Synthetic resins, varnishes, solvents

Synthetic resins are materials with a property of interest that is similar to natural plant resins: they are viscous liquids that are capable of hardening permanently. Otherwise, chemically they are very different from the various resinous compounds secreted by plants.

A drying oil is an oil that hardens to a tough, solid film after a period of exposure to air. The oil hardens through a chemical reaction in which the components crosslink by the action of oxygen (not through the evaporation of water or other solvents). Drying oils are a key component of oil paint and some varnishes. Some commonly used drying oils include linseed (flax seed) oil, tung oil, poppy seed oil, perilla oil, and walnut oil. Their use has declined over the past several decades, as they have been replaced by alkyd resins and other binders.

A solvent is a substance that dissolves a solute (a chemically different liquid, solid or gas), resulting in a solution. A solvent is usually a liquid but can also be a solid or a gas. The maximum quantity of solute that can dissolve in a specific volume of solvent varies with temperature. Common uses for organic solvents are in dry cleaning (e.g., tetrachloroethylene), as paint thinners (e.g., toluene, turpentine), as nail polish removers and glue solvents (acetone, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate), in spot removers (e.g., hexane, petrol ether), in detergents (citrus terpenes), in perfumes (ethanol), nail polish and in chemical synthesis. The use of inorganic solvents (other than water) is typically limited to research chemistry and some technological processes.