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Old 11-09-2011, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
MesquiteMan
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Default Differences in Alumilite forumlations

Fist, let me state specifically and to the point, I do not work for, nor get paid by Alumilite in any way. I am just a very happy customer that has had the privilege of working closely with Mike Faupel, the owner, over the last 6 or 7 years. I thought I would state thins since I just did some videos for them and don't want anyone to think I am on their payroll somehow!

With that out of the way, I thought I would list the various formulations of Alumilite and a little about them. I have used every one of their casting resins over the years and since I see the question frequently of which one to use, I thought this might be helpful to someone. I will focus only on the resins commonly used in pen blank casting.

First, some definitions:

Pot Life: This is the amount of time you have to get the resin poured into the mold and under pressure. It begins sometime after you have started mixing the 2 parts

Viscosity: The "thickness" of the resin. The lower the number, the thinner the resin. Compare this with the CA that you use as they both are rated in Centipoise (cps)

Demold Time: The amount of time you need to let it "cure" before removing it from the mold

Shore D: The hardness of the cured resin. This is measured with a durometer and uses the Shore D scale. The higher the number, the harder the resin.

Elongation: This is the amount of "stretch" the cured resin has before it breaks. It is an indication of the brittleness of the resin for penturning and indicates how chippy it will be. Lower elongation equals more chippy and likely to blowout.

Temperature Resistance: The temperature where the cured resin will deform. This is important when sanding.

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-CLEAR RESINS-
Good for clear casting or casting where you want translucent swirls and depth of colors. Requires pressure or vacuum to get rid of bubbles.

Alumilite Water Clear
Their original clear casting formulation, thinner and less brittle than Alumilite Clear but does not polish up nearly as well. It also sets quicker and has a higher temperature resistance.

Pot Life: 5 Minutes
Viscosity: 400 CPS
Demold Time: 30-60 minutes
Shore D: 80
Shrinkage: .5 %
Elongation: 9%
Temperature Resistance: 155 F

Alumilite Clear (Formerly Alumilite Crystal Clear)
This is a formulation developed for the benefit of penturners. It polishes better than Water Clear but is more brittle but still WAY less brittle than PR, however. It also has a longer open time and is the preferred resin for pen turning.

Pot Life: 7 Minutes
Viscosity: 450 CPS
Demold Time: 45-90 minutes
Shore D: 80
Shrinkage: .5%
Elongation: 8%
Temperature Resistance: 140 F

Amazing Clear Cast
This is an epoxy casting resin and is NOT advised for penturning. It is real slow set and is more useful as a bartop finish or where you need a really slow setting resin.

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-OBSCURE RESINS-
Good for solid color or multi- solid color blanks. Does not give any significant effect when using metallic powders. Does not require pressure or vacuum.

Alumilite Regular
This is Alumilite's original casting resin. It is available in light tan or black. It is also the fastest setting Alumilite and does not have a lot of use for penturning. It is the most resistant to temperature, however.

Pot Life: 90 seconds
Viscosity: 190 CPS
Demold Time: 5-8 minutes
Shore D: 75
Shrinkage: .5%
Elongation: 7%
Temperature Resistance: 250 F

Alumilite White
This is Alumilite's thinnest resin but is also their softest. it is good for making multi colored blanks,

Pot Life: 2.5 Minutes
Viscosity: 90 CPS
Demold Time: 5-15 minutes
Shore D: 72
Shrinkage: .4%
Elongation: 10%
Temperature Resistance: 140 F

Alumilite RC-3
This is a good value resin. It is the cheapest of Alumilite's casting resins but is only available in gallons kits. It comes in light tan or black and has a high temp resistance.

Pot Life: 3 Minutes
Viscosity: 110 CPS
Demold Time: 5-15 minutes
Shore D: 74
Shrinkage: .4%
Elongation: 12%
Temperature Resistance: 190 F

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Here is some info on Polyester Resin for comparison sake:
Pot Life: 30 Minutes?
Viscosity: 450 CPS
Shore D: 78
Shrinkage: 4%
Elongation: 1.5%
Temperature Resistance: 160 F
Odor: VERY HIGH!

Hope this information helps someone!
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Last edited by MesquiteMan; 11-09-2011 at 01:24 AM.
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