They exhibit unique properties such as being insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents, making them incredibly versatile for various applications.

On the other hand, synthetic resin emerges through chemical synthesis combining simple organic substances or reactions of specific compounds. This production process results in viscous substances capable of turning into rigid polymers when cured.

Due to their reliable quality and adaptability for special uses, industries frequently favor these synthetic products over their natural counterparts for tasks ranging from adhesive formulation to composite material creation and beyond.

Plant-derived resins

Plant-derived resins, also known as natural resins, are typically obtained from trees through a process called exudation. This involves the release of resin by the plant in response to injury or infection.

plant-derived resins

Plant resins have been used for various purposes throughout history and are valued for their adhesive properties and resistance to water. These natural compounds contain a complex chemical nature with many carbon atoms, making them versatile materials for applications such as adhesives, varnishes, and composite materials.

Furthermore, plant-derived resins play a significant role in traditional medicine and are utilized in the production of essential oils.

In addition to their industrial applications, plant-derived resins offer environmental benefits as they are biodegradable materials that can be sustainably sourced from renewable plant resources.

Animal-derived resins

Animal-derived resins are obtained from natural sources such as insects or animals. These resins are produced by these organisms for various purposes, including protection and communication.

Examples of animal-derived resins include shellac, which is secreted by the lac bug and used in varnishes and sealants, as well as ambergris, a resinous substance originating from the digestive system of sperm whales that has been historically used in perfumes.

These resins have unique properties that make them valuable in specific applications. For instance, shellac has excellent adhesion qualities and resistance to moisture, making it a preferred choice for certain coatings and finishes.

Synthetic Resins

Synthetic resins are composed of synthetic materials and exhibit specific characteristics. They have a melting temperature higher than natural resins, making them suitable for applications requiring heat resistance.


Resin is composed of various chemical substances and compounds, including vinyl ester resin, which gives it its characteristic properties. These chemical components determine the melting temperature, durability, and other important characteristics of the resin.

The composition plays a crucial role in resin casting and manufacturing processes, as different types of resins require distinct curing methods to solidify into their final forms.

Synthetic resins are typically derived from petrochemicals and can be tailored to meet specific application requirements due to their versatile composition. This allows for the production of bespoke resins with unique properties suitable for various industrial uses such as adhesives, varnishes, and composite materials.


Natural resins are derived from plant sources, such as trees and shrubs, while synthetic resins are industrially produced through chemical processes. Synthetic resin is commonly composed of simple organic substances or chemical reactions of certain compounds, resulting in a versatile material that can be tailored to specific applications.

On the other hand, natural resins exhibit unique properties based on their source, making them ideal for various uses in industries like adhesives and varnishes. Both types of resin have complex chemical structures containing many carbon atoms and can convert into solid forms with distinctive physical properties suited for different applications.

Differences between Natural and Synthetic Resin

Natural resins are biodegradable and derived from plants or animals, while synthetic resins are produced through chemical processes. They have distinct production methods and uses.


Resin’s biodegradability varies depending on whether it is natural or synthetic. Natural resins, obtained from plant exudates, tend to be more readily biodegradable in the environment due to their organic origins.

On the other hand, synthetic resins, derived from chemical processes and compounds, are generally less biodegradable. This difference underscores the environmental impact of resin use and disposal.

Production process

The production process of resin involves the chemical synthesis of simple organic substances or the reaction of certain compounds. Synthetic resins are industrially produced and typically start as highly viscous substances that can be converted into rigid polymers through curing.

Natural resins, on the other hand, are obtained from trees, where they are found or exuded. The distinction between natural and synthetic resin is crucial in understanding their source and properties for various industrial applications.

Synthetic resins undergo a precise manufacturing process to achieve consistent quality and tailor them to specific uses. This makes synthetic resin preferable over natural resin due to its ability to meet bespoke application requirements across different industries.


Resin is utilized in a wide array of applications due to its versatile properties. It serves as a crucial binding material for pigments and is extensively used in the production of polyester, industrial adhesives, varnishes, and composite materials.

Its ability to convert into rigid polymers through curing makes it an essential component in casting resin for creating jewelry, decorative items, and art pieces. Additionally, resin finds application in industries such as automotive manufacturing for producing vehicle parts that require high strength and durability.


In final analysis, the distinction between natural and synthetic resin plays a critical role in various industries. Industries favor synthetic resin due to its consistent quality and versatility for specific applications.

Whether derived from plants or synthesized chemically, resin serves as a binding material for pigments and finds use in adhesives, varnishes, and composite materials. Its ability to convert into rigid polymers through curing makes it valuable in numerous applications.


1. What is resin and where does it come from?

Resin is a sticky substance that can be found in nature or made by people. Natural resins come from plants, while synthetic resins are created through chemical processes in manufacturing.

2. How do natural and synthetic resins differ?

Natural resin comes directly from plant sources and has been used for centuries, whereas synthetic resin is produced in factories and often has different properties that make it useful for various modern applications.

3. Can you tell me about the uses of resin?

Resin has many uses! It can be turned into plastics, used as glue, made into varnishes or finishes, and even crafted into jewelry or art pieces because of its unique properties.

4. How is resin extracted or produced?

To get natural resin, people collect it from trees where it oozes out as a protective measure against injury. Synthetic resin production involves mixing chemicals in a lab to create the desired type of resin with specific characteristics for different uses.