Dammar is a natural gum resin used in painting to prepare picture varnishes and 'lean' painting mediums as it often replaces drying oil.
The dammar resin is a natural resin secreted by trees of the dipterocarpaceae family, specifically those of the genus Shorea, Hopea or Balanocarpus. We find these species in India and in Southeast Asia. The majority of the resin is produced by tapping the trees; however, some of the dammar is also collected as fossilized resin form in the soil. The color of the harvested gum ranges from light to pale yellow, while the fossilized kind is of gray-brown color instead. Chemically gum dammar is a triterpenoid resin containing a large number of triterpenes and their oxidation products.
Close to mastic resin, dammar appeared during the nineteenth century to compensate for the shortage of the first. Of pale yellow appearance, it gives very clear varnishes and mediums, particularly appreciated by painters. Dammar varnish, made from dammar gum mixed with turpentine, was presented as a varnish for fine arts from 1826. Commonly used in oil painting, inside painting mediums during the process as well as in the final picture varnish. Like all natural resins, dammar resin tends to yellow and crack over time, especially if it is left in the dark.
Dammar resin is also used in encaustic painting where it is dissolved in the molten beeswax, which imparts hardness and superior resistance to this type of paint.
Dammar resin is also used in food, as an opacifier or glazing agent (to cover certain foods so that they shine and prevent them from sticking to each other in packaging), as a component of incense, in varnishes and other products as well.
- CAS: 9000-16-2
- EINECS: 232-528-4
- appearance: white powder to large semi-transparent yellowish crystals
- melting point: approximately 120 ° C
- density: 1.04 to 1.12 g / cm³
- refractive index: approximately 1.5
All values given in the International System of Units (SI), unless otherwise noted.
All the information above is, to the best of our knowledge, considered to be exact and does not constitute a product specification. Always test materials prior to selecting them for definitive use.