Surfboard resin does indeed harden through a
chemical reaction. Usually the process involves
mixing together two chemicals, one is made up of
long molecules called polymers and the other is a
cross linker made up of molecules which bond
easily to the polymers. When you mix the two
chemicals, the polymers tangle and the cross
linker secures the polymer in these tangles. The
end result is a material that is very hard because
a lot of force is required to break all the
tangles. Putting the resin in the sun can speed up
the reaction because the extra heat from the sun
makes it easier for the crosslinker to form bonds
with the polymers. Also, there are UV catalysts
which use ultraviolet light (the same light that
gives you a tan) to create molecules which make it
easier for the cross linker to form connections.
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